When and how to make a referral to the Pubs Code Adjudicator

Published 21 July 2016

When you can make a referral

There is a difference between a general enquiry and a formal referral to the PCA for arbitration. You can only make a referral if you are a tied tenant (or a pub owning business in relation to market rent only disputes), or authorised to act on their behalf.

Before making a referral

Before you make a formal referral you should read the factsheets. We also recommend that you call the telephone enquiry line for information.

The Pubs Code has very strict deadlines connected with rights under the code and for making formal referrals to the PCA. It is the tied-tenants’ and the pub-owning business’ responsibility to ensure they are able to meet the strict deadlines set out in the code.

How to make a referral

Complete a referral form and send it to or:

Pubs Code Adjudicator (referrals)
Lower Ground
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
B2 4AJ

You should send a copy of the completed referral form to the other party in the dispute.

How to pay

The person who makes the referral or gives the notice for the appointment of the PCA to adjudicate a dispute must pay a fee of £200. This must be paid:

  • at the time the referral is made or the notice is given
  • by banks transfer

The fee can be paid to:

  • account name: The Pubs Code Adjudicator
  • sort code: 60-70-80
  • account number: 10027718

You need to include a reference that includes the post code of the tied pub to which the dispute relates and the surname of the person making the referral or giving notice. Use as much of the surname that fits the reference box.

If you make a formal referral, it will be considered by the PCA and you will be contacted in writing.

Arbitrations undertaken by the PCA will be undertaken in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Rules. Where a conflict arises between these rules and Part 4 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the code, the act and the code will prevail.