Latest News from MROAS, the pubs code is around 2 weeks away now!

By | April 12, 2016


Latest News from MROAS, the pubs code is around 2 weeks away now!


Word reaches us that the publication of the pubs code is around 2 weeks away now! – we shall shortly be informing you all of the tenants meeting we have planned to coincide with that announcement. Looking at the calendar i imaging the most likely date to hold the meeting is going to be the 10th May in London as the previous weekend is the bank holiday and it will be too much for most members to make a meeting around that particular holiday.

Other news – urgent action required from members regarding the Westminster Hall debate on this coming Thursday 14 April 2016
So could PAS members please contact your MP’s office ASAP and ask them to attend Greg Mulholland’s backbench debate on Thursday in Westminster Hall 1.30pm. Feel free to use my text below as a template, get them supporting you and your pub, time is tight so CALL your MP office first tell them its urgent as its this Thursday coming and then send them the following details via email, if you don’t call first the email you send will be buried in a sea of emails, most MP’s have @ 300 emails per week !….Template below use and adapt.


Dear MP
I would like you to attend the backbench debate on Thursday 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm in the Westminster Hall, it’s a debate on Pubs code and the adjudicator – proposed by Greg Mulholland MP
It concerns the appointment of a pubs code adjudicator that all sides of the pubs trade can accept and as was outlined previously by the will of the house. Currently the BIS dept have said Mr Paul Newby (director and RICS surveyor at Fleurets) will be the adjudicator and I want you to know that this is appointment not acceptable to all sides, myself included.
I appreciate Thursday is an awkward day for some MP’s and you maybe unable to attend in person, therefore would you be so kind as to write a letter of support to Greg Mulholland office if you can’t make it?
I would urge you to consider the problem I and a great number of publicans have with Government appointment of a RICS surveyor to the role of adjudicator, and consider fully the standard recruitment practices of the major Pub Companies, they are designed to focus on the “opportunity” and to gloss over the “due diligence” that is required in taking on such a commitment. The reason the Pubs Advisory Service was set up in the first place was to help with due diligence, not that the Pub Companies send any prospective tenants to them for help at this stage of the process – you’ll have to wonder why.

So the reality is when a tenant eventually gets round to engaging with a Royal Institute Chartered Surveyor (like the governments appointment RICS surveyor Mr Paul Newby) it will often be in circumstances where there is a problematical rent review or other “event” and the engagement will be expensive, humiliating and generally unsatisfactory. The “trade talk” advice that is often mentioned coming from this situation (note which I’ve also heard from some MP’s) is “you signed, now suffer” the subtext being that the tenant should have sought advice before becoming committed to a patently unfair and unbalanced contract. As pointed out above Pub Companies are not sending tenants to the Pubs Advisory Service for independent advice so it isn’t happening.
The corollary to the “You signed, now suffer” mantra is that presumably there is a large number of potential tenants who did not sign, as the advice from the professionals who they happened to contact was not to do so. So any “professional” who has been practicing and making a living in this sector such as Mr Newby has to be regarded with a certain level of suspicion of having in some way contributed to the problem and have some motivation to mitigate criticism of past practices. From the prospective tenant’s perspective it is often not seen this way, as running a Pub has a number of attractive aspects and to many it is the opportunity of a job and a home in return for hard work that is their motivation. Renting a pub is seen, by the unwary and untrained, as a small step beyond renting a flat and there is an underlying, unspoken, assumption that the regulatory environment is similar, but it is not, and it is in the yawning gap between the protections afforded to private tenants and those afforded to commercial tenancies which are a constant trap for the unwary.
In our specific industry the rules around Tied rent setting are governed by a guideline issues by RICS against which great store is set by “industry figures” and politicians alike. The application of this guideline is deeply distrusted by Tenants not least because it is non-mandatory as is pointed out in RICS’ own submission to the SBEE Committee:
“It is important to note that members are not required to follow the advice and recommendations in the guidance note i.e. it is not considered mandatory from an RICS perspective”
So we have a situation where we have a professional who is a member of an “Institute” which is “Royal” and “Chartered” and where much of the membership are highly respected. However, in the “Licensed Trade” specialism there is a corner of the industry where the power and influence of a very small number of companies with senior management who are themselves members of the RICS and who sit on the powerful committees that issue “non-mandatory” guidance but whose activities are not regulated by RICS.

If you have any difficulty with issue of pubs or feel unable to support the reform of pubs trade and with it a strong code and adjudicator because of something you have been told by others please get in touch so we can discuss or debate them.

I look forward to hearing your position on this issue by return and the confirmation on your attendance at the debate this Thursday



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