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Study finds tenants want out of pub ties

New research suggests that pub landlords are keen to call time on managed houses and being “tied” to one large company for their beer and other supplies.

The study, conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), questioned 500 tenants about their ties to large pub companies. Most of the tenants said that they believed the firms were taking too much of their profits.

Almost two-thirds of those questioned said they would stock a greater range of beers and nine out of 10 would approach microbreweries for products if they could.

The FSB said the research showed that a statutory code being planned for the industry could not be brought in soon enough.

Chairman John Allan said: “The big pubcos are as bad as each other and their tenants don’t feel they are getting a fair deal. They want to give their punters more choice as well as interesting craft beers too.

“The largest pub companies are able to control the relationships to their own advantage and are under pressure to reduce their debts by increasing income from rent and selling off pubs.

“Considering current conditions we believe that it is not possible for the large pub companies to operate credible voluntary regulation.”

The UK government is currently looking at options for a Statutory Code and an independent Adjudicator for the pubs sector. A consultation period ran from April to June and received over 1,100 written responses as well as over 7,000 responses to an online questionnaire.

A Business Department spokesman said: “We are currently considering all the responses to the consultation alongside other evidence, such as the independent research we commissioned into the potential impact of the proposals on pub closures and employments levels. We will publish our response to the consultation later this year.”

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