The Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) has called on Code pub-owning businesses not currently waiving rent to demonstrate how they will support tenants for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency.
The Adjudicator and Deputy Adjudicator are aware that five of the six pub companies regulated under the Pubs Code are among those who have not yet waived any rent for tenants of their pubs. These are the largest pub companies in England and Wales, each having at least 500 tied pubs.
The PCA has made contact with all of the regulated pub companies. It is exploring what they are doing, and what more they can do, throughout this emergency period to support their tenants.
The Adjudicator said: “While recognising that they are all facing their own uniquely difficult challenges during this period, there is an opportunity now for them to demonstrate leadership to the wider industry and to show that they will go as far as anyone to protect each tenant, and how they will do that.”
CAMRA chairman, Nik Antona, said: “This is a timely and encouraging intervention from the Pubs Code Adjudicator. From the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, CAMRA has called on pub companies to do the right thing and cancel rents. Admiral Taverns, and other smaller pub companies, have listened to tenants and pub-goers and have cancelled rent for their tenants.
“The rest of the big six pubcos should be following Admiral’s example. Deferring rent collection simply isn’t enough — the pub industry is facing unprecedented challenges and the survival of the trade as we know it is at stake.
“Pub companies pushed for the industry standard model that rents are based on turnover. As we have consistently pointed out, this means that closed pubs should not be having any rent levied on them at this time. Pubcos cannot have it both ways, and Ei Group, Punch, Greene King, Star, and Marstons need to follow Admiral’s example immediately and cancel rent.”