Bewleys – Appeal result due any day

The landmark Bewley’s rent review case has come before the Supreme Court and the result could have far reaching implications for both commercial property owners and their tenants.

At issue is the interpretation of a lease and the rent on the storied cafe, which was set several years ago with built-in five-year reviews and which currently stands at €1.4m.When the parties first entered the lease in 1987, the rent for the building was set at €213,000. At the time of the last rent review, at the height of the property boom in 2007, the rent was fixed at €1,463,964.

At the 2012 rent review, the Tenant argued that the rent review provided for in its Lease was not “upward only” as this term is normally understood. Instead, the Tenant argued that the arbitrator was entitled to set a rent in line with the current open market level, even if this reduced the rent payable by the Tenant from its 2007 level. Provided the new rent was greater than the original 1987 rent payable, the Tenant argued that this could and should be the result. Justice Charleton agreed with this approach saying that to proceed towards ever-increasing sums every five years – despite of deflation – was to give an “unreal figure” for the rent.

The Supreme Court will be delivering its appeal decision in the next month and we will update all of our clients on the implications when it does.  NAMA are behind the appeal and they are confident of success.


This publication is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Ogier Leman for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.

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