It currently costs £200 to make a referral to the Pubs Code Adjudicator. The referral form provided by the Pubs Code Adjudicator lists 12 issues which may be referred. If the Tied Pub Tenant believes (having taken legal advice) that the terms of the new lease are not terms commonly found in a free of tie lease it MUST make a referral within 14 days of having received the POBs full response, otherwise they lose the right to refer on this issue, notwithstanding that a minimum period of 28 days must elapse before bringing a referral on the amount of rent being proposed by the POB. The Pubs Code has not left enough time for the POB and the TPT to negotiate the terms of the new lease (I use a new lease because in many cases the current lease is unexpired and my argument (until adjudicated on) is that the current leases should simply be varied by deed to allow for the open market rent instead of a brand new lease). This has resulted in a flood of referrals made on this legal issue.
(1) to arbitrate any disputes between tenants and their pub companies that are referred to the adjudicator under the code; and will decide on any redress or remedy
(2) investigate, where the adjudicator has reasonable grounds to suspect that there have been breaches of the Pubs Code, and take enforcement action as necessary.
If the referral is accepted by the Pubs Code Adjudicator the TPT or, as the case may be, his appointed representative will receive an email letter setting out matters concerning case management and the proposed order and directions for the conduct of the proceedings. The proceedings are governed by statutory arbitration and in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Rules.
You are NOT going to have to physically attend a hearing or go to a tribunal. Unless you advise otherwise the Pubs Adjudicator will expect to receive email communications from the parties to the arbitration. Therefore if you wish to instruct a representative the charge rate should be on an hourly basis (to prepare the evidence and statement of claim and correspond for an early resolution).
The Pubs Code Adjudicator’s office has extended the estimated timescale to resolve issues from 6 to 12 months.
If the issue cannot be resolved between the POB and the TPT during the arbitration period then the Arbitrator will make a decision.
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