Pub goers and beer drinkers across the country are sending thousands of emails to pub company bosses, asking them to take urgent action to cancel rents for pub landlords in order to save locals from permanent closure.
Whilst some pub companies have offered support to their tenants by cancelling rent payments, most of the largest companies have not. They are still charging rent, or deferring payments so tenants will still be billed at a later date.
Consumer group CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – wants rent payments to be cancelled to help ensure pubs can survive the COVID-19 crisis and re-open once restrictions are lifted.
Pub companies have long argued for the principle that rent paid by their tenants should be based on turnover. When pubs are closed, they have no turnover – so, based on the pub companies’ own preferred rationale, there should be no rent due.
CAMRA has been calling on pub companies to cancel rents ever since the government took the decision to close pubs. Now CAMRA’s 190,000 members are making their voices heard in a co-ordinated lobby of chief executives of the “Big Six” pub owning companies which have not cancelled rent payments for their tenants.
CAMRA’s members are also adding their names to letters of thanks to pub company bosses who have already taken the responsible and fair decision to cancel rents.
Commenting, CAMRA National Director Ben Wilkinson said:
“When all this is over, lots of us are looking forward to getting to the pub for a pint with friends and family. As CAMRA members, we stand ready to support our locals once again – but we need to make sure that pubs survive this crisis, so they can re-open and thrive in the months and years ahead.
“That’s why thousands of our members will be making their voices heard to pub company bosses who haven’t yet done the right thing and cancelled rent payments for pub tenants.
“With publicans still being charged rent despite being forced to stay closed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, we fear for the future of many pubs and for the livelihoods of those tenants affected.”