Consumer organisation the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is mobilising its 190,000 members to urge pubco bosses to cancel rents for pubs that have been forced to close during the coronavirus outbreak and are also adding their names to letters of thanks to pub company bosses that have decided to cancel rents.
The group wants rent payments to be cancelled to help ensure pubs can survive the Covid-19 pandemic and reopen once restrictions are lifted.
CAMRA said pub companies have long argued for the principle that rent paid by tenants should be based on turnover so when pubs are closed and have no turnover, there should be no rent due.
CAMRA national director Ben Wilkinson said: “When all this is over, lots of us are looking forward to getting to the pub for a pint with friends and family.
“As CAMRA members, we stand ready to support our locals once again but we need to make sure pubs survive this crisis so they can reopen and thrive in the months and years ahead.
“That’s why thousands of our members will be making their voices heard to pub company bosses who haven’t yet done the right thing and cancelled rent payments for pub tenants.”
He added: “With publicans still being charged rent despite being forced to stay closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, we fear for the future of many pubs and for the livelihoods of those tenants affected.”
This follows CAMRA calling pub-owning companies to cancel rent for its licensees last month (17 March).
CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said deferring rent until a later date didn’t go far enough and that rent should not have to be paid while there is no turnover at pubs.