The Pubs Code came into force on the 21 July 2016, giving tenants more rights and greater protection when dealing with large pub companies that own tied pubs.
Tied tenants are obliged to buy beer and other drinks from their landlords. All businesses owning 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales are now covered by the new code.
This gives around 12,000 tenants new rights and protections such as increased transparency about the tied deals available, a fair rent assessment and the right to move to a free-of-tie tenancy in certain circumstances.
The first ever Pubs Code Adjudicator, Paul Newby, oversees the operation of the code and will arbitrate disputes and investigate breaches of the code.
The British Institute of Innkeeping together with the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association have produced a Question and Answer Sheet which can be downloaded here. In addition the Pubs Code Adjudicator's office has produced clear guidance for all parties on how to adopt the code and what to do when disputes arise. A link to their website is at the end of this page.
Simply put, the MRO option means that tenants of large pub companies can opt to change to a free-of-tie lease and removes the obligation for all the products sold on site to be bought directly from the landlord pub company or their agreed supplier.