The Forum of Private Business is delighted that Independent Pub Code Adjudicator Paul Newby is asking for tenants’ experiences.
Following correspondence with both Mr Newby and Margot James, as well as a very constructive meeting with the PCA’s business department on Monday, the Forum says it has raised some very worrying concerns about the way the pub code was being observed by the pub owning companies.
The Forum feel he should be setting strong and clear guidance for the pub companies regarding implementation of the code and the Market Rent Only option.
They urge tenants to share their experiences to make sure that the government and Mr Newby are in no doubt as to what is going on, with pub companies insisting on new contracts rather than a simple deed of variation, introducing unreasonable terms which have nothing to do with the original tenancy agreements and presenting free of tie high rent deals as MRO agreements.
Ian Cass, Chief Executive of the FPB, said: “It is important to recognise that the code was brought in because of the poor behaviour of the pub operating companies in the first place. The fact that they are continuing to manipulate the MRO element of the code, which was aimed at ensuring tied tenants were no worse off than the free of tie and ignoring the spirit of the code is a disgrace.
“The Forum believe this something that the government and the PCA need to quickly address as this is costing hard working small business people their livelihoods and pubs being an important part of our culture and heritage.”