Tied Pubs - Scottish Pubs Code - part 2

Closed 12 May 2022

Opened 17 Mar 2022

Feedback updated 15 Aug 2022

We asked

We asked for your views on the Scottish Government's proposals on the Scottish Pubs Code for tied pubs. This included proposals for information to be provided to new tenants and tenants renewing their leases, proposals on rent reviews and rent assessments and proposals on fees and expenses for arbitration.

An earlier consultation sought views on Market Rent Only lease and guest beer agreement proposals as part of the code.

You said

We received a total of 30 responses to the public consultation, with 14 individuals and 16 organisations responding. 6 responses were from tied pub tenants and 6 responses were from pub-owning businesses.

Respondents generally had mixed views on the proposals. There were some differences in views between pub-owning businesses and tied pub tenants.

There was general support for most of the proposals around providing information and advice to new and renewing tenants.

On rent review, pub-owning businesses had concerns about the proposed triggers for the proposed rent reviews, which they often felt were not well enough defined.

On fees and expenses for arbitration, there was broad acceptance on the proposed fee of £250 for arbitration. Some tied pub tenants had some concerns around the expenses for arbitration. The issue here was around striking the right balance between discouraging vexatious cases and encouraging genuine cases.

We did

Progressive Partnership was commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of responses. The report presents the findings from the public consultation and explains the methodology that was used to analyse responses.

Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.

The responses, together with the analysis report, and responses from the first consultation, will inform and shape the final Scottish Pubs Code regulations.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks your views on the Scottish Government's proposals on the Scottish Pubs Code for tied pubs. It seeks your views on what else the Scottish Pubs Code should contain beyond Market Rent Only leases and guest beer agreements (which were subject to a separate Scottish Pubs Code Consultation – Part 1 earlier this year).

This consultation includes proposals for information to be provided to new tenants and at lease renewals, proposals on rent reviews and rent assessments, dilapidations and repairs.

The consultation covers proposals for determining the maximum financial penalty which the Adjudicator can apply when a pub-owning business has failed to comply with the code. The consultation also seeks your views on when tied pub tenants should pay arbitration fees and expenses (the Act already deals with the responsibility of pub-owning businesses for arbitration fees and expenses).

Our proposals on elements of the Scottish Pubs Code are set out in the below consultation paper:

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

This consultation gives everyone who may be affected by the code, such as tied pub tenants and pub-owning businesses, an opportunity to comment on the second set of proposals. At Annex A it includes draft legislation, to give you an idea of how this might look.

Views from those impacted by the code, will be essential in making sure the code is fair, balanced and workable. The consultation will help the Government to refine its proposals on the code.

After all the responses to this consultation have been considered, Ministers will make a final decision on the proposals for the Scottish Pubs Code.  

Secondary legislation setting out the whole Scottish Pubs Code, alongside legislation on financial penalities and fees and expenses for arbitration, will be submitted to the Scottish Parliament for approval, expected in late 2022.

What happens next

This public consultation is part of a wider engagement exercise with stakeholders ahead of implementing the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021 and introducing the Scottish Pubs Code in late 2022. 

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


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