The briefings covered the principles behind the act and the potential changes for licensees. Delegates were advised that although much of the detail of the Bill was yet to be determined through secondary legislation, significant changes were to be brought about including a statutory code of practice overseen by a government-appointed adjudicator to regulate the relationship between pubcos and their tied licensees with powers of imposing financial penalties.
The core principles within the act are that licensees should be treated fairly and lawfully by pub operating companies and that tied licensees should be no worse off than free-of-tie licensees.
The two-hour briefing covered potential trigger points for the market rent-only option (MRO) and the currently proposed parallel rent assessment (PRA) approach, a dual rent assessment document which shows in tandem potential scenarios of the tied and free-of-tie tenant quantifying the principle that tied tenants should be no worse off than free of tie tenants.
A PRA calculator which enables licensees to personalise and quantify their particular trading circumstances is available in the member’s area of the FLVA's website allowing them to make calculations and thereby, informed decisions, on the options that may be presented by their Landlord Company.
The position in relation to licensees on non-Landlord and Tenant Act protected agreements was discussed together with those licensees who had the protection and benefits of the Landlord and Tenant Act with potential and practical implications.
Delegates were informed that updated information will be provided on the FLVA website as it becomes available together with a commitment to hold further briefings when details emerge during the consultations regarding the all important detail of the secondary legislation.
The FLVA has much work to do during these upcoming consultations around secondary legislation and we will continue to lobby both ministers and officials of the Business Department to achieve the optimum results for licensees. This task alongside the current business rates revaluation exercise where we believe rateable values should be more closely linked with profitability means we have a busy and interesting year ahead of us.
It is anticipated that further briefings are to be held in the East and South.