Ei Group drops High Court appeal against pubs code adjudicator

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Clarity found: PCA Paul Newby's (pictured) office is aware Ei Group has discontinued its appeal
Clarity found: PCA Paul Newby's (pictured) office is aware Ei Group has discontinued its appeal

Related tags: Appeal

Ei has decided to drop the appeal following "helpful clarity in the matter".

Last month, the Ei Group confirmed it was "awaiting a decision" from the High Court​ after it appealed an award made by the pubs code adjudicator (PCA).

The Morning Advertiser​ believes the case was based on the clarification of whether market-rent-only (MRO) option tenancies should be a deed of variation (DoV) or a brand new lease.

A spokesperson for Ei Group said: “While we received permission to appeal an award from the PCA relating to the form and method of delivery of an MRO-compliant agreement, we believe that subsequent awards from the PCA’s office have provided further helpful clarity in this matter. We have therefore discontinued our appeal.”

A PCA spokesperson added: "We are aware that Ei Group is no longer pursuing its appeal. 

"The PCA and deputy PCA are currently working on substantial advice regarding the form of vehicle for a MRO tenancy and intend to publish this shortly.”

'Time to resolve this'

British Pub Confederation chair Greg Mulholland said the fact there is not going to be a "substantial delay" in resolving the issue is "welcome".

"But, what is essential now is that the PCA's office finally publishes the ‘substantial advice regarding the form of vehicle for a MRO tenancy’ – and indeed that the PCA finally makes an adjudication that tenants can move to a MRO agreement via a deed of variation, with other terms being unchanged.

"That is what the parliament intended and it is how MRO agreements must happen so that tenants don't face any detriment when they take an independently assessed market rent on a free-of-tie basis.

"Many cases are stalled on this very issue so it is time to resolve this, something that the British Pub Confederation have been calling on the PCA to do for over a year."

Mullholand said he hoped that now the sector will "at last" be able to move forward with tenants and pub companies clear that tenants will have their right to move to a MRO agreement conducted via a deed of variation and without "unnecessary and detrimental changes of other lease terms". 

Related topics: Legislation

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