Moves to help landlords in tied pubs get a fair deal with rent and beer have been welcomed.
A new statutory code will be enforced by an independent adjudicator with the power to punish pub companies that break them.
Tied tenants usually have to pay a higher price for beer from the beer company they rent from. This should be balanced out by reduced rents or other benefits – but this has not always been the case.
The code announced in the Queen’s Speech, which will allow landlords to request a rent review every five years and challenge rent increases, was hailed by Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.
He said: “I am delighted that action is being taken to support tied pubs.
“I have had on a couple of occasions casework from former tenant and their families who have needed support following a difficult time with their pub company.
“Pubs are an important part of local life in Blackpool North and Cleveleys, sitting at the very heart of our community and creating jobs for hardworking people.”
Russell Cobb from the Blackpool, Fylde and WyreBranch of CAMRA said the move could even result in cheaper beer for customers.
He said: “If the independent adjudicator has enough real power it could be good.
“It’s a step in the right direction. I think the Government could have done more such as limiting rent at tied pubs to the market rate and allowing them freedom to source guest beers but it is a start.
“Technically if it should lower beer prices and if the landlords pass that on to the customer it could see lower beer prices and hopefully more customers going into our pubs and therefore reducing the number of pub closures.”
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “We will have to look at the detail but it is a start and it has come thanks to an all party campaign and lobbying from the Campaign for Real