Admiral Taverns has introduced a right-to-buy option for selected tenants who will have the opportunity to purchase the freehold of their pub from three years into a lease. Jonathan Paveley, executive chairman of the 1,200-strong pub group, unveiled the inititaive at Monday’s SIBA Pub Retail Conference in the City of London. “We’re entirely flexible on our agreements,” he told brewery delegates. “We’re not a business with a template, all our deals are customised.” Right-to-buy would be offered “on an individual basis,” he added. Deals can also be free-of-tie or partly-tied. Admiral has already completely freed 70 pubs from the tie. Both traditional tenancies and longer leases can be negotiated, and deals could include pre-agreed mutual target returns. Paveley also promised investment in properties and “realistic rents” to ensure “a sustainable operating model”. The average annual rent at an Admiral pubs is less than £15,000, he said. “It’s been a problem in the industry that the ‘rent line’ has not been fairly decided, and we’ve killed off far too many pubs.” He rejected the predominant view that “beer-led community pubs are the past”. “It’s not all about food. We’re proud to be community wet-led pubs, and if that’s proundly unfashionable I don’t care. “We have to have a local beer offer - that is a key determinant for me if we are to reinvigorate community sites.” Admiral currently has 143 pubs participating in SIBA’s Direct Delivery Scheme, selling more than 2,600 barrels between them. “Cask ale’s share of our business is now 13%, and there’s lots more to go for,” he said.