Following four investigations into the industry, and a further investigation into self-regulation, it was decided that the pub industry was unable to regulate itself, having ignored every opportunity and recommendation from the investigations.
The Pubs Code was introduced as part of the Small Business and Enterprise Bill 2015 and formally went live in July 2016 and the legislation is managed by the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA)
The legislation was introduced to combat the perceived, systematic abuse of tied tenants and was underpinned by two core principles:
- The tied tenant shall be no worse off than if they were not subject to a service tie
- Fair and lawful dealing.
Why is the code being reviewed?
Due to the complexities of the legislation and the challenges made by the Pubs Owning Businesses (POBS), the legislation has failed to achieve its goal.
Tied tenants attempting to use the MRO option are having to go through a lengthy process to obtain the ability to go free of tie with quite often terms in their agreement which are very different.
Unfortunately, many believe that the failure to regulate in any way has resulted in the PCA being ineffective and has made little impact on the behaviour of the industry.
As a result, in 2019 the government began its first statutory review of the Pubs Code and the Pubs Code Adjudicator. In November 2020 they released their findings and areas of improvement.
Your views are now needed
The government has now published a consultation document to gain views on the measures to improve the practical operation of the Pubs Code.
Anyone with an interest in the operation of the Pubs Code can put forward their response, this includes:
- The pub-owning businesses covered by the Pubs Code.
- Tied (and previously tied) tenants and those that represent their interest.
- Businesses who may be landlords of tied tenants with preserved Pubs Code rights upon the sale of their pub.
- Trade bodies.
- Legal organisations familiar with administrating the provisions of the Pubs Code.
- The Pubs Code Adjudicator.
The consultation can be found here . Please take this important opportunity to provide your thoughts. Return completed forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for responses is Sunday 5th September, 2021.
Please return completed forms to: email@example.com
To help you through the process, please take a look at our response to the consultation.