The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published the government’s report on the first Statutory Review of the Pubs Code and Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA).
The report concludes that, while the Pubs Code is consistent with the principles set out in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, there are certain changes that may improve the operation of the Pubs Code and aspects of the PCA’s functions which will require further consultation. The areas for action include to:
- consult on better access to information to help informed decision-making by prospective and existing tenants
- explore improvements to the Market Rent Only process, such as in respect of restrictive timescales and to allow for meaningful negotiation, and consult on proposals
- develop and consult on the creation of tailored dispute resolution rules to improve the arbitration process, and explore the scope for an alternative to the High Court as the arbitration appeal route
- ask the PCA to retain such evidence it may come across of persistent poor behaviour by pub-owning businesses where it considers its existing powers are insufficient to enforce the Pubs Code
The Minister has written to the PCA in respect of the some of the findings of the report and to issue statutory guidance: we have published a copy of the letter alongside the report on the Statutory Review.