The Pubs Code, which will entitle tenants to more rights and greater protection when dealing with large pub companies that own tied pubs, came into action today.
The Government said the code would give an estimated 12,000 tenants new ways to safeguard their operations such as: more transparency about available tied deals; fair rent assessments; and the right to move to a free-of-tie tenancy, if circumstances permit.
Businesses owning 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales are now covered by the code. Tied tenants are obliged to buy beer and drinks from the landlord.
Currently there are six businesses that own 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales. These are: Marston's; Admiral Taverns; Enterprise Inns; Greene King; Star Pubs and Bars (Heineken UK); Punch Taverns.
Pub Code adjudicator, Paul Newby, will settle disputes, investigate breaches of the code and oversee the operations.
Newby said: "I am proud to be the first ever Pubs Code adjudicator and will work tirelessly to uphold the Code and its values from day one. I completely understand and appreciate that there are tied tenants out there struggling to make a living as a result of bad deals with their landlords.
Business minister Margot James said: "The Pubs Code will improve relationships across the industry and help tied tenants get a fairer deal. Paul Newby is the right person to oversee the Code. He knows the challenges pubs are facing and is committed to providing a fair and robust service."
Sir Peter Luff, chairman of the Pub Governing Body, said: "I am very pleased that the three new codes are now in place. They ensure that the vital work of the PGB to protect tenants and lessees continues, following the introduction of the new statutory regime for larger companies, this week. I am also glad that we have been able to put in place a lengthy transition period for complaints arising under IFC6.
"Companies will make their tenants and lessees aware of these changes. I urge tenants and lessees who believe they have cause for complaint to make use of PIRRS and PICA -Service in the future."
Mike Clist, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), commented: "We are pleased that the legislation has now been approved by government and the period of uncertainty for the industry is now coming to an end. For the BII, it is important that all our members have clarity about their rights and responsibilities under the new code.
"Our role is to help our members and ensure they have a full understanding of the consequences of the new legislation, by providing them with a low fixed cost independent viewpoint. This will enable them to make an informed decision so they can continue to grow their businesses whether that be under their existing tied system or via the new MRO offers available."
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