Specialist advisers to pub tenants.
Experts in (MRO) Rent Only related matters.

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What is Pub Help?

Pub Help is a unique collaboration of independent lawyers and surveyors specialising and advising pub tenants/landlords on all legal and property matters.

By joining legal and property disciplines you can get all the advice you need in one place.

Contact us today for a free no obligation initial consultation, enquiries@pubhelp.org or 0333 3235 295.

Interested in a “Market Rent Only” (MRO ) Lease?

Don’t get caught out by the complicated legislation, tight timescales and tactics employed by Pub owning businesses (POB’s)…

The MRO Process Explained

The Pubs Code came into force on 21 July 2016 with the aim of regulating the relationship between tied pub tenants (“TPTs”) and their landlords…

Why should you contact Pub Help?

Pub Help exists to provide Pub Tenants with best legal advice surrounding Tenancies, Property and Pub Co relationship matters. We are a unique collaboration of Lawyers and Surveyors with in-depth experience of the pub industry. If you are a Pub Tenant looking for advice about the best way to grow your business then lets discuss your situation today. 

We’re here to give Pub Tenants the best chances of building a successful pub business and we’ve already helped many people just like you. Watch our video on Rob Cooke and Michael Hughes explaining the possible benefits that Pub Help can provide for your business.

Who Are Pub Help?

Rob is a Partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP and specialises in Landlord & Tenant and Property Litigation. Rob provides assistance to a diverse range of commercial and individual clients and specialises in advising Pub companies, Pub tenants and landlords and Pub owners.

Rob has substantial first-hand experience of advising clients on the implications and workings of the Pubs Code regulations and associated legislation which introduced the concept of Market Rent Only (MRO) tenancies.

Rob prides himself on providing clear and decisive advice and if, as a last resort, court action is required he will be tough, supportive and assertive in representing your interests.

Rob has substantial experience advising on:

  • The MRO process and procedures
  • Lease renewals
  • Rent arrears
  • Rent reviews
  • Dilapidations and Improvement claims
  • Forfeiture
  • Covenant disputes
  • General Property Management issues

Michael HughesMichael Hughes FNAEACOM FBII DipCPA




Michael is a Chartered Surveyor and Director of MJD HUGHES Ltd, a company specialising in Business and Commercial Property. He has over 30 years’ experience in the licensed trade and commercial property. His experience ranges from the physical operation of a variety of outlets (single bar units to multiple bar operations over multiple site locations), to estate management of property. From acquisition, drawing up heads of terms for lease agreements and recruitment of tenants, property valuation, and the sale of property.

He also has a depth of knowledge in professional services including business rate appraisal, rent appraisal and review negotiation, fixtures and fittings inventory valuation and report preparation for sale.

Michael is the Commercial Industry representative on the Governance Board for the Examination Awarding Body of the National Federation of Property Professionals.

  • Fellow of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property
  • Fellow National Association of Estate Agents
  • Fellow National Association of Estate Agents Commercial
  • Fellow British Institute of Innkeeping

Our Fees

We offer a free no obligation initial consultation

By offering a free consultation we are able to devise a bespoke fee proposal to meet your objectives and requirements. The initial consultation will also enable us to provide an immediate assessment of your objectives and prospects.

We are happy to work on fixed fees if this approach is preferred and if requested we will provide a bespoke schedule of those fees. Contact us today for your free and no obligation consultation.

Pub Help
Pub Help

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m looking for a pub, what is the difference between leasehold and freehold?

If you buy a freehold pub you will be the outright owner of the property and the business. You are free to run the pub as you like, and can choose the product range you would like to sell to your customers. Purchasing a freehold pub will most likely be a big financial commitment.

If you buy a leasehold pub, you will be granted a lease of the property from a brewery or pub company for a fixed number of years. This lease will be protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, which means that you will have the right to renew this lease when it ends. The lease you take is likely to be a Full repairing and Insuring Lease, which means that you will be responsible for repairing and insuring the property during the term of your lease. Most leases will also require you to buy a specified range of products from a particular brewery or Pubco. This is what is known as a tied-lease.

What is the difference between a free of tie lease and a fully tied lease?

A fully tied lease is where pub tenants are required to buy all of the beer and other products that they sell at their pub from a particular Pubco or brewery, usually at a price that is higher than market value. This can make it difficult to remain competitive.

A free of tie lease is where the pub tenant is free to choose the products they want to sell and negotiate directly with the suppliers themselves. The middle ground is a partial tie.

I've heard about MRO what is it?
An MRO lease is a market rent only lease. This type of lease would allow a pub tenant to go free of tie and buy the products they want to sell in their pub on the open market.
What are the trigger points for my landlord to provide me with a MRO lease?
  • When your lease is renewed
  • At rent review
  • Where there has been a significant increase in the price of a tied product or service
  • Where an event has occurred that significantly impacts on trade, for example; a new pub has opened in the local area that you are unable to compete with
I am coming to the end of my lease. What are dilapidations?

Dilapidations are repairs or defects in the property that you, as tenant, are required to repair or remedy under the terms of your lease. At the end of your lease you will be served with a schedule of dilapidations which will specify the works that you have to carry out to put the property back in repair.

How can I protect myself against a hefty dilapidations bill at the end of my lease?

The best way to protect yourself from an unexpected dilapidations bill at the end of your lease is to arrange for an annual property inspection with a surveyor. This will enable you to deal with repairs as and when they are required.

Please contact us to arrange an inspection to limit your dilapidation liability.

What is the Pubs Code?

The Pubs Code came into force on 21 July 2016. The Code aims to give tied pub tenants greater rights and protection when dealing with Pubcos who own 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales.

The Pubs Code deals with the following:

  • Promoting greater transparency in the relationship between landlord and tenant
  • Placing an obligation on the landlord to provide prospective tenants with certain information prior to entering into a pub lease to ensure that they can make an informed decision
  • The requirement for landlords to provide information and advice to tenants with regards to assignments, rent proposals, rent assessments and repairing obligations
  • The right for tenants to have their rent reassessed if it hasn’t been reviewed for 5 years
  • The option to request an MRO lease in certain circumstances
  • Timetables and processes to be followed when dealing with rent assessment, the MRO process, preparation of a sustainable business plan and details of dispute procedures.
Which pubs will be caught by the Code?

Currently, pubs with the following landlords will be caught by the Pubs Code:

  • Punch
  • Greene King
  • Enterprise
  • Admiral
  • Marston’s
  • Star Pubs and Bars
How much will it cost me?

We offer a free initial consultation to assess whether you would be able to take advantage of an MRO lease.

Case Studies

The Swan

Rob Cooke acted for Paul Crossman, the Leaseholder of The Swan, York. Paul’s tied tenancy with the pub owning business was up for renewal…

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The Golden Ball

Rob Cooke acted for The Golden Ball, York, which is a community public house run as a cooperative. Under the terms of their tied Lease Agreement…

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The Queens Ground

Rob is advising the Queen’s Ground Hotel who are currently trading on a traditional tied Lease. Following service of a Rent Review Notice by the pub owning business…

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Contact us today for a free no obligation initial consultation, enquiries@pubhelp.org or 0333 3235 295.

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Latest News

MRO – Pub Company Tactics

Since the introduction of the Pubs Code in 2016 tied pub tenants, whose landlords own 500 or more tied pubs in England and Wales, have been able to request a market rent only (“MRO”) lease on the occurrence of certain “trigger events”. However, many tenants have faced...

read more