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9th April 2020 | Press Releases

Greens want government arbitration scheme to help businesses and commercial landlords through Covid-19

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Green Party spokesperson for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Steven Matthews TD, has called for the Government to introduce an independent, free arbitration service for business owners and landlords in dispute over commercial rent payments due to the Covid-19 crisis.

As the impact of the crisis on businesses and SMEs develops, Deputy Matthews said: “Despite the series of measures announced by the Government, the reality is that there are many businesses, across a number of sectors, that will not be able to pay their rents in the coming months.  

“I believe that the Government must acknowledge increasing calls from the business sector and implement further support structures for business owners. One such measure should be the introduction of an independent and free arbitration service for business owners and landlords in dispute over rental payments due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  This arbitrator could work with both parties to propose potential solutions so that the business isn’t forced into unmanageable debt once they return to normal operations.

“This proposed service would only be applicable to business owners who are not in a position to pay their commercial rent and have been unable to reach an agreement with their landlords. This week, many businesses will have received their first rental bill since the start of the crisis, with others likely expecting it shortly. An arbitration policy needs to be examined as soon as possible because it’s a problem that isn’t going away.

“All Government measures thus far have sought to support businesses and put them in a position to re-open once things can begin to return to normal.  This proposed mediation service would be a relatively inexpensive addition to what’s currently available to business owners and would act as a vital means of opening dialogue between commercial renters and landlords in dispute.”