Self-regulation is still delivering for tenants

By Sir Peter Luff

- Last updated on GMT

Self-regulation is still delivering for tenants

Related tags Pub governing body Dispute resolution Alternative dispute resolution

The government may be recruiting for the new statutory adjudicator, but self-regulation is still delivering for tenants.

The annual PIRRS and PICA-Service reports published by the Pub Governing Body this year make encouraging reading. They show that twenty-two applications were made to the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme and eleven to the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service in the twelve months to the end of March. The licensees who use these services rightly see them as an effective and cost efficient alternative method of dispute resolution to expensive, time-consuming legal representation.

Licensees may be expecting the new Statutory Code and adjudicator to step into the roles filled by PIRRS and PICAS, but this will not happen any time soon. The reality is that we are looking at around a year before the regime is finalised, never mind up and running. The adjudicator is on its way, but the PIRRS and PICAS services are here now.

If you’re experiencing problems, don’t wait a year to sort them out. PIRRS and PICAS are available to you now. My advice is to take advantage of the services that exist to serve you and hold pub companies to account.

If you have doubts because of the criticism of a few, just take a glance at the news section of the PICA-Service website (​) and reach your own judgment about the cases that go to adjudication.

And don’t forget that, for companies falling below the five hundred outlet threshold, both services will still have a role to play following the introduction of the Code and adjudicator. Indeed licensees should not think that either of these services will disappear once the new regime comes into effect. The work of the Pub Governing Body will continue, providing a valuable service in pushing for fair deals for pubs and bars.

One of the great advantages of the current systems is that PIRRS and PICAS don’t just settle cases directly; they also actively encourage mediation and dispute resolution amongst both parties. The PGB is constantly exploring methods to improve both schemes and remains committed to ensuring they remain practical and cost-effective.

Whatever the future contribution made by the adjudicator and Code, the Pub Governing Body’s experience makes it a valuable asset for the sector. The PGB receives between five and ten enquiries a month and provides first-rate advice to licensees in need of a speedy resolution. The PGB is sitting on a wealth of knowledge and it is important that it is put to good use going forward.

The next twelve to eighteen months will be immensely important for the future of the licensed hospitality sector in the UK.  One thing that will remain constant is the PGB’s expertise and readiness to fight for licensees. If pubs and bars continue to engage with the PGB’s services, we can ensure they remain as robust and vital as ever.

Sir Peter Luff, chairman of the Pub Governing Body

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