Pubs code

Pubs code adjucator inundated with arbitration requests

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Busy: Paul Newby has received many enquiries relating to the pubs code
Busy: Paul Newby has received many enquiries relating to the pubs code

Related tags: Pub tenants, Landlord, Renting

The first figures released by pubs code adjudicator (PCA), Paul Newby, show that his office received 79 requests for arbitration in just the first four months of the pubs code being law.

Newby has revealed that of the 79 requests for arbitration he received in the four months that followed the code coming into force on 21 July, 77 were valid and pursued.

The most common topics for arbitration were around pubco responses to requests for MRO and the duties of pubcos in relation to rent assessment proposals.

"We now have a considerable number of arbitration referrals to deal with. I am committed to dealing with them all efficiently and effectively," Newby said.

"At this stage it’s not possible to provide an estimate of how long it will take to complete these referrals because each case and the requirements of the parties will be different."

Hundreds of enquiries

The newly released figures also show that the enquiry line set up by Newby to provide information about the pubs code received 376 enquiries in the code's first four months of being law, 92% of which came from tied pub tenants or their representatives. The most common enquiry subjects were the MRO process, rent assessments and tenancy renewals, Newby's office has revealed.

Commenting on the figures, Newby said: "There has been a lot of interest in the work of the PCA and that is why I wanted to release this initial data. It is still early days but this provides a good picture of the scale of engagement that tied pub tenants are already having with the PCA.

"These are significant numbers for the first weeks of the new organisation and, very importantly, the overwhelming majority of the enquiries and referrals are clearly pubs code related. I believe this demonstrates a good level of awareness in the industry of the code and the role of the PCA in creating a fair environment for tied pub tenants."

Clarity to be developed

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds echoed the positives of tenant awareness about the code, and said: "The number of inquiries shows there is already very good awareness among tenants and leaseholders of the new system and that is to be welcomed.

"Clearly, the legislation is very complex and there are still different interpretations of some aspects. One task ahead will be to achieve greater clarity through additional guidance for both companies and lessees; I am sure this will be developed in time and is very much something we would welcome."

Related topics: Legislation

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