Plans to ensure large pub-owning businesses deal fairly with thousands of tied pub tenants have been announced by Business Minister Anna Soubry today (29 October 2015).
The first of a two-part consultation on a new Pubs Code sets out how the ‘market rent only’ option will work. It implements the principle that a tenant tied to a business owning 500 or more tied pubs should be no worse off than a free-of-tie tenant. Up to 13,000 tied tenants in England and Wales will be protected by the code.
The second stage of the consultation, to be published soon, will cover the remaining elements of the code.
Business Minister Anna Soubry said:
Pubs are the lifeblood of so many of our towns, villages and high-streets, playing a vital role supporting our local economies. It’s not right that some tied pub tenants are unfairly overcharged by their landlords and the Pubs Code will help ensure they get a fair deal.
I’m looking forward to hearing from pub companies and tenants on these important proposals to put the industry on the strongest possible footing.
The Pubs Code will help ensure fair dealing for tied tenants while minimising as far as possible burdens on business. At the same time, the proposals will not reduce the current level of tenants’ protections under the industry’s voluntary code of practice.
During the consultation period the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is seeking views, particularly from pub-owning businesses, tied tenants and their representatives.
Notes to editors
- The consultation is Pubs Code and adjudicator: market rent only option and rent assessments.
- The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act requires the Pubs Code to be in place before the end of May 2016.
- The Pubs Code adjudicator, who will enforce the code, is currently being recruited.