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‘No help whatsoever’ for village pub landlord

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

No income: a private landlord has said she feels helpless after not qualifying for any additional support
No income: a private landlord has said she feels helpless after not qualifying for any additional support

Related tags: Coronavirus

A private landlord has said the future of the pub she rents out is in doubt after she has been left out of Government support.

Janet Kirkman owns the freehold for the Fox & Hounds in Uffington, Oxfordshire. She did not invest in a pension fund but instead invested in the pub freehold to top up her state pension and disability support.

She does not qualify for any self-employment aid because she is in receipt of personal independence payment (PIP), which is usually manageable with income from the pub. She is now worried about the rent payments on her own house.

The live-in tenant has fallen behind two months with the main rent and Kirkman has not been receiving income from the pub’s four guest rooms as she would normally per the occupancy agreement. 

Kirkman shared her frustration at the situation, saying the lack of help for people in her position had left her feeling like her hands were tied on the future of the building.

Homelessness risk

She said: “There is no help whatsoever and no prospect of having any income. If I move into the pub then that means making two people homeless and no prospect of having anyone to run the pub.”

Kirkman says if the pub were to be unable to reopen, it would mean the village would lose a huge part of its economy, with tradespeople and permanent staff affected.

She said: “We’re the last pub in the village, which originally had seven pubs.

“We live in an isolated village and there’s no public transport so we are rather inter-dependent, the community looks after itself. 

“The pub provides employment and, in summer, extra employment for the young people and work experience.”

The tenant has received a £25,000 grant through the funding scheme for hospitality businesses but this is not enough to cover their total costs because it is operating a takeaway service to help the community.

Related topics: Property law, UnitedWeStand

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