The Pubs Code Adjudicator has launched a factsheet for tied pub tenants about the roles and responsibilities of business development managers (BDMs) and code compliance officers (CCOs).
Fiona Dickie (pictured) says it is crucial that tied tenants are aware of the duties required by these separate, but key, statutory roles, especially as they navigate through the exceptional covid circumstances and beyond.
It is important to understand that, under the Pubs Code, the BDO doesn’t just mean the person who is employed by the pub-owning business with that job title. It also means anyone who represents the pub company in negotiations with the tied tenant around rental events, repairs, or business planning, regardless of their actual job title or description.
By law, the pub company must ensure that this person deals with the tied tenant in a fair and lawful way and accurately records all discussions about those matters within time limits set out in the code. This includes conversations about discretionary covid support and related payment plans.
This is an important Pubs Code protection for the tenant if there is a dispute, and encourages fair and code compliant interactions by the BDM, said the adjudicator. If the tenant thinks comments were made which were unfair or not recorded, they should tell them in writing. A paper trail showing any dispute about what was said can be essential to understanding if there are problems for the PCA to address.
Each regulated pub company must employ a CCO, whose statutory responsibility is to verify its company’s compliance with the code and be available to tenants to answer any related query. They should have an internal procedure available to tenants for dealing with code breaches. The CCO is independent of the BDM and can discuss compliance matters with them and with the tenant.