Pub LandlordsA new plan which will help struggling pub landlords to pay rent and beer costs has been unveiled by the government.

Publicans who have to purchase their supplies from big pub companies have said they are struggling to make a decent living, with more than half earning less than the minimum wage.

However, a new statutory code includes the right to request a rent review after five years and has been introduced after complaints about abuse of the “beer tie”.

Around 23,000 are “tied”, or are renting pubs from pub companies, to which the landlord pays rent and from which he must purchase beer – often above the market price.

“Far too many landlords feel their income is squeezed by big pub companies. So today we are tacking action to make sure they get a fairer deal,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The changes will include the appointment of an independent adjudicator who will have the power to enforce the code, investigate breaches and impose sanctions.

This may include financial penalties on pub owners if they fail to comply with the new rules.

Tenant landlords will also be able to review the information pub companies used to determine a rent increase, as well as choosing whether to be tied for gaming machines.

Tenants of companies that own more than 500 pubs will have the right to request a “parallel free-of-tie rent assessment” to show whether they would be better off independently.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it hoped that the new proposals would help tenants get fairer rent assessments.

“The self regulatory approach hasn’t worked, so these new rules will give fairer treatment for landlords so that they can keep your local pub going strong,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.