Working in tandem with design and research agency Hive IT, the PCA plans to compile an evidence-based report featuring detailed information on how to address the needs of all pubs code users and increase levels of code awareness among tied tenants.
Published on 19 December 2019, the PCA’s most recent Tied Tenant Survey found only a third of tenants (33%) claimed to be “very aware” of pubs code legislation, compared to 41% in the office’s 2017 survey – with less than half of those surveyed (47%) claiming to be “very” or “quite aware” of the PCA itself.
In a bid to understand how to best communicate with operators covered by the pubs code - including ensuring they are aware of their rights and how to exercise them – the PCA and Hive IT will gather a range of facts and opinions from tied tenants, tenant representative groups and relevant trade bodies.
The PCA’s research will then form the basis of a report which will be made public at the end of its project.
“By completing this research, the PCA will understand what’s important for the full range of tied tenants in their relationships with their pub company,” the project’s mission statement explains.
“This will provide an evidence-based plan to provide clarity on what the pubs code can do for them and give confidence in how the PCA can promote, ensure compliance with and enforce the code.”
While the project was scheduled to get underway during the week commencing 29 June, the start of research has been delayed until the end of July to accommodate the resumption of trading in pubs from 4 July.
However, in the meantime, tied tenants have been asked to complete an initial survey.
As well as highlighting the gaps in tenant knowledge of the pubs code, the PCA's December 2019 survey also found 56% of respondents claimed to feel “very” or “quite well informed” about the right to request the market-rent-only (MRO) option – down 7% from 2017 – though the majority (55%) of eligible tenants do not consider it a “genuine choice”.
Speaking to The Morning Advertiser (MA) before stepping down as PCA, Paul Newby said there is undoubtedly work to be done to ensure the existence of the pubs code is “implanted in the tenant’s mind”.
“We’re looking at how we can work with stakeholders to strengthen that tenant awareness factor and how we can, indeed, work with both the pub companies, groups that are supportive of tenants and advisers in the business to make sure tenants are as aware as they can be so they have can have access to services they may need when they need them,” he said in March 2020.