Industry bodies unite to offer help with pubs code

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

21 April 2016

Three leading trade bodies have joined forces to help licensees affected by the introduction of the new statutory code.

The final version of the code, which is set to be introduced on 26 May, was published last week. Under the new regulations tenants of pub companies and breweries that operate 500 or more pubs, will be able to request a Market Rent Only (MRO) agreement, meaning they will no longer be tied to buy drinks and other products direct from their landlords.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA) say they have combined resources to provide lessees with advice, support and guidance to help them better understand the implications of the regulations.

As of 26 May, tied licensees will be able to request a MRO agreement at rent reviews, even if rent has not increased, if the price of tied products is increased above the Producer Price Index (PPI), if there has been an event that significantly impacts trade at a pub, or upon receiving a renewal notice.

The three organisations will be holding a series of seminars and business advice surgeries across the country, with the first one being held on 26 May in London focused on transitional arrangements for those lessees facing a rent review or lease renewal this year. The event will provide free advice and guidance to ALMR, BII and FLVA members, with places available to non-members at a cost of £50.

BII chief executive Mike Clist added: 'The BII, ALMR and FLVA have been working together to ensure that the adoption of the new Code is as smooth as possible for retailers.

'The new guidelines are a tricky proposition for lessees to work their way through and we want to make sure that no businesses feel lost or fall through the cracks during the transition period. This is a big step for the businesses and we are committed to providing the best resources for our members both in terms of advice and pre-entry training.'

Martin Caffrey, operations director at the FLVA, said: 'It is important that we have clear, consistent information and advice which independent tenants and lessees can rely upon. By working together in partnership, we are providing that.'

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: 'The introduction of the Code will be one of the biggest changes that the sector has had to face. It is therefore very important that licensees are fully aware of their obligations and opportunities and that the change is made as simple as possible.'

In addition to the seminars, the three organisations have also produced a detailed briefing paper and FAQ on the new regulations, which will be updated in response to members’ queries and concerns.

For details of the seminars,  contact sbolton@almr.org.uk

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