The office of the pubs code adjudicator (PCA) has confirmed in an email, seen by The Morning Advertiser (MA) to the Pubs Advisory Service, that any licensee that has not had a rent review concluded in the past five years would be able to make the request.
In the email, the PCA confirmed: “During the period on and between 21 July 2016 and 20 July 2021, a tied tenant may request a rent assessment where they have not already had one concluded in the past five years."
It is believed this could open the floodgates for thousands of pubs, that believed they had missed the deadline, according to pub campaigners.
In August, Simon Clarke, secretary of the British Pub Confederation told MA that many pubcos were refusing to offer MRO, citing the timing of the legislation. However, he believes this clarification from PCA will mean that pubcos will have to take notice.
Clarke said: “There will be thousands of tenants out there who have got rent reviews pre-code that have not been settled yet. That means they could go for rent assessment proposals under the legislation.
"There is a fair chance these licensees still have an MRO option.”
A PCA spokesman confirmed to MA: "The transitional provisions in the code are clear and are there to prevent a tied tenant having to wait five years from the coming into force of the code to request a rent assessment if they have not had a concluded rent assessment for five years.
“Receipt of a rent assessment proposal entitles a tied tenant to request MRO option.”