By Daniel Hunter

Exclusive independent research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows pub landlords want to call time on the big pub owning companies (pubcos) that own them and want to be free of the tie.

The research surveyed 500 pub landlords tied to one of the big pub companies asking what they thought about how much rent they pay and how much of the profits the pubco takes. A negative score indicates that more of the respondents are unhappy with their pubco on rents and think they take too much of the pub’s profits.

Landlords tied to Enterprise Inns, which has around 6,000 pubs across the UK, feel they are the worse off when it comes to how much rent they pay and the amount of profit they think the pubco takes. Eighty four per cent of respondents felt Enterprise took too much of the profits.

Punch, which has around 4,000 pubs across the country, came in second as 81 per cent of respondents tied to the company believe they take a much larger share of pub profits.

The FSB has long campaigned for a fairer playing field for publicans that rent pubs from one of the big pub companies. Self-regulation of the industry hasn’t worked and the FSB is pleased that Government is intervening and looking at legislative action.

Respondents to the survey say that if they could be free they would give more choice to their customers, with 62 per cent saying they would stock a greater range of beers. Moreover, almost all respondents (91%) would approach microbreweries for products.

The FSB has worked with Greg Mulholland MP and supports the campaign he has spearheaded on getting a ‘Fair Deal for your Local’.

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The results speak for themselves. The big pubcos are as bad as each other and their tenants don’t feel they are getting a fair deal. They want to give their punters more choice as well as interesting craft beers too.

“The statutory code can’t come soon enough. The largest pub companies are able to control the relationships to their own advantage and are under pressure to reduce their debts by increasing income from rent and selling off pubs. Considering current conditions we believe that it is not possible for the large pub companies to operate credible voluntary regulation.”

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