A shift in the power dynamic between retailers and their landlords was already well under way before the current economic crisis started. The expected publication in the coming weeks of a State-backed code governing pandemic-era relations between the sides will accelerate the process.

The Government has been under pressure from the sector to rein in what retailers allege is excessive conduct by some landlords for more than 15 years. The issue predates the last economic crisis caused by the banking collapse, when the abolition of upward-only rent reviews was the rallying cry.

Celtic Tiger

Throughout the Celtic Tiger period, successive governments displayed a tin ear towards incessant complaints from retailers that, regardless of economic circumstances, the only way was up for their rents due to standard but excessive clauses in their leases. This was a private matter between contracting parties and the State should not get involved, ministers used to say.



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