Publication - Research and analysis

Tied pubs - pubs code consultation: workshops with tenants

This provides a summary of two workshops with tenants to seek their views on the Scottish Pubs Code for tied pubs and to understand how it might impact on them.

Tied pubs - pubs code consultation: workshops with tenants
1. Introduction

1. Introduction

The Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act requires the Scottish Government to create a Scottish Pubs Code that will regulate the relationship between tenants and their landlords. As part of a wider consultation with representative bodies of tied pub tenants, landlords and pub owning companies, Progressive Partnership was commissioned by the Scottish Government to undertake qualitative research with tenants to understand their views on what the Code should cover and how it mght impact them.

1.1 Background and policy context

In April 2021, the Tied Pubs Bill was passed into law as the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act. The Act requires the Scottish Government to create a Scottish Pubs Code that will regulate the relationship between tenants and their landlords. The Code will be enforced through a new, independent Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator who will be appointed by Scottish Ministers. The Adjudicator will have the following key purposes:

a) investigating compliance of pub-owning companies with the Code;

b) monitoring whether the pub-owning company is complying with a direction from the Adjudicator; and

c) overseeing the offer of Market Rent Only leases to tenants

The Adjudicator will have various powers to enable it to carry out its functions and will have the power to impose fines.

The new Scottish Pubs Code is likely to draw on aspects from the existing Scottish voluntary code of practice and the tied pubs code from England and Wales (which is set out in legislation).

1.2 Research aims and objectives

As part of a wider consultation with representative bodies of tied pub tenants, landlords and pub owning companies, the Scottish Government was keen to seek the views of tenants. Specifically, the research aimed to:

  • identify tenant operators' (i.e. tied pub tenants') views on key elements of the proposed Scottish Pubs Code such as Market Rent Only (MRO) leases, guest beer agreements (allowing tied pubs to select at least one guest beer of their choosing), aspects from the voluntary code, and use of arbitration;
  • highlight what else the code might need to cover; and
  • highlight the likely impact and any unintended consequences both for the business and the wider community.

Contact

Email: Tiedpubsconsultation@gov.scot