There hasn’t been much cheer coming out of Ireland over the last year, but the news that upward-only rent reviews have been banned in the Republic of Ireland will definitely have heartened retailers with stores there.
The Irish government’s decision to ban the practice, which severely impedes free market principles, is a bold one and exactly what retail in Ireland needs.
But as bold as it might be, it should actually be very obvious. Retail sales are down, the property market is down, why should rents on existing leases keep rising?
If only the Government would have the intestinal fortitude to do the same in the UK, retailers would be freed from the noose that is an outdated and iniquitous business practice.
Is it going to take things getting as bad as they are in Ireland for the Government to wake up to how hard some retailers are finding it? I sincerely hope not. Things might not be as bad in the UK, but if positive action like this isn’t taken now, they could be.
Even if the government doesn’t follow suit, if landlords are genuinely interested in collaborating with retailers on terms anything other than what they lay down, here is another example of how they can put their money where their mouths are.