Publican condemns Marston's over 'stress' of missing deposit

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unnecessary stress: Robin Wheeler speaks out over his experience with Marston's
Unnecessary stress: Robin Wheeler speaks out over his experience with Marston's

Related tags: Renting, Public house

A publican has spoken out over the strain Marston's has caused him over his missing £5,000 deposit, and said that, based on his experience, it is "no wonder good operators are deserting the pub industry in droves”.

Publican Robin Wheeler took a tenancy at will (TAW) with Marston's on 15 September 2017, at the Flying Bull, Liss, Hampshire, but left the pub three months later when it was sold to NewRiver.

Wheeler paid a security deposit of £5,000 in September, and said "that was the last he ever saw of his hard earned cash".

"I’ve phoned, emailed and messaged but no one has even replied to at least tell me when my £5,000 will be returned," Wheeler told The Morning Advertiser​ earlier this week. 

"Why, oh why, does it get to this with the big breweries and property companies. No wonder good operators are deserting the pub industry in droves."

Unnecessary stress

As a result, Wheeler warned the pubco that unless he received payment by Friday 26 January, he would apply for a county court summons.

Wheeler confirmed that on Thursday January 25, he received a completion statement from Marston's but that they money was still not in his account at the time of publication.

"The primary issue was not knowing when we would get our deposit back and that no one has had the common decency to reply to all my emails and calls to reassure us we would get our deposit returned and, crucially, when," he said.

"My wife and I have had to take a minimum six months' rental on a house as we were not in a financial position to take another pub without our deposit and we have had to apply for temporary jobs due to the uncertainty. It has put a lot of unnecessary stress on our lives.

"We have been looking at some really good pubs with various companies but cannot proceed due to the lack of incoming funds."

Different sides

Wheeler continued: "We are supposed to be on the same side and we are not. I would never in a million years take another Marston's tenancy – they really need to get themselves sorted out."

A Marston’s spokesman responded: “We can confirm Mr Wheeler’s deposit is being repaid next week. There was a delay caused due to the Christmas period for which we apologise and have made Mr Wheeler aware of a repayment date.”

Related topics: Legislation

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