Low-cost resolution service 'still an option' in pub rent disputes

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Dispute resolution: the PGB has reminded large pubcos its services are available to them
Dispute resolution: the PGB has reminded large pubcos its services are available to them
The Pub Governing Body (PGB) has reminded licensees with agreement under the statutory code that the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) resolution service remains an option if there are tied rent disagreements – even in cases where the market-rent-only (MRO) option has been initiated.

Coverage of companies operating 500 or more tied pubs by the self-regulatory system set up by the industry​ – including PIRRS and PICA-Service – ceased in July 2016. Since then, they have been subject to the pubs code regulations 2016 and associated legislation.

Following approaches to the PGB from companies and tenants from larger operators about the option of using the low-cost PIRRS service to resolve tied rent disputes​, PIRRS became available as an option, in January this year, to an estimated 11,500 premises if both parties agreed to utilise the service.

Positive step

PGB chairman Sir Peter Luff said: “We are pleased that the PIRRS procedure has been made available for those pubs, companies and operators that wish to use it, even if they are covered by the statutory code and are in the process of looking at MRO.

“We remind companies and tenants that this service remains available and that PIRRS can be used to resolve tied rents on a case-by-case basis, if both parties mutually agree.

"We believe that this element of the PIRRS service is a positive step that will benefit both companies and tenants.”

Companies and tenants wishing to use the service can use PIRRS to resolve tied rent issues on a mutually agreed, case-by-case basis with payment of an administration fee. Recent discussions have clarified that PIRRS can be used in parallel, or prior to, activating MRO, should both sides agree.

The PGB is responsible for codes of practice for pubcos operating fewer than 500 pubs and overseeing and PICA-Service (Pub Industry Conciliation and Arbitration Service).

Related topics: Professional Services & Utilities

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