Sadly names and Companies are not available,
this is another reason why any pub Lease has no security, if even
vaguely successful without very expert legal advice.
The “Roses round the Door” are a fantastic temptation,
but the “Pitfalls inside the Door” are something else.
“Thought I Had Better Tell You, “Barrel-Dregs at it’s glorious worst”
Publican… “Oh hello, what do I owe the pleasure of this unannounced visit. It is a welcome surprise to see my regional manager in the flesh and you have brought the sunshine. Coffee ?”
Regional Manger (RM)… “Yes great to see you as well and it has been some while. Head office have alerted me to the fact that you are up for lease renewal in about fifteen months’ time. You’ve been here man and boy for the full twenty years of the lease. Quite a rarity I may say and good on you for staying the course so successfully. You must really love it here.”
Publican… “We have done well and as you know built up a huge following for both me and the missus. Always worked on the principle of what you give out, you get back. The locals appreciate that and so the trade grows. The MAT barrelage was always on the up ‘cept of course for the horrible pandemic and the lockdowns. Light at the end of the tunnel thank god and let’s hope 17th May brings us into better times. Yes we love the place and look forward to developing the trade still further when we hope to get free of tie when the lease comes up in yes about fifteen months. I know we don’t own the freehold but we have always looked on the place as well, ours, you know how it is.”
RM…. “Yes well, that rather brings me to the point quicker than I thought. You set sure you want to go the free of tie route, I mean absolutely dead sure ?”
Publican… “Well yes because we missed out when the Pubs Code was launched in what was it summer of 2016. We couldn’t get our heads around all the regulations and timings and things. Not that we got an ounce of help or guidance from you lot, but then again you weren’t on the patch at that time. But now it’s better because we might be able to get our ducks lined up for the renewal to request free of tie.”
RM… “Well we might have a problem there because knowing what we now know, and you wanting to go free of tie, it could well happen that the company opposes a new lease. In fact between you and me and the gatepost I would think that it’s a racing certainty.”
Publican… “Sorry ,say again, what are you saying?”
RM … “Look nothing personal, nothing at all. In fact I put my job on the line, fought the decision all the way, told them that you were the very best, salt of the earth the pair of you, best and most well liked in my region, but they are fixed on this tie business staying. I mean just look at the volumes.”
Publican… “Just hold on a minute how can they refuse me a new lease for chrissakes.”
RM… “As I am told, and I am no expert, leave that to the lawyers, but we can ask for what is known as a section G refusal. That means we will confirm that we will take the property back for our own use as a managed house. Oh don’t worry there is statutory compensation. They tell me there is no defence ‘cos we run managed houses. I really did not want to have to tell you any of this but we have known each other for so long. You know what I mean.”
Publican… “No I bloody don’t. You cannot be serious that this place, our home, is even big enough to run as managed. It can’t possibly be doing enough trade for managed. Don’t they start at over £500 thou.”
RM… “Maybe not but that is not the point. They could change their minds after you have gone and put it out to tenancy on the normal basis if they then don’t think managed would then fit the bill.”
Publican… “What tied again?”
RM… “Could be but well out of my hands. I’ve got no say in the matter. But there just might be a way out of all this and I really shouldn’t be saying this but I know you totally love the place. If you decided, of your own free will of course, to renew on a tied basis, and there are some cracking top of the range deals I could tweak in you favour specially for you, then I might just be able to persuade them higher up the pay scale to run the renewal through smooth as silk. As a new tied lease that is. Blue sky thinking they tell me.”
Publican… “This is bleeding blackmail isn’t it ?”
RM… “Now don’t never ever think that ‘cos it just won’t run. Not even get out of the blocks.”
Publican… “Can you put any of this in an email for me to show my accountant ?”
RM… “Not a cats chance, and if push comes to shove, which I am sure it won’t, we have never had this conversation, ever, but you know what I mean, gypsies warning because we have known each other for so long. There are some brilliant new tied deals on the table.”
Publican… “You are being serious aren’t you. They can refuse me a new lease even if they just might not end up running the place as managed. That’s plain dishonest. It stinks.”
RM… “Can’t even start to comment mate but it is all straight legal. Happens all the time. Now you know the lay of the land. Which horse gets the bet. Your call and don’t come back to me and tell me that I didn’t tip you the wink.”
Yes dear reader, all very real and legal, and all very current. Names redacted for tact sake with this particular example going to lease renewal in September 2021 with the outcome in September 2022. Decision based on the gypsy’s warning as yet unknown.
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