Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Pubs Code comes into force

The Pubs Code came into force yesterday (21 July 2016), giving tenants more rights and greater protection when dealing with large pub companies that own tied pubs.

Tied tenants are obliged to buy beer and other drinks from their landlords. All businesses owning 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales are now covered by the new code.

This gives around 12,000 tenants new rights and protections such as increased transparency about the tied deals available, a fair rent assessment and the right to move to a free-of-tie tenancy in certain circumstances.

The first ever Pubs Code Adjudicator, Paul Newby, oversees the operation of the code and will arbitrate disputes and investigate breaches of the code. Tenants can visit the website of the Pubs Code Adjudicator to make a referral or to get free advice.

Business Minister Margot James said:

The Pubs Code will improve relationships across the industry and help tied tenants get a fairer deal. I want to take this opportunity to urge all tenants and pub companies to work with the Pubs Code Adjudicator, as well as one another, to do what’s best for Britain’s pubs.

Paul Newby is the right person to oversee the code. He knows the challenges pubs are facing and is committed to providing a fair and robust service.

I’d also like to pay tribute to the hard work Anna Soubry and the team put in to make sure we have a code that protects tenants’ rights.

Pubs Code Adjudicator Paul Newby said:

I am proud to be the first ever Pubs Code Adjudicator and will work tirelessly to uphold the code and its values from day one. I completely understand and appreciate that there are tied tenants out there struggling to make a living as a result of bad deals with their landlords.

This goes right to the heart of why the code really matters – it is about giving more rights to tenants who need to provide for their families and keeping thriving pubs open for local communities to enjoy.

Ahead of the code coming into force, Paul Newby has produced clear guidance for all parties on how to adopt the code and what to do when disputes arise. He has met with a range of stakeholders including the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, British Institute of Innkeeping, Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Notes to editors

  1. Paul Newby took up his role on 2 May 2016 following an appointment process overseen by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
  2. The businesses that currently own 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales are:
    • Marston’s PLC
    • Admiral Taverns Ltd
    • Enterprise Inns PLC
    • Greene King PLC
    • Star Pubs and Bars (Heineken UK)
    • Punch Taverns PLC
  3. Anyone who would like to make a general enquiry about rights or obligations under the Pubs Code or make a referral to the Adjudicator should call: 0800 528 8080
  4. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the Pubs Code Adjudicator


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