It is sadly now common place to see pubs struggling to keep trading and many have either shut their doors and stand empty or have transformed into accommodation for other businesses.

There is some good news for those running pubs who are struggling to pay rent or beer prices. They could save thousands of pounds a year each, thanks to a new Code of Practice and the backing of a powerful Adjudicator, under proposals announced by the Government.

The objective is to make sure that pub tenants are treated fairly by pub companies and it is hoped by the Government that the new proposals will save tenants £100 million per year. The Code would contain mandatory rules for all pub companies who own a certain number of pubs. In particular it would place restraints on pub companies abusing the beer tie, which obliges tenants to sell certain types of beers often at high prices.

The Code will apply to those companies which own over 500 pubs, to focus on the part of the industry where almost 90 per cent of complaints are received. The consultation recently launched by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills seeks views on whether this is a fair threshold.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Pubs are small businesses under a great deal of pressure, many of which have had to close. Much of that pressure has come from the powerful pub companies and our plans are designed to rebalance this relationship. Pubs play a valuable role at the heart of our communities and we urgently need a change to help them survive and become profitable. The new proposals could also allow tied pubs to have independently picked guest beers and help the growth of small beer and ale manufacturers across the UK. The Government is committed to building a thriving pub sector. The industry represents many small businesses, employing hundreds of thousands of people across the country.”

For more information visit;-

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pub-companies-and-tenants-consultation