Cromford landlord’s warning to pub tenants

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After a decade of campaigning a landlord is celebrating a new law protecting the rights of pub tenants getting the Royal seal of approval - but says it may not be enough.

Dave Mountford, landlord of the Boat Inn at Cromford, has worked tirelessly over the last ten years alongside a handful of other landlords and politicians to free pub tenants of beer ties - which meant a landlord had to buy their beer from a brewery, often at extortionate rates.

The law was successfully changed in November last year, meaning tenants of large pub companies would be able to have their rent reviewed every year in order to ensure it is fair, as well as buy beer at competitive prices on the open market.

However Dave is worried that if landlords of tied pubs don’t understand their rights they might not be able to take advantage of their new freedom.

He explained: “I’m concerned that if people out there don’t understand it there will be misinformation by the pub companies.”

In a bid to tackle the problem Dave plans to do a series of talks and demonstrations, explaining the new law to people and how they can chose to go ‘market rent only’ meaning they would be free of tie.

It will take a year for the new law to come into effect as opart of amendments to the Government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

Dave is a former GMB Union representative who has given evidences in the Houses of Parliament on the pressures placed on landlords by pub companies.

He said a typical tied tenant will earn less than £15,000 per year from their pub and frequently work in excess of 80 hours per week to achieve this figure.

Dave previously ran the Rising Sun in Middleton-by-Wirksworth, which was owned by Punch Taverns, for five years.

He added: “As their earning capacity reduces they are often forced to cut corners in basic remedial services and I have frequently seen pubs left with no basic health and safety systems in place when a tenant either leaves or is forced out by their landlord following recovery of unsustainable debts.”

He concluded that the change to the law was a ‘monumental’ judicial change.

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