Pub landlords to be helped by government?
Well, the government have come up with some new rules in a bid to help pub tenants who are finding it difficult to stay financially afloat.
This new statutory code includes the right to request a rent review after five years and there's also action being taken after a lot of landlords complained about the "beer tie". For the uninitiated, 'tied pubs' are those who are forced to buy their supplies (quite often at extortionate prices) from pub companies that own the premises.
Thanks to 'tied pubs', over a half of publicans told the government that they earned less than the minimum wage.
"Far too many landlords feel their income is squeezed by big pub companies. So today we are tacking action to make sure they get a fairer deal," said Business Secretary Vince Cable.
These reforms will see the appointment of an independent adjudicator who will be able to enforce new rules and impose sanctions, financial penalties and such, on pub owners failing to play along with the new rules. Tenant landlords will have the right to review the information that pub companies use to determine increases in rent and tenants of companies that own in advance of 500 pubs will have the right to ask for a "parallel free-of-tie rent assessment", which will basically show them if they'd be better off going independent.
While there's little confidence in anything offered by a government, we can only hope that this sees some kind of pub revival.