Bewley's lose Grafton St rent ruling

The Supreme Court has overturned a High Court ruling that the rent payable by the Bewley's on Grafton Street must be allowed to fall to reflect market levels.

Bewley’s has said it is "immensely disappointed" at the decision and said it will consider the judgment with its legal advisers.

Bewley’s Café Grafton Street has a lease with its landlord which is the Johnny Ronan controlled Ickendel Limited.

The High Court ruled last year that a clause in the lease between Ickendel and Bewley's allowed for a fall in rent.

Bewley’s rent had doubled to €1.5m at its last rent review date of January 1, 2007.

The rent came up for review again on January 1, 2012, and Bewley’s contended that the provisions of this specific lease allowed the rent to fall in line with market values but the landlord refused and took a High Court action against Bewley’s.

The case was decided by the High Court in favour of Bewley’s in March 2013, and the market rent at January 1, 2012, was established at €728,000 by an arbitrator, 50% below the amount claimed by the landlord.

The High Court decision has now been overturned by the Supreme Court following the appeal by the landlord.

Bewley’s Group Chief Executive, John Cahill said: "The landlord has managed to achieve an oppressive rent of €1.5 million which was set in 2007 at the height of the unsustainable property bubble, and which is double the market rent set at 1 January 2012.

"All we have sought to achieve is an acknowledgement of economic reality and fair treatment with a rent that reflects market values, but this has been blocked by NAMA and the landlord."

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