Concern was raised at the previous audit regarding BDM training, as only 63% had attained a qualification. But this year’s audit saw a significant improvement in that figure – a rise to 86%.
The PGB annual audit assesses the state of play at pub companies with an estate of 100 or more pubs with leasehold agreements in England and Wales.
It found that Pre-Entry Awareness Training (PEAT) waivers were applied to 299 agreements, an increase from the 269 in 2015.
This is a rise from 15.3% of new agreements in 2015 to 17.5% in 2016.
The report also stated that the completion of rent reviews within 12 months from their due date has fallen from a high of almost 90% to 60% during 2016, which could be down to changes in the market where pubs are being sold or converted from leases into tenancy agreements or managed houses.
Almost 45% of tenancy agreements were not renewed within 12 months of their anniversaries and more than half (58%) of lease agreements were not renewed in this period.
The report said this could be explained by lessees and tenants awaiting the implementation of the new Statutory Code.
This year, there were 21 referrals to PIRRS on rentals which remains unchanged from 2015 and the same can be said for the one lease renewal referred to PIRRS.
The year also saw little change from the levels of earlier years in the number of complaints from licensees which was 330 (3.3%).
There has been an improvement in the resolution of complaints within the timescale outlined in the pubcos’ Codes of Practice up from 67.4% to 70%.
According to the report, there were 27 enquiries to PICAS from tenants this year which equates to 0.3% of agreements covered by the survey.
While eight of the enquiries resulted in referrals to PICAS, this was down from 13 in 2015 and two cases went through to a full panel hearing.
Three of the referrals retain the potential to be passed through to the PICAS panel.
PGB chairman Sir Peter Luff said: “The results of this year’s annual report underlines the crucial role the PGB continues to play following the implementation of the Statutory Code for Pubs.
“Two years ago we raised concerns around the issue of BDM training and it is very encouraging to see a considerable boost in the number of BDMs completing training.
“It has also been encouraging to see lessees continue to engage with PIRRS and PICAS and an increase in the number of resolved complaints within the set timescale to 70%, closer to the 2014 high of 74.9%.
“PIRRS and PICAS represent a convenient, cost-effective method in dispute resolution for licensees and the PGB continues to play an active and valuable part in the self-regulation of the sector.”
The audit includes data from Admiral Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Greene King, Marston’s, Punch, Spirit (now part of Greene King) and Star Pubs & Bars.
It was prepared by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) as administrators of the Pub Independent Rent Review Service (PIRRS) and the Pub Independent Conciliation & Arbitration Service (PICAS) schemes.
The period covered by the audit was May 2015 to April 2016.