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Calls for more transparency on rent reviews

From The Publican

By James Wilmore , 18-Nov-2008

Pubcos should be more transparent in their dealings with tenants and end upward-only rent reviews, it was argued today at the MP-led review of pubco power.

At the second half of the Business, Enterprise and Committee session in Parliament, David Morgan, a rent review specialist and co-founder of campaign group Fair Pint, argued the case for more transparency in rent reviews.

"It's all about clarity, then you take away adversarial conflict," he said.

Simon Clarke, a chartered surveyor and licensee, said the current rent review system was "open to abuse". "The weight is against the tenant at the outset," he said.

He later told MPs that rents that went up every year were "totally out-of-order".

Clarke, licensee of the Enterprise-owned Eagle, in Battersea, South London, also argued the AWP machine tie was "grossly unfair" to tenants.

He earlier suggested that a central register of pub rents should be made available in the same way as it is in the residential market.

However Martin Willis, managing director of property agents Fleurets and a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, argued that no two leases were the same. "We have a plethora of leases and agreements," he said.

"It would be a simple thing of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing".

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