Key information on almost 25,000 commercial leases is being made public today for the first time with the opening of an online database that tracks all rental agreements made since the start of 2010.
The long-awaited initiative is designed to foster transparency in a sector dogged by prolonged controversy over upward-only rent reviews in a market in which property values have collapsed.
The Commercial Leases Database is published today by the Property Services Regulatory Authority and is available on its website at psr.ie.
“In the context of the rent review process, access to accurate information is critical in ensuring that a true market rent emerges from that process and that all parties are on an equal footing in terms of ability to access such information,” said Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.
The database provides partial information free-of-charge on 24,747 leases agreed since January 2010, when the Revenue introduced electronic stamping of new leases. In addition, full information is provided for a €10 feeper lease on the 9,521 leases entered into since April 3rd, 2012, when new legislation took effect.
Available for no fee is the following data: the address of the leased commercial property; the date of the relevant lease; the term of years of the lease; and the rent payable in respect of the property.
For payment of the fee, the following information is available: the commencement date of the terms of the lease; the capital consideration (if any) to be paid by the tenant or landlord in respect of the commercial property the subject of the lease; the frequency of the rent review in respect of the property; and data as to who is liable in respect of rates, insurance, service charges and repairs.
The following data is also available: the net floor area, per each floor, of the property; the particulars (if any) relating to rent-free periods, fitting out time allowed, fit-out allowances and capital contributions in respect of the property; and the particulars relating to any break-in clause in the lease.
The certificate identification number to identify the lease instruments e-stamped by Revenue is also available.
“In the past, the existence of side agreements, coupled with confidentiality clauses, was viewed as having a distorting effect on the market,” Mr Shatter said.
“The legislation providing for the establishment of the new database addresses this matter by ensuring full disclosure of all relevant information pertaining to an individual commercial lease.
“It satisfies the real need for an independent and publicly accessible database to address the information deficit which exists in this area.”
The Minster also said the database should put an end to the situation in which “headline rents” were used to set the benchmark for rents in relation to equivalent or neighbouring properties.
“The onus is on commercial tenants to ensure that the required information is forwarded to the authority within the timeframe set down in the governing legislation. It is clearly in the interests of tenants themselves that there is full compliance with the legislation.”
The database was recommended in 2010 by an official working group on transparency in commercial rent reviews, whose membership was largely drawn from the sector. Source: The Irish Times