Statutory code: BII clarifies 'misinterpreted data' in consultation paper

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Landlord Leasehold estate Bii

Statutory code: BII clarifies 'misinterpreted data' in consultation paper
The BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) has moved to clarify what it calls "misinterpreted data" in the Government's consultation document on a statutory code for the relationship between pub companies and their tenants.

The data on page 18 of the consultation paper​, published by the department for Business, Innovation & Skills, illustrates the number of ‘complaints’ recorded over a three year period by the BII's Licensee Business Support Helpline.

In addition, the document names the pub companies involved. However, the figures shown in fact represent the total number of ‘calls’ received by the helpline, and - the BII insists - are not therefore indicative of ‘complaints’.

BII chief executive Tim Hulme said: “Over three years we received just fewer than 600 calls, which were recorded on a database and categorised by subject whether it be dilapidations, rent reviews, lease renewal, lease and tenancy negotiations or general business support.

"The service is part of our commitment to providing our members with high quality information, skills and business benefits and is very much in line with the essential work the BII undertakes to promote skills and education in the UK. Feedback from our members shows that the Licensee Business Support Helpline is highly valued.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said: "We acknowledge that the figure in the pubs consultation should have more accurately referred to 'calls' rather than 'complaints'. We will correct this in the consultation and in future documents.

"Nevertheless, the data still shows that tenants from larger companies were significantly more likely to contact a helpline than tenants of smaller companies or those who ran free houses. As such the initial proposals - that a threshold of 500 pubs would capture the majority of the problem - remains appropriate. We are of course open to further evidence and feedback on what would be an appropriate threshold."

However one pubco source told the Publican's Morning Advertiser​: “For BIS to have misrepresented this information to justify its pursuit of the ‘500 club’ [the consultation proposes applying statutory regulation only to pub companies with 500+ non-managed pubs] is biased and vindictive.

"These were calls to a BII helpline, and very few were complaints. And is it any surprise that the most calls came from tenants of the pub companies with the most pubs – including those that offer first year BII membership to all new tenants?”

Related topics Legislation Training

Related news