The pubs code adjudicator received 79 arbitration referrals in the four months since the legislation came into force.

Paul Newby released data from 21 July to 21 November, which showed 346 enquiries had been received – 92% of them from tied pub tenants or their representatives.

Of the 79 referrals, 77 were deemed valid and accepted for arbitration. The top issues that were referred were about whether a full response had been given by a pubco to a request for an MRO proposal and the responsibilities of the pubcos in relation to rent assessments.

The top issues raised by callers were requests for information about rent assessment and the Market Rent Only (MRO) process and tenancy renewal.

Newby said: “There has been a lot of interest in the work of the PCA and that is why I wanted to release this initial data. It is still early days but this provides a good picture of the scale of engagement that tied pub tenants are already having with the PCA.

“These are significant numbers for the first weeks of the new organisation and, very importantly, the overwhelming majority of the enquiries and referrals are clearly Pubs Code related. I believe this demonstrates a good level of awareness in the industry of the Code and the role of the PCA in creating a fair environment for tied pub tenants.

“We now have a considerable number of arbitration referrals to deal with. I am committed to dealing with them all efficiently and effectively. At this stage it’s not possible to provide an estimate of how long it will take to complete these referrals because each case and the requirements of the parties will be different.

“Enquiries and referrals are still arriving.”