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New rules will help secure a fair deal for pubs in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black, has welcomed a Liberal Democrats initiative that will see new rules introduced so as to ensure that tied pubs are given a fair deal by pub companies.

A new statutory code will give pub landlords running tied pubs new rights to help them get a fair deal from pub companies. The rules will be enforced by an independent adjudicator with the power to punish pub companies that break them.

Tied tenants usually have to pay a higher price for beer from the beer company they rent from. This should be balanced out by reduced rents or other benefits - but this has not always been the case, putting some tied pubs at a disadvantage.

The new rules will address that, meaning that:

· Landlords will be able to request a rent review from pub companies if it has been five years or more since the last one.

· Landlords will be given the right to review the information used by pub companies to justify any rent increase.

· Landlords tied to pub companies with 500 or more tied pubs will be able to request an additional rent assessment to show if they are worse off than pubs with no tie.

· Pubs will have the right to decide if they are tied for gaming machines as well.

Mr. Black has dealt with a number of complaints from pub landlords, who have complained that they are being exploited by pub companies. He has previously lobbied Business Secretary, Vince Cable to change the law so as to provide more protection for landlords

"I am delighted that action is being taken to support tied pubs," said Mr. Black. "These new regulations will give pub landlords peace of mind that they will be able to get a fair deal on their rent.

"Pubs are an important part of local life in South Wales, sitting at the very heart of our community and creating jobsfor local people. I am proud that Liberal Democrats Ministers are standing up for them."

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