14. If you complain make clear what you expect them to do to deal with your complaint and when you expect them to do it by. Be reasonable (allow sufficient time for them to receive the communication and deal with it) and don’t ask for shorter time-scales than your lease or tenancy agreement allows them. Reserve the right to take further action without further recourse to them if your complaint remains unresolved.
15. If you have to follow up then always enclose a copy of your original complaint for their “ease of reference”.
16. Never, ever enter into a temporary tenancy agreement with your landlord; signing a “Temporary Management Agreement” or “Tenancy At Will” can prove fatal later if you sign a substantive agreement and then have to enter into litigation with your landlord over things that occurred prior to signing your substantive lease or tenancy agreement.
17. Do not, under any circumstances, bow to pressure such as “if you don’t sign this by such and such a time then you will lose your opportunity” etc. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. If they really want you to take a pub on or do something for them (which they do because it will mean their objective will have been met) then they will wait until you are ready to do so. Better you lose the opportunity than be locked into something that is going to ruin you. Do not be afraid to ask for a meeting to be adjourned or ended until such time as you feel comfortable proceeding.
18. Do not lose your temper with them, no matter the circumstance; if you feel upset then adjourn the meeting, withdraw and gain your composure in your own time before returning to the meeting (dealings with pubcos can induce high emotions). It is not unknown for some area managers to attempt to use this against you in court proceedings as a way of discrediting you.
19. If your landlord writes to you threatening anything then refer it to your solicitor immediately; do not put it off or ignore it. Your landlord isn’t going away but you may be if you fail to deal with them.
20. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Don’t buy anything from your landlord that you are not tied for unless it is cheaper than the same item sourced from a third party. Do not make the mistake of thinking that by being a “model tenant” in this respect you will gain any goodwill from your pubco if push comes to shove. Check other suppliers than their “preferred” or “recommended” suppliers or where they have struck special terms. More often than not they will be receiving a substantial royalty for all sales that they introduce to third party suppliers and you will be paying that royalty (not the supplier) through higher prices than you can negotiate elsewhere
As I said at the beginning, many tenants enjoy a perfectly reasonable business relationship with their landlords, but things can and do go wrong and some of the less scrupulous amongst companies and their managers will act less than fairly. Once you have this strategy in place you can enjoy a mutually understood business relationship with your landlord and be cordial with their managers in the ordinary course of the business you transact with them.
Should you end up in serious dispute with your landlord then PICAS the Pubs Independent Conciliation And Arbitration Service are there to help and is a low cost way of bringing you and your landlord to the table to discuss your grievance.
Pubcos and Brewers are corporations that rely on positive PR for their brands, so if you want to share your experience of either with other potential tenants/lessees why not pop along to Pubco Reviews. Read and post reviews on your past, present and future Landlords.
My final advice to you is, as grandma used to say:
“If it’s too good to be true …”