Marston's tries to sell pub with vacant possession despite tenancy until 2016

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pub, Landlord, Sales

David Andrews said the positioning of for-sale signs around his pub put customers off
David Andrews said the positioning of for-sale signs around his pub put customers off
A tenant has complained about Marston’s tactics in trying to sell his pub from under him – which included offering vacant possession despite his tenancy running until June 2016.

David Andrews also said for-sale boards erected in front of the signs for the Fisherman’s Rest in Belper, Derbyshire, had “killed” his business, with even regulars avoiding the venue.

Andrews said there has been “absolutely no communication” with his landlord - a charge Marston’s has denied, saying they are in discussions to resolve the situation.

Andrews took on the pub with his mother and father in April 2013 – after a period in which it had received considerable bad publicity over a food hygiene scandal.

He said: “We worked hard to turn this pub around and I’m proud of what we’ve done – but that’s in spite of Marston’s not because of them.

“When I took on the pub absolutely nothing was said about selling it then about two and a half months after they announced it out of the blue. When they told me they said ‘you look shocked’, I said ‘of course, this is my home’.”

Andrews said as soon as signs went up, trade was affected.

He said: “The for-sale signs have killed the pub. We have even had regulars staying away because they assumed we had been sold.”

He said he only found out the pub was being sold with vacant possession when a chartered surveyor mentioned it during a visit.


“It makes a complete mockery of my tenancy and makes it so obvious that all they want to do is get shot of the pub to a developer,” he said.

“I would say 90% of the people who have been to see it are developers. Some aren’t even interested in looking inside the pub. They just go straight out to the car park.”

The particulars for the sale describe the pub as “likely to be of interest to local developers and builders”. Its freehold is on the market for £250,000.

Phil Barnett, operations director form Marston’s, said: “We are in discussion with Mr Andrews and anticipate this will be resolved imminently. These are however not all the facts of this situation, that is between Mr Andrews and Marston’s.”

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Posted by Billy boy,

They want to look at the Sutton depot in St helens,and ask WHY has a member of staff got away with ripping them off

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Real distress.

Posted by david,

It distresses me to see 'AleDrinker's' distress.

However it distresses me rather more to read of David Andrews' and his family's distress.

Perhaps 'AleDrinker' might like to reflect on the relative levels of distress involved.

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Posted by AleDrinker,

It distresses me when an individual presents their opinion as "fact".
A letter created by Mr Mountford is no more fact than any other words that any other person could put together. However, on the same basis that HE HAS SEEN tenancy agreements etc, I HAVE SEEN a number of pubs that Marston's have put up for sale in my local area flourish due to a more relaxed attitude from their landlord in the past few months. I HAVE SEEN a lot more customers in the pubs and I HAVE SEEN some pretty happy landlords. I HAVE SEEN these things, so they must therefore be true and it can't be the case that it is all doom and gloom.
I don't really support either breweries, or landlords and have no general standpoint other than enjoying having somewhere to have a decent pint but some of the language used in the posts below is highly emotive and unhelpful.

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