Eason in rent dispute with Athlone landlord
2 March 2021 | 0
Eason has become embroiled in what is believed to be at least its fourth legal dispute over rents since the pandemic began. The latest incident involves its landlord at Athlone Town Centre, Hurley Property Icav, filing a High Court action for the retail chain’s alleged rental debts.
The Irish Times reports that the investment fund landlord has sought a summary judgement against Eason, seeking an immediate ruling from the judge based on paper submissions only, instead of a trial.
In May 2020, Eason revealed that it had written to all its landlords requesting “substantial” rent reductions to help it cope with the pandemic.
Eason declined to comment directly on the rent dispute at Athlone, but said all its actions were taken to ensure the “survival of the business and protect as many jobs as possible”.
The bookseller was previously involved in rent disputes over its units in Galway Shopping Centre and Shop Street branch in Galway.
With many rent disputes occurring throughout the retail sector during the pandemic, according to the High Court’s summary judgement list, retail industry representatives have called on government to design a system of mandatory arbitration in cases where retailers and landlords cannot reach deals.