The issue of pub dilapidations and in particular the disputes that can sometimes arise between tenants and pub companies in relation to this, has highlighted that there is a need to look closely at why these difficulties occur and what can be done to address them.
A small advisory working group has been established to investigate this issue. It is being led and supported by the BBPA, with the involvement of representatives from across industry that have technical experience on this topic.
The group will produce a set of best-practice guidance that not only reflects current guidance and legislation, but also seeks to ensure that dilapidations are better managed and communicated so that all parties are better educated on the process and their individual responsibilities. It is hoped greater transparency and understanding will lead to fewer disputes.
The guidance will cover the entire “lifetime” of the agreements, from a new tenant taking on a pub, the ongoing management and upkeep of the pub including assignments and the end of the agreement.
The work has identified broad issues based on previous experience, so that these can be addressed in the final guidance and on developing high-level principles that should be applicable across a range of situations.
The group has also sought input on the final guidance from a wider set of industry stakeholders and experts in this area.
Initially the advisory group meetings were attended by the previous Pubs Code Adjudicator as an observer but this role has not been continued by the current PCA.
Disputes over dilapidations can occur for both tenants covered by the Pubs Code and those that are not and so the guidance will set out accepted best-practice that should be followed across industry, by all parties.
The final guidance will be available on this page and was originally expected to be published by the end of 2019. However, unexpected delays meant that the guidance was not published before the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Since then, the work has been on hold, being restarted in Autumn of 2021. The final guidance is now expected to be published in January 2022.