Pubco critics to join RICS pub rent panel

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: The panel, Tenant, Renting

Morgan: will join the RICS panel
Morgan: will join the RICS panel
Three high-profile pubco critics have been asked to give their input for revised guidance on setting pub rents. Licensee Simon Clarke and Surveyor...

Three high-profile pubco critics have been asked to give their input for revised guidance on setting pub rents.

Licensee Simon Clarke and Surveyor David Morgan of Fair Pint, plus licensee and Association of Licensed Multiple Operators member Garry Mallen, have been invited onto the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveys (RICS) panel that will look at the wording of the revised rent valuation paper.

The aim is to make the guidance clearer following concerns that it is currently too open to misinterpretation and can lead to a pro-pubco bias. The panel is expected to look at areas such as specifying the benefits of the tie to tenants.

The inclusion of the trio has been seen as a sign that RICS is serious about reform.

David Rusholme, director of the RICS Valuation Professional Group, is spearheading the move and others in the panel include Fleurets managing director Martin Willis and Rob May, Enterprise Inns national rent controller.

Clarke, of Enterprise's Eagle Ale House in Battersea, London, said: "The RICS has to be applauded for encouraging this level of participation."

The panel's first meeting is scheduled for 22 January.

The Morning Advertiser understands that Clarke's inclusion was proposed by the Independent Pub Confederation, Mallen by the BII and Morgan by Rusholme himself.

Fair Pint spokesman Steve Corbett said: "The willingness of RICS to respond to concerns raised by Fair Pint shows how pressure from tenants can lead to meaningful change.

"The inclusion of surveyors who have experience on the tenants' side of the pub business on the panel is good news for the whole industry and will help to reduce concerns about impartiality.

"We look forward to seeing the committee implement the conclusions of the RICS pub industry forum to ensure that a proper code of practice is established to deliver more transparency, a proper disregard for tenants' improvements and goodwill and embedding the principle that rents should be set at a level which ensures the tied tenant should be no worse of than the free of tie tenant."

BII member Nigel Wakefield revealed the news on his blog at www.buyingapub.com​.

He said: "David, Garry and Simon are all active members of the BII and I know that their diverse  knowledge will safeguard members and others interests in these discussions.

"David Rusholme stressed in my meeting with him that they want to address all these problems and by asking all three to assist ensures an excellent balance to the Committee."

Clarke, Mallen and Rusholme all gave oral evidence to MPs on the Business, Innovation & Skills committee investigating pubcos in December.

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