Greater support is needed for pub tenants to ensure the long-term viability of their businesses and strength of the licensed-trade in general.
We believe greater clarity and advice should be provided to prospective pub landlords before they enter a tenancy agreement, so they’re fully briefed on potential issues and additional costs they may encounter as part of running a successful pub.
As a specialist in the hospitality and licensed property market, we urge landlords to seek advice following recent reports CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) has asked Government ministers to make improvements to the Pubs Code. The code was introduced to end unfair practices within the sector – however, CAMRA wants current legislation to be amended so disputes between tenants and pub-owning companies are resolved in a timely, transparent and cost-effective way.
Publishing details of principles identified in individual cases would also be beneficial to tenants, according to the voluntary consumer organisation, which aims to support the UK’s pub trade and promote good practice across the sector.
Although we believe amending the Pubs Code would be beneficial to pub tenants, we think even more could be done to prevent businesses falling into financial difficulty – and ultimately closing down – an unfortunate trend, which according to CAMRA, has seen the total number of pubs in Britain decline from 53,000 in December last year to 52,000 in June.
Sam Spencer, associate at our Nottingham office said: “Research shows reasons for the decline in pubs include high rents and wholesale beer prices charged by property companies to pub landlords.”
“Although changes to legislation could reduce financial burden on pub tenants, I do believe some people decide to run a pub without considering all potential issues and constraints beforehand. Currently there is no official body to support pub tenants, and many fall into difficulty simply due to lack of knowledge and experience of running a pub.
“I would strongly advise all potential tenants to seek professional advice before considering managing a pub – and existing tenants to gain support from licence and hospitality experts if they are worried about their businesses.
“If more transparent advice and recommendations were made before tenancies were agreed, I believe fewer pubs would experience management and financial issues. The development of an official trade body would not only provide much-needed support to tenants, but also prevent the closure of so many pubs and help to revive this market.”