Press release

High numbers of enquiries and referrals show awareness of Code and confidence in PCA – Paul Newby

Paul Newby, the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA), today released early data on enquiries relating to the Pubs Code and referrals for arbitration received by his office.

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From 21 July to 21 November, the first 4 months of the Pubs Code being law, the Enquiry Line which was set up by the PCA to provide information about the Pubs Code has received 376 enquiries. 92% of the enquiries were from tied pub tenants or their representatives.

The top issues raised by callers were:

  • requests for information about rent assessment and the Market Rent Only (MRO) process
  • tenancy renewal

To support callers a range of factsheets about the Code are also available on the PCA website In the same period the PCA also received 79 referrals for arbitration of which 77 were valid and accepted for arbitration. The top issues that were referred were:

  • whether a full response had been given by a pub-owning business to a request for an MRO Proposal
  • duties of the pub-owning business in relation to Rent Assessment Proposals

Mr Newby said:

There has been a lot of interest in the work of the PCA and that is why I wanted to release this initial data. It is still early days but this provides a good picture of the scale of engagement that tied pub tenants are already having with the PCA.

These are significant numbers for the first weeks of the new organisation and, very importantly, the overwhelming majority of the enquiries and referrals are clearly Pubs Code related. I believe this demonstrates a good level of awareness in the industry of the Code and the role of the PCA in creating a fair environment for tied pub tenants.

We now have a considerable number of arbitration referrals to deal with. I am committed to dealing with them all efficiently and effectively. At this stage it’s not possible to provide an estimate of how long it will take to complete these referrals because each case and the requirements of the parties will be different.

Enquiries and referrals are still arriving.

Notes to editors: The Pubs Code came into force on 21st July 2016. Its two key principles are that there should be fair and lawful dealing by pub-owning businesses in relation to their tied tenants and that tied tenants should be no worse off than if they were free of tie.

The Pubs Code Adjudicator is responsible for promoting and enforcing the Code. The PCA enquiry line is open Monday to Friday on 0800 528 8080. Fact sheets explaining the Pubs Code are available on the PCA website

For further information contact Sheree Dodd office@pca.gsi.gov.uk

Published 6 December 2016