The countdown continues to 31st March 2013 when the Property Services Regulatory Authority will make available online the details of some 20,000 Irish commercial leases.
This week in the Dail, we learned a little more about what we will get, when justice minister Alan Shatter responded to a parliamentary question from the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty.
The leases that will be available on the new database will only be those dated on or after January 2010. We also found out that whilst some (unspecified) basic information will be available free of charge, an (unspecified) fee will be charged for other (unspecified) information.
The cut-off of January 2010 means that the vast majority of the leases on the new database will be those entered into after the banning of upward only rent review clauses in new leases that came into effect in March 2010. So, we won’t get the chance to be blown over by some of the peak rents that still apply in some pre March 2010 UORR leases, though we do know that on average, commercial rents have declined by just over 50% since the peak in 2006/7.
This is the full parliamentary question and response.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 489 of 26 February 2013, if he will provide an estimate of the total number of commercial leases here and the total number that will be captured on the new commercial leases database; and if he will outline the principal reasons for omissions of extant leases from the commercial leases database..
Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter: As indicated in my reply to Question No. 489 of 26 February 2013, Section 87 of the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 provides that the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) shall maintain and establish a database relating to commercial property leases.
I am not in a position to advise the Deputy as to the total number of commercial leases here. However, I am advised by the Authority that it estimates that approximately 18,000 to 20,000 commercial leases will initially be detailed on the new commercial leases database, which is expected to be published in the near future. It is anticipated that the database will contain information in relation to all commercial leases entered into on or after 1 January 2010.
Section 87 provides that in respect of each relevant commercial lease, the Database shall contain: the address and description of the commercial property the subject of the lease; the date of the lease of the property; the term of years of the lease; and the rent payable in respect of the property. It is further provided in Section 87(3) that such information may, at the Authority’s discretion, be included in the Database, notwithstanding the fact that such a lease was entered into before the commencement of Section 87. Section 87(4) provides that Section 87(3) shall not apply to a commercial property lease entered into more than 5 years before the commencement of Section 87. I am advised by the Authority that it is satisfied that the information available on commercial leases entered into on or after 1 January 2010 is accurate and reliable and that it proposes, on the initial publication of the database, to include all leases entered into with effect from that date.
Section 88 of the Act also provides that the Authority make the information available on the Commercial Leases Database publicly available “on the payment of the appropriate fee”. While the Authority will make certain limited information available free of charge, all of the information, which tenants are required to furnish to the Authority under Section 88 of the Act, will only be made available on the payment of a fee.