Retailers seek rent-free ‘Covid clauses’ from landlords

Seen & Heard: Playing the planning system; and Aer Lingus plans UK-US flights

Retailers are seeking “Covid clauses” in new contracts or extensions being agreed with landlords, the Sunday Independent reports. William Fry property partner Brian O’Callaghan says the clauses would ensure that retailers do not have to pay rent in the event of future lockdowns. He said some landlords are currently down nine months rent because of the pandemic.

Developers holding back

Planning applicants may be looking only to increase the value of their land rather than seriously intend to build homes, planning regulator Niall Cussen has said. In a report in the Business Post, he said permission was in place to build 40,000 homes. "The bank of housing permissions are there," he said. "We need to see activation of those permissions now." He also said developers should get on with building homes that already have permission rather than seeking further changes in planning policy.

Aer Lingus seeks to link England and US

Aer Lingus is talking to UK government officials about operating direct flights from England to the United States, the Sunday Independent reports. The airline did not comment on what such flights might mean for operations in Ireland, where transatlantic business has benefited from passengers coming from the north of England.

Sonder’s Dublin properties fare well

In what has been a miserable year for the hospitality sector, US short-term rental business Sonder says it has had more than 90 per cent occupancy from August to October at its two Dublin properties, which have 76 units between them, writes the Sunday Times. Sonder benefited from its "contactless guest experience" and a quick switch to target extended stays from front-line workers and others as the tourism market suddenly dried up.


CPL chief takes pay cut

The Sunday Times also reports that CPL recruitment group founder and chief executive Anne Heraty took a €71,000 pay cut in the year to the end of June, taking a salary of €504,000. As the group's largest shareholder, with 29.5 per cent of the listed business, she also received more than €809,220 in dividends.

Voya lands Hong Kong hotel contract

Good news for Sligo skincare group, Voya Skincare, which has landed a contract to supply a luxury Hong Kong hotel with its range of seaweed-based spa treatments, the Business Post reports, following an approach from the landmark Peninsula Hong Kong hotel.

Denis O’Brien on INM email archive search

Businessman Denis O'Brien is reported by the Sunday Times to have told High Court inspectors that he agreed to pay fees of more than €60,000 connected with a search of Independent News & Media's email archive at a time when he was the largest shareholder in the business in order to save then INM chairman Leslie Buckley from the "embarrassment" of having to charge the media group for the work.

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times