FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Leading business representative body the Forum of Private Business has cautiously welcomed the latest guidance note for tied pub tenants issues by the Pubs Code Adjudicator.

The Forum has been working closely with the PCA over the past few months and has been pleased to input the views of its members affected by the poor behaviours of the PubCos. This latest bulletin has taken on board many of these comments and is seen as a good step in the right direction.

Representing the Forum, Dave Mountford commented, "The question does remain though as to whether the PCA does actually have the teeth to enforce good behaviour, or whether he can merely recommend actions. So we continue to watch with interest as to whether the PubCos will respond positively to the responsibilities the Adjudicator has set out, or whether they will turn a blind eye to them. If, as previous experience shows, this is the case, we will see what the adjudicator will do to enforce its recommendations."

The one new issue, seen by the Forum as a critical one affecting tenants, that the PCA has now raised, is that of dilapidations. The Adjudicator is inviting input from tenants on how PubCos are using ‘dilapidations’ as leverage to force unfair new terms being accepted, or even as a means to force tenants out of their pubs.

According to Dave Mountford, "At the Forum we have been drawing the dilapidations issue to the Adjudicator’s attention for some months now as this is an area of law with which tenants are unfamiliar, and is therefore a frequent opportunity for abuse by the Pub Owning Business.

"What the PCA needs to understand is that dilapidations are not just being used to put tenants off taking MRO, but as an income stream at the end of an agreement, as a bargaining chip to financially disadvantage impoverished tenants, who lack the finance or will to fight for the recovery of money owed to them by the POB.

"It has been an issue with members for many years and we are pleased that he has taken good note of our lobbying. So that the PubCos can properly be held to account, we are encouraging tenants to respond to the Adjudicator’s request for input. In particular, to help represent members of the Forum, we are inviting members to send their comments directly to the Forum, so that we can represent them, if need be, on a confidential and anonymous basis."

ENDS

To read the Pub Code Adjudicator's latest bulletin visit https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/718870/PCA_Bulletin_June_2018.pdf

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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.