It took at least four decades for Ireland to finally get a residential property price register which was launched on 30th September 2012, after a register was called for in the Kenny Report in 1973/4. Given the post-1974 political lip-service paid by politicians to the register – mostly whilst said politicians were in Opposition – the delay was astounding. Politicians just don’t want transparency in this country and were it not for the IMF prodding the Government with a financial assistance stick, then we probably wouldn’t have a residential price register today. By the way, Minister Shatter has ruled out extending the register to pre-2010 transactions – transparency has its limits.
Yesterday Minister Shatter confirmed that the other requirement pushed for by the IMF, the commercial leases register, would be published by 31st March 2013. This register will show details of leases for commercial property including the rent, and the rationale for making these details public is that it is hoped the details will improve competitiveness with tenants and landlords able to see “going rates” and act accordingly. Minister Noonan was responding to a question from the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty.
It is unclear why it is taking so long for Minister Shatter to get this commercial lease register up and running. He has known that it was required since he came into office in March 2011. Minister Shatter’s reputation in Irish commercial property took a hammering last year when he dithered over reforms to commercial leases and Upward Only Rent Review terms, and eventually after nine months of dithering, hid behind finance minister, Michael Noonan’s skirt in the Dail when Minister Noonan announced that attempts at reform were being abandoned.
The full parliamentary question and response are here:
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which the commercial leases database will be made available to the public by the Property Services Regulatory Authority.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter: The Property Services Regulatory Authority has statutory responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of a Commercial Leases Database. The Authority is currently working on the development of the database and it is anticipated that it will be launched by the end of the first quarter of 2013.