The Pubs Code came into force on the 21 July 2016 and was updated on the 1st April 2022, 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 possibly other drinks from their landlords. All businesses owning 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales are now covered by the code. This has given tenants of those companies 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.

Since April 2020, the new Pubs Code Adjudicator is Fiona Dickie. She oversees the operation of the code and will arbitrate disputes and investigate breaches of the code. Her office has produced clear guidance for all parties on how to adopt the code and what to do when disputes arise which can be viewed at the  Pub Adjudicator's Website

If you want to get email updates from the PCA Office, you can sign up for them here.

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.

The Pubs Code Regulations 2016 can be downloaded here The Pubs Code etc. Regulations 2016 ( with the 1st April 2022 updates here The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and Pubs Code etc. (Amendment) Regulations 2022 ( 

You can access and download the MRO Process flowchart for events occuring after 1st April 2022 here.

Members of the BII can call for general advice on MRO, on 01276 684449.

Sample Application - Rent Review

Click here to download the sample document

Sample Application - Section 25 Notice

Click here to download a sample document

Sample Application - Section 26 Notice

Click here to download a sample document

Update - January 2022

Tenants - remember to ask for your copy of the Compliance Record and Declaration when you request MRO.

The PCA has published statutory advice setting out the minimum steps that pub companies should take to ensure compliance with the Pubs Code every time they prepare a free-of-tie Market Rent Only (MRO) proposal. 

An ‘MRO Compliance Record and Declaration’ must be completed and signed-off by the pub company’s Code Compliance Officer to demonstrate that these steps have been taken.

The PCA strongly recommends that tenants ask their pub company for a copy of this compliance record and declaration when they make their MRO request.  Not only will explain why particular terms have been offered, but it can also be used, if necessary, in conjunction with the initial three-month stay in arbitration proceedings already made available by the PCA as an invaluable negotiating tool to reach an agreed outcome.

More information can be found here.

If you have already been through the MRO process, tell the PCA your experience by completing this short questionnaire.

If you are a BII member with any queries about MRO, call the BII Helpdesk on 01276 684449.