How I used the the Market Rent Only (MRO) procedure to negotiate a better tied deal – Kerry of the Saracens Head

Kerry of the Saracens Head, Amersham, talks about his experience of using the MRO process to negotiate a reduced tied rent and discounts for his business:

I have a 20-year lease with Greene King and decided to request the free of tie (MRO) option in July 2020, after receiving my rent assessment proposal as part of my rent review. I wanted to use the process to help me negotiate my tied deal.

I had a good relationship with my estates manager who supported me in the process, including advice on my tied rent. I also sought my own independent advice which really helped to empower me in my negotiations with Greene King.

Ultimately, I managed to save more than £20,000 on tied rent. But more than that, I managed to agree an impressive discount on beer barrels. Combined with the rent this means I am now up around £65,000 a year because of using the MRO process to negotiate my current tied offer.

What I say to other tied tenants who are thinking of using the MRO process in this way is:

  • Keep a good relationship with your Business Development Manager (anyone who talks to you about rent). This is very important and can help you when negotiating with your pub company.
  • Stay strong. This is a negotiation process so be prepared to say no and give your reasons if you do not agree with the offer in front of you. Getting your own advice, if you can, may help.
  • It’s worth it. Yes, the process can be strenuous, but hugely beneficial in the long run.

Julie Jolly, Greene King’s Code Compliance Officer says:

At Greene King, we fully recognise the rights our tied pub tenants have under the Pubs Code. Kerry used his right to request a market rent only option, however we’re pleased that he decided to remain a Greene King tied pub tenant after concluding the Pubs Code MRO process. If tied pub tenants are seeking to request MRO, we would always strongly recommend that they seek advice from appropriately qualified advisors.