Both the Independent Pub Confederation and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) today effectively called for legislation governing the pubco-lessee relationship. The IPC and RICS, two of three groups called to give evidence at today’s fresh hearing conducted by the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee into the issue, said they favoured a mandatory approach over any voluntary code of conduct. The IPC, a cross section of groups representing licensees and multiple operators, said that real change was unlikely to happen voluntarily. IPC secretary Kate Nicholls said: “We haven’t moved forward since 1989 [the Beer Orders]. We have no enforceable code of practice in this industry.” She said there was little in the way of effective sanction in the wake of reported breaches of pubco codes since the Trade & Industry Select Committee of 2004. The BII-led Pub Independent Rent Review Scheme, Nicholls said, “has potential” but was “limited” because it only dealt with rents. Nicholls summarised the views of the IPC members when she said change “isn’t going to happen on a voluntary basis”. “The government has to intervene to ensure there’s a legal framework and competition issues need to be investigated." On the issue of an RICS code only applying to chartered surveyors and not the pub industry as a whole, the body’s David Rusholm: “If there are some mandatory ways of making that this happen we will welcome that. If we can carry everyone along in the process there’s a good chance of them adhering to it.” Rusholm told MPs there was “less certainty about what information is provided” by pubcos after committee chairman Peter Luff said pubco calculations on rent vary from “exemplary” to "shocking”. Rusholm also promised there would be a “common sense check” in its new code to ensure licensees get a decent wage. He added that the code should be accessible by both lessee and lessor (pubco) and that RICS version would be implemented in April or early May, following a consultation.