Enterprise defends actions after couple left 'heartbroken' at pub exit

By Naomi Larsson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Leasehold estate

Enterprise defends actions after couple left 'heartbroken' at pub exit
Enterprise Inns has insisted it acted correctly after tenants claimed they had been left "heartbroken" by being told to leave their pub.

Helen Ingham and her business partner Phil Flude were told before Christmas that the Oldenburg, Paignton, Devon had been sold.

Ingham had been running the pub for 16 years before declaring bankruptcy in July last year, at which point Flude took over.

He received a letter from Enterprise in early December terminating their tenancy at will agreement on 30 January. But Ingham claims it was not clear that the agreement would only be short-term when they signed up.

She said: “I wouldn’t have parted with my money if it was only going to be for a couple of months. It doesn’t make any sense,” she told the Publican's Morning Advertiser.

After Enterprise cancelled a meeting with them on 5 January, Ingham said: “Enterprise hasn’t offered us help in anyway. Nobody has sat down face to face with us and there haven’t been any discussions.”

Enterprise response

A spokesperson for Enterprise said Ingham had received a “significant amount” of support prior to forfeiting her lease.

Enterprise said: “Mr Flude was made fully aware from the outset that this was a short-term agreement, and they were both also aware that the pub had been openly marketed as a business opportunity via our website since the middle of 2013.

“Following significant interest in the pub from another party, Mrs Ingham and Mr Flude were given the opportunity to apply to take on The Oldenburg under a full, long-term agreement.

“As part of the process, our regional manager met them to discuss the required business plan. However, this was found to be incomplete, and on final assessment of both candidates, the strength of the other interested party’s application led to them being selected to take on The Oldenburg.”

Ingham added: “Enterprise think they made it clear but they didn’t. I’m just shell-shocked at the moment and the customers are upset. This is a community pub - I do washing for a homeless gentleman and I take an old lady to visit her husband’s grave. It’s heartbreaking. ”

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Where's the problem?

Posted by ken nason,

Ingram defaulted on the lease(bankrupt)

Flude took it over as a TAW( short notice by either party)
Pub up for sale for some time.

EI gave him two months notice (probably more than the TAW specified.

He was given the opportunity to bid for the lease and in competition failed to win it ( that's life I am afraid)

What discussions were they expecting? And what help were they expecting?

It seems the only reason they give for staying is to support a couple of unfortunate people. Emotion again instead of facts.

But hey it's the big bad Pubco destroying their lives rather than them doing it themselves if you hear the likes of our own DM and friends.

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Cracking Plan

Posted by Objective Observer,

So Mr Mountford, encourage by his solicitors makes posts that are untrue, to trap those engaged in a conspiracy against him.

To what end Mr Mountford, it seems to me the only one damaging the reputation of your wife's pub is you with your ridiculous conspiracy theories.

Now forgive for saying but it wasn't very bright to tell us, or was that part of the Master Plan yet to be divulged.

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At least we're back on the topic.

Posted by Interested Observer,

At the risk of joining the cabal, DM did make a categorical statement about tenants being contracted out without their knowledge, and based on that "fact" implied that something dodgy might be afoot in this case.

He seems to be declining the opportunity to explain how that can possibly happen - it appears that it can't - so one must doubt any inference drawn from what appears to be a false premise.

Oh well... when a story is about Enterprise Inns tenants, nothing is ever simple or rational.

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