The Forum of Private Business are delighted that Mr Newby is asking for tenant's experiences having failed to recognise and act on them so far. Following correspondence with both Mr Newby and Margot James, as well as a very constructive meeting with the Pub Code Adjudicator's business department on Monday, the Forum had 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 pub code and the Market Rent Only (MRO) 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 pub 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 Pub Code Adjudicator 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”

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.