Tied tenants of pubcos owning more than 500 pubs including Punch, Enterprise, Greene King, Admiral, Star and Marston’s now have the legal right to the market rent only option and a fair rent assessment.
Trudy Thomas, of the Riflemans Arms in Droitwich, Worcestershire, is planning to take the MRO option and has informed her pubco, Marston’s.
She said she’s ‘just surviving’ amid a dispute over her rent since March last year, and is seeking an assessment of her rent assisted by the code.
“I’m waiting to see what they (Marston’s) come back with. They might want to do a deal, but if they don’t we will go from there. We didn’t realise you could still use the MRO option when you are in a dispute,” she told The Morning Advertiser.
Thomas has struggled recently due to competition from within her own pubco – from a Marston’s retail agreement pub.
“They’ve got Sky, I haven’t anymore because I couldn’t afford it,” she continued.
“I’m a steady little pub, a proper boozer. I’m just surviving, but I’m a fighter.”
Pubs code adjudicator Paul Newby has already seen the ‘first few’ licensees contact him since the code was enforced on July 21.
“Calls have started filtering in., but we are expecting a build on this.. We were ready for a bit more of a wave of calls but with hindsight it will get busier as the knowledge and numbers grows,” he said.
“We’ll have a bit more of an insight by the end of the week about the first experience of this.”
Newby said he is concerned not all tenants have sufficient knowledge of the code.
“We need to get tenants to understand their rights and protections. I want to reach out to tenants as I’m concerned there are tenants who are not represented by anybody. We need to give them knowledge of the helpline and enquiry line number,” he added.