The Restaurants Association of Ireland has called for action to deal with commercial landlords who continue to charge their tenant businesses full rent rates during the Covid pandemic.

The association has called on the Government to issue a code of practice and introduce a "fast track" arbitration service to help with a speedy resolution of disputes between restaurants and landlords.

The association said that "greed driven landlords" are placing hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs at risk across Ireland.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said it is obvious that greedy landlords are not playing their part in the pandemic which is causing huge distress for business owners - especially restaurant owners. 

Mr Cummins said high rents charged by some landlords are placing hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs at risk across the island of Ireland. 

"Immediate government action is needed, and landlords need to reduce their commercial rents in line with business turnover to support struggling restaurants and cafes," he added.

According to economist Jim Power, a scheme to reduce the burden of commercial rents is essential from the perspective of restaurant owners and landlords. 

The report states that the accommodation and food services sector has been seriously damaged by the Covid-19 crisis and failure to act now will have dire consequences for the economy. 

In a report on the sector, Jim Power said that rents represent a significant fixed cost and should be included in a package of support measures covering all occupancy costs. 

He has recommended a 50% commercial rent grant during periods when restaurant turnover is down 50-80%. 

The hospitality sector did not receive any commercial rent grants or support in the recently announced July Stimulus Package, the economist noted.