Licensee being 'forced' out of pub

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Licensee being 'forced' out of pub

Related tags: Pub company, Royal oak, The tenant

A licensee is leaving her pub after just two and a half years of a four-year contract with pubco Marston's.

Caroline Allton from the Royal Oak, Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire, claims that after spending thousands of pounds on the pub, she is leaving due to the high costs she is incurring including almost £25,000 a year on rent.

She said: "I have given up and I can't wait to give it all up now.

"I will lose my £6,000 deposit but if that is what I have to do, it is either that or lose more than that over the next 18 months as it is a case of cutting your losses."

Trade 'doubled' 

Allton has been a tenant at the Marston's-owned pub for the past two and a half years and was new to the industry when she took over the Royal Oak but estimated trade had at least doubled since she began.

She said: "The thing that has really upset me is that when we came to the pub it was in a horrendous condition and though Marston's contributed to it, we spent a lot of our own money sorting that out."

She explained the pub company wanted her to provide a food offer but said the thriving wet trade would make it very difficult to do so because there was little room for diners to enjoy meals.

"I can't make any money because of the tie and the rent, and [Marston's] is not prepared to lower the price of beer or rent."

Customers devastated

Allton also said customers in the pub were devastated at the news she was leaving and that they were her main concern because they were so upset.

Since notifying Marston's of her intentions, the licensee said she has not heard from the pub company but had seen the pub was being advertised on its website. 

She concluded: "I think something needs to be done about pub companies because they are killing the trade off."

Points raised valued

A spokesperson for Marston's said: "We value the points raised and we are seeking to work through these with the tenant. This is a contractual issue that we will deal with the tenant directly."

Related topics: Marston's

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