Three industry bodies have published a new code of practice which aims to reform how tied agreements operate in the pub trade.
The Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice was born out of an agreement last October between the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the British Institute of Inkeeping (BII) and the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association (FLVA).
The BBPA said that the code would "greatly improve" the openness and transparency of tied agreements between pub operators and licensees by increasing the amount of information available from pub companies to their tenants.
For the first time, the code promises to ensure that people who purchase assigned leases from out-going licensees receive the same level of information as those taking on a pub directly with pub companies.
The code's publication comes alongside a new scheme to allow tenants and licensees to appeal over unresolved disputes in rent reviews to a pub industry rent review scheme known as PIRRS.
The BBPA said that its member companies would implement the industry code over the coming months by revising their own company codes and submitting them to the BII's accreditation body for approval.
Commenting on the code's publication Martin Caffrey, operations director of the FLVA said: “The FLVA welcomes this revised code and its implementation by BBPA members in their codes of practice. The information to be provided by pub operators will enable prospective publicans and their advisors make a better informed decision on the agreement being offered. It gives transparency to both existing retailers and newcomers to the trade alike and alongside the recently introduced PIRRS scheme will have a tangible and immediate effect.”
Neil Robertson, chief executive BII, said: “The British Institute of Innkeeping welcomes the new Code, which, when implemented, will bring changes that will benefit both new and existing tenants/lessees.”
And Brigid Simmonds, chief executive BBPA added: “The BBPA is delighted to have reached agreement on the detailed content of this much improved Code with the BII and FLVA. We look forward to seeing the revision of company codes in the coming months, to reflect the challenging and robust set of reforms we have all agreed.
“With these reforms well underway, this will help the industry to work together to tackle other challenges, and ensure that pubs prosper as a vital part of our way of life and at the centre of Britain’s modern hospitality industry.”
By Neil Gerrard
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