The scheme will now permit an independent expert to provide a reasoned determination, outlining how the decision has been reached, at an additional charge if both parties agree and the expert is informed prior to the review.
The name of the pub and its rental figure before and after PIRRS will also be disclosed after each case. Currently only the name of the pub company is published. Submissions and responses will remain confidential.
PIRRS will also now cover lease renewals, providing the terms of the new lease or tenancy agreement have been determined, and will include cases in Scotland as well as England and Wales.
PGB chairman Bernard Brindley said the changes come after the body received requests from licensees and pub companies to make the system more transparent. However, he said he did not think a reasoned determination, which would cost around £1,500 to £2,000, would be requested often.
“It means the independent expert will have to write a report and, therefore, it will come at a higher price, which was not the initial intention of the PIRRS. The PIRRS is meant to be a low-cost dispute system. Whoever requested it would have to pay the extra fee.”
'Iron out the glitches'
David Morgan, director at Morgan & Clarke chartered surveyors, said the changes, which he has been lobbying for since May, will “iron out the glitches” that have “troubled” a number of his own clients. However, he questioned why requesting a reasoned determination will incur a charge.
“I find it strange that for the PIRRS valuers to set out their calculations, which is what they have to do anyway, it would cost more,” Morgan said.