Thursday, August 2, 2012

Upward only rent reviews are preventing recovery in County Wexford – Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin has claimed that upward only rent reviews are actively preventing economic recovery in County Wexford and are causing a continuing decline in retail sales. Chairperson of the local organisation, Oisin O’ Connell, has hit out at the Fine Gael/Labour coalition for backtracking on commitments made in the programme for government to legislate to end upward only rent reviews.

Mr O’ Connell said;

“One of the biggest threats facing many of County Wexford retailers is rent costs. Many retailers see their stores subject to rental reviews where the rent keeps going up. This clause is known as upwards-only rental reviews. This is the last thing you need as a retailer when your sales are going down.”

“More alarmingly, many of the rents for these properties were set during the boom and therefore are completely inflated. These excessive rents can only go up under the current system. Clearly the current commercial lease law is anti-competitive and anti-jobs. It is actively assisting in the continuing decline in retail sales and the closure of small retail industries across this county. It is also preventing many other small businesses from getting off the ground as they cannot afford to rent a property. This in turn is directly linked to rising unemployment and emigration figures in Wexford.”

“The Fine Gael and Labour coalition promised to legislate to end upward only rent reviews in the programme for government. Unfortunately last year they decided that this was constitutionally impossible. They never explained to struggling retailers and people who have lost their jobs in the sector what the actual problem was however.”

“Under Article 43.2.2 of the Constitution in the exigencies of the common good, the Government can interfere with these leases and allow commercial tenants market rents. It’s a pity that our government ignored this stipulation and instead appear more concerned with the needs of landlords and developers than with the many retailers and small businesses that are going to the wall because of excessive Celtic Tiger era rents.”

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