Licensee hits out at breweries still charging rent

A STALYBRIDGE licensee, like thousands of others nationally, has hit out at unsympathetic breweries.

And they have been voicing their concerns on the Facebook group #NoPubNoRent, a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of publicans during the coronavirus crisis.

The local individual, who does not want to be identified, said: “We run a pub that is being charged rent, building insurance and cellar cooling, all while not earning a penny.

“The breweries are taking advantage of the three-month loan/mortgage break, but we’re still being charged.

“Our rents are set by using #FMT (fair maintainable trade) and obviously we’ve got no trade at the moment.”

The website Protect Pubs, while welcoming the financial measures introduced to assist small businesses during Covid-19, was also critical of the way licensees are being treated.

It wrote: “What we must call out is the behaviour of some of the brewers and pubcos.

“Just under half of the nation’s pubs are owned by pubcos or breweries which operate a tied leased model.

“For tied publicans, who recent their business premises and often their home from a brewer or pubco, the dry rent has historically been set on the basis of fair maintainable trade (FMT).

“This is a highly controversial subject area and publicans have long claimed that the bulk of business risk is place entirely on them whilst the bulk of the reward is enjoyed by their pubco or brewery.

“In addition to their basic rent, the responsibility to fully maintain and insure the pub premises, tied publicans are also hit with an additional levy known as a ‘wet rent’ in which they pay around twice the open market rate for tied products such as draft beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits which their lease obliges them to purchase from their landlords.”

It continued: “The latest twist in the continuing Great British Pubco Scam is that the largest pubcos continue to demand regular full rent from their tenants, even though they have no income because their businesses have been forcibly closed.”

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