Monthly Archives: June 2015

USE, Landlords Dirty Tricks on unsuspecting Tenants. (Barrel-dregs 281)

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Landlords Dirty Tricks on unsuspecting Tenants. (Barrel-Dregs 281)

The latest Legislation in the Pub/Leisure Industry, has produced a considerable number of breaches of the Codes of Practice and others that fall outside the Codes of Practice, some that are common practice in commercial property.

We wrote “The Common Sense Guide to Buying a Pub”, a number of years ago to make people streetwise before they bought a Pub or Pub Lease/Tenancy, we advised the readers of various tricks, misinformation and in some case downright lies, when they were buying a pub. It now appears that the scale of misinformation has expanded beyond even our belief.

To some Landlords and their Agents it is endemic and acceptable, there are decent companies and Landlords out there, but the relatively minor abuses are almost running out of control, we use the term relatively because the financial figures involved are minor to the Landlord and major to a Lessee/Tenant.

We set up the first serious Takeover Day Checklist, giving all the things that you need to put in place before and after you buy a Licensed Business, to be fair certain specialists have check lists relating to their specific fields.

Following discussions with Natwest and their Mentor Scheme, we have expanded the range of these Checklists to cover a range of business situations.

We then had members giving up leases and tenancies and a fresh range of questionable practices emerged. As a result we prepared Checklists for people giving up their businesses, which now get read regularly.

Having received an extensive email with a mass of sharp practices and a phone call identifying the company allegedly involved, we have decided that we need to expose these activities, if only to stop the offending companies from repeating them, if the tenant immediately recognises the abuse, it can be brought to a stop before it costs them money.

We are now looking at preparing an ever expanding list of sharp practices, abuse of the Landlord and Tenant Act, Codes of Practice and any other nasties in the commercial property market.

Anyone that suffered the slightest abuse however minor or sharp practice, possible breaches of their pub Code, Lease or Tenancy. To protect the tenant, we will not publish the names of the Pub Co, Landlord or the Tenant, email details to, we want a comprehensive list with links, where needed to the in depth details to stop people being ripped off.

We do have a substantial list, but until two months ago, we realised that our list was just the Tip of the Iceberg.

If we can publish a comprehensive list to make people aware when the take a lease/tenancy or commercial property, that is not bought freehold, we will at least make the unscrupulous think twice.

There are decent Landlords out there, many Landlords consider it acceptable to get every last penny out of tenants giving up their leases, most Corporate Landlords know the law, the tenants many have no idea, outside that which they have managed to read and understand in the lease.

We are not Banner Wavers or agitators, we are professionals in our fields who want to see a clean honest industry, the abuses apply across all commercial property where an unscrupulous Landlord or Company want to get a tenant/lessee in or out.

One golden rule always have a tape recorder and record all conversations with the Landlord, his Agent or a Surveyor acting for them, if they want it switched off, don’t deal with them.

This may seem draconian, but we have had so many people promised all sorts of improvements to the building, changes to the lease, none confirmed in writing and all ending in tears, with vehement denials by the Landlord or claiming a departed Agent did not have the authority to make those changes.

Please note:-Landlord applies to any company or individual leasing commercial property, Agent applies to anyone acting for the Landlord in any capacity, unless clearly defined otherwise.

If you would like to cause some mayhem, insist on written confirmation that the Agent has authority to act for the Landlord



USE, Latest twist in the MRO, (Barrel-Dregs 280)

Barrel-dregs 2Barrel-dregs 3USE, Latest twist in the MRO, (Barrel-Dregs 280)

The MRO is a very hot topic at this moment of time, a number of companies are doing their best to find ways round it rather than accept it as a step forward for both Landlord and Tenant.

Certain companies are refusing to agree to assign a lease or renew an existing lease, unless they agree to a new five year lease, regardless of the length of their existing lease.

The law as it stands says that any leaseholder is entitled to renew his existing lease on the same basis as the expiring one and has been for years.

This is hopefully about to be tested in Court, but it appears that the landlords may be reluctant to get into court too quickly.

In the event of the landlord wishing to take over the property for his personal use, at the conclusion of the lease, he can seek to do this.

But he must pay compensation based on the rateable value of the property e.g. RV say £45K, for every seven years of the old lease that the lessee or whoever assigned the lease to him, the landlord will have to pay £45K, to a maximum of 14 years £90K. READ ON



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Latest Training Courses, new cask e-learning

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Host of pub and bar operators adopt new cask e-learning programme: Cask Beer Uncovered, an e-learning programme that builds bar staff’s knowledge of cask beer, is already being actively promoted by 18 pub and bar operators including Stonegate Pub Company, which is rolling the programme out to about 500 of its top cask beer pubs. In the two months since the launch of Cask Beer Uncovered, more than 2,000 bar staff and interested consumers have registered for the programme. Individuals are completing the modules either via their operator’s training platform with CPL Online, or through the Cask Matters website. Paul Nunny, of Cask Matters, said: “We’re very pleased with this initial response to Cask Beer Uncovered, which puts us firmly on track to meet our goal of putting 100,000 people through the programme within three years.” The course is completely free of charge to retailers and their staff and represents a £2m investment by Cask Matters. Funding for the programme has come from: Adnams, Caledonian Brewing, Carlsberg UK, Daniel Thwaites, Fuller’s, Greene King, Marston’s Beer Company, Punch Partnerships, Frederic Robinson, Shepherd Neame, St Austell, Wadworth, Charles Wells, SIBA, CAMRA and Cask Marque. CPL Online has provided its internet platform to deliver the training.


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Pub Co takes back your Lease for it’s own use, what happens? Barrel-Dregs

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Pub Co takes back your Lease for it’s own use, what happens?

Supposing your faithful Pub Co BDM comes waltzing in grinning from ear to ear, saying that your lease renewal will only be for five years, because the Pub Co want the property for their own use, to turn it into a Managed House.

Immediate panic, you assume that you will be cast out on to the streets with a massive hole in your finances, even bigger than the one incurred having a Pub Co Lease.

The statutory compensation is either a multiplier of one or two. Times one is where the tenant has been in occupation for at least seven years. Times two is for the same criteria, but for 14 years or more. /span

The compensation will be made available where the identity of the tenant has changed, but (and here is the legal twist), the tenant and its predecessors have been in occupation for the qualifying period.

To avail themselves of the compensation, the same business must be there, linking through the predecessors in title by the transfer of goodwill between the different parties.

The 14 year period is very specific and time critical, with the guiding case law being: “Department of Employment v Royal Insurance [1987] 1 EGLR 83”.

In that instance, the period of 13 years 363 days was held as being not sufficient to qualify for the 14 year rule and higher multiplier.

The other stand-out case is “Bacchiocchi v Academic Agency Ltd [1998] 3 EGLR 157

Compensation is based on the rateable value. Thus with the example of the Kings Arms, the RV is an exceptionally high £42000 and the lease is for 20 years. So at the end of the lease, if a new lease is denied (‘cos it is going to be a managed house) and the term was in excess of 14 years,2 x £42000,ie £84000 compensation.

However our dear old friendly Pub Co, will for surely try to mitigate the sum concerned by serving an eye wateringly high terminal schedule of dilapidations.

Sure as night follows day !

BUT and it is a big BUT…. if the place is to be a managed house, and say EI are going to knock seven bells out of it (claims about spending mega money on each Managed House), then by and large, the dilaps schedule could well be knocked aside due to those works.

You’ll need professional advice, unless the ineffectual so called bodies that claim to control the industry get their act together, which our experiences over the last few weeks were totally useless for what needed to be done, Toothless Ageing Tiger comes to mind.

Potboy West

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.