The Pubs Code came into force in England and Wales in 2016, and is legislation that is meant to protect the rights of pub tenants who rent their pub from a large property owning pub company.  For far too long, pub companies have been exploiting their tenants, charging inflated rents for the property and preventing them from buying their beer on the open market. Research conducted for CAMRA found that 80% of pub tenants who were ‘tied' for rent and beer to their pub company were earning less than £15,000 per year.

The Pubs Code is meant to ensure that tenants who are tied to a pub company are no worse off than tenants that are not, and also contains provisions that allow tenants to break the tie with their pub company in certain situations. There is a Pubs Code Adjudicator, who has the power to impose financial penalties on pub companies who don't follow the Code, and arbitration powers to settle disputes between pub companies and tied tenants.

Two years after the Code came into force, it is clear that some pub owning businesses are exploiting gaps in the Pubs Code and not abiding by the spirit of the legislation. CAMRA is calling on the Government to review the Pubs Code urgently to make sure that pub tenants are getting the fair deal that the Code was intended to deliver. 

Please note that CAMRA cannot offer legal advice to pub tenants in relation to the Pubs Code. Publicans with questions about the Code should contact the Adjudicator directly. Contact details and more information on the Code can be found on the Pubs Code Adjudicator's website

 

How CAMRA members made history

It was thanks to the hard work of thousands of CAMRA supporters that the Government were persuaded to change the law and protect 13,000 licensees across England

  • Members sent 14,000 emails to MPs to vote in favour of reform

  • 45,000 CAMRA members and pub-goers signed the ‘Pubco Reform' petition, which was presented to Business Secretary Vince Cable

  • Over 100 campaigners, pub-goers and licensees gathered outside Parliament to lobby MPs

  • 212 MPs signed EDM 57 on ‘Fair Deal for your local' and publically pledged their support

  • 40 MPs attended a photo opportunity in support of the reforms ahead of the vote

  • 100 MPs and Peers attended the Parliamentary Reception

  • Coverage in key national papers including The Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, the Scotsman, BBC and Radio 4 Today Programme as well as hundreds of local and regional newspaper and radio mentions

  • Government rebels voted in favour of reform including 25 Lib Dem and 18 Conservatives rebels