Mulholland hails victory for tenant landlords after Government u-turn

The Casked CrusaderRemember back in 2014, Greg Mulholland and others secured a Government defeat to give tenant landlords the right to request a fair rent and end the beer tie?

Unsurprisingly, the Government did what it could to put as many obstacles in the way of landlords seeking that fair rent as it could. Sure, they could have it, as long as the pubco could increase the rent at the end of the year. They’ve had to u-turn on that now.

Pub champion Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland (known in some quarters as the Casked Crusader) has long fought for the Market Rent Only (MRO) option, said that the u-turn was a major victory against a Government which has consistently refused to support landlords to get a fair deal.

The u-turn comes after Mr Mulholland submitted a Freedom of Information request to investigate the Government’s plans which would only allow an MRO if the pubco increase the rent at the end of the year.

Greg said:

“This is a massive climbdown for the Government over this deeply flawed plan which totally undermined attempts to ensure local pubs get a fair deal.

“The Government has protected the large vested interest of the pubcos every step of the way and this climbdown shows they are only now listening to local people who want success for British pubs”.

This, from the Halifax Courier, gives greater background and has an earlier quote from Greg saying why the Market Rent Option is so important for the pub industry:

If landlords are able to take a fairer share of the profit they make then we will see a more stable and sustainable pub sector.”

The pub companies say this system has been in place for 400 years but that’s nonsense. It dates from the 1990s when property firms started buying up pubs in a get-rich-quick scheme. Charging more than the market price for beer is extraordinary, and they’ve got away with it for too long.

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4 Comments

  • Barry Snelson 3rd Feb '16 - 12:32pm

    I am sure the intentions are honourable but could well backfire. More money for the landlords must mean less for the pubcos. How will they react? The public houses remain their property and no one is legally obliged to continue to run a pub business just to make Mulholland happy. If the plot would have more value as ‘coming soon – three executive houses’ then who can stop them? No one is forced to be a pub landlord. Slavery was abolished in 1833. If he left well alone the pubcos would run out of landlords and pay more anyway.
    The world is leaving the cheery ‘local’ behind. The traditional ones only host a tiny handful of miserable, complaining regulars always moaning that their local could close. The last I went into was as welcoming as a bus shelter. Even worse are the ones with the real ale snobs who sneer at anyone drinking lager. The only ones surviving are those that are just restaurants with a tiny residual bar.
    The ‘Rovers Return’ and the ‘Queen Vic’ are fictitious. Someone tell Mulholland to get out of the way of evolution. The ones that answer current needs will continue without his help and the ones that are stuck in the past should be demolished.

  • Anton McNulty-Howard 4th Feb '16 - 9:13am

    I regret the sentiments express by Mr B Snedden. The representation of pubs and customers is inappropriate to the reality. The free market for a pub as a business is grossly distorted by local council planning policy restrictions, manipulation of the Tie system, discounted volume sales through local supermarkets, with a cost advantage of not VAT added to extreamly high business rates and manipulation of televised sports and restrictions on live music along with punative regulations for health and safety. People who are high earners may wish to eat and drink out but lower income earners are pushed out of communal spaces such as pubs to stay at home with low priced beers, not because of a desire to follow a trend but because of a trend imposed by unfair trading restrictions and statutory mismanagement and vested interests.

  • Barry Snelson 4th Feb '16 - 4:55pm

    Anton,
    The facts remain and defy Mulholland. If pubcos receive less income from pubs then they will close the ones closest to the break even margin. Making landlords better off will result in this consequence and no other.
    There are simply not enough of the traditional pub customers to keep them all going and the situation worsens daily.
    We live near a big city and the central ones are only filled with the ‘drink until we vomit’ crowd on Friday and Saturday evenings. During the day they appear to contain the sort of character who would look spooky and weird in the Bounty Hunters Bar on the planet Tattouine.
    Conversely the dozens of coffee shops are bursting with people chatting and laughing.
    Tastes have changed and pubs and those who liked them the way they were will have to change too. This bizarre attempt to protect “ye olde pubbe” from the relentless effects of the market place will only make things worse.
    No individual or company can ever be forced to provide a convivial setting for ‘lower income earners’ unless they can make it profitable.

  • Robert Armour 11th Feb '16 - 11:52am

    Barry
    You obviously no nothing about the pub industry, and should reframe from making comments or observations in matters that you no nothing about.

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