Punch lessee has rent cut by 60%

By Gemma McKenna

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rent review Landlord

Dispute: licensee George Scott has been at loggerheads with Punch since 2005
Dispute: licensee George Scott has been at loggerheads with Punch since 2005
A Punch lessee has had his rent reduced by 60%, after a judge said an earlier rent review was not valid. George Scott has been involved in a...

A Punch lessee has had his rent reduced by 60%, after a judge said an earlier rent review was not valid.

George Scott has been involved in a long-running dispute with the pub company over a 2005 rent review at his pub, the Eastcote Arms near Northampton, which he claimed he was forced to sign when he was ill.

At Northampton County Court last week, district judge Flood reduced the rent for now and ordered that a new rent review be carried out, which may move the figure upwards or downwards.

The court ruled that the clause in Scott's lease stating that an expert's decision on a rent review will be final, should be overlooked in this case. Instead a judge could decide if both parties don't agree.

In the meantime, Scott's rent will be reduced by 60%, and he must start buying his beer from Punch again — on a cash-with-order basis — at discounted prices listed in his original lease. Scott has not paid rent or bought beer from Punch Taverns since February 2009.

The host is still set to go to a final hearing with the pubco, after October 2010, claiming he is owed at least £300,000 because of "over-rentalisation, breach of promise on price commitment and duress".

A Punch spokeswoman said: "We are pleased that progress is being made in resolving this matter."

Scott has been licensee at the Northampton pub for almost 10 years, but last year he faced eviction for trespass as his name was incorrect on his lease agreement. The issue was resolved earlier this year.

Related topics Legislation Punch Pubs & Co

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