Fair Pinter keeps pub but has to pay £135k S&NPC debt

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Newcastle pub company, Agreement, 1913, Money, Mark dodds

Dodds: three years to pay back debt
Dodds: three years to pay back debt
A founding member of Fair Pint, Mark Dodds, has three years to pay back around £135,000 he owes Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC)....

A founding member of Fair Pint, Mark Dodds, has three years to pay back around £135,000 he owes Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC).

Dodds, lessee at the Sun & Doves in Camberwell, south London, has been involved in a dispute with S&NPC over a proposed rent increase at the pub dating back to September 2005.

At a forfeiture hearing at Lambeth County Court on 28 June, the judge advised Dodds and S&NPC that, before a possession order is granted, the two parties should be asked to seek agreement for the repayment of the sums owing.

The two parties agreed that Dodds would pay back the sum over three years. Dodds owes upwards of £70,000 in backdated rent and £65,000 in legal expenses.

In 1995, his rent had been £32,000, which rose to £54,000 in 2001 and then £65,000 following arbitration and a High Court case in 2008. This was backdated to 2005. He has never had his 2010 rent review.

The original rent offer from S&NPC in 2005 had been £82,500.

Dodds agreed with S&NPC to the three-year repayment terms. However, if he fails to meet the agreement, S&NPC can issue a warrant for possession.

He said: "The agreement we came to was I would pay back the real debt over three years on a weekly basis, but the business has not been making enough money.

"The debt is a surreally-created load of nonsense by the pub company."

An S&NPC spokesman said: "While we never discuss individual lease agreements, we are pleased to have reached a settlement."

Dodds helped found Fair Pint in 2007 with fellow licensee Steve Corbett, who left the Enterprise-leased George Canning pub, also in Camberwell, in 2009.

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