Supplementary evidence submitted by David
Following the giving of evidence on 18 November,
I regret that I overlooked a small but essential point in respect
of transparency that was raised by Martin Willis for and on behalf
of the RICS.
Martin Willis stated that a small number of
local pub comparables might give rise to a distortion in market
evidence. Having had the opportunity of reflecting on this point,
I find that it is exactly the same observation that is consistently
made by Pubco representatives who also stand against a comprehensive
register of public house rents to ensure that Lessees are kept
in the dark as to other rent settlements.
However, the exact opposite holds true for the
Valuation Office of the Inland Revenue who hold and certainly
utilise, a comprehensive national database of pub rents. They
also have information in respect of sales/turnover which of course
would be confidential in the open market as a result of the data
protection laws. However, it is the very existence of this national
database of pub rents that enables them to accurately set Rateable
Values nationwide, often by local comparison with, say only three
or four pubs and not having any knowledge of "discrepancies"
In the situation of arbitration, the opportunity
is available to the tenant to seek disclosure of information that
is within the freeholder's hands and not revealed. I have often
sought the complete disclosure of pubs, say within an entire city
and have been refused on the grounds of "a fishing trip".
What has then resulted under an Order for Disclosure is that Enterprise
Inns/Punch, etc only reveal a maximum of three to six outlets
stating that the information should be sufficient for comparison
purposes. I think you will appreciate the anomaly!
I would be grateful if you could bring this
information to the attention of Peter Luff, the Chairman of the
BEC and Lindsey Hoyle as it seems that Martin Willis for Fleurets
could be alleged to be exactly following the thinking of his major
Pubco clients which in turn, might lead to allegations that the
RICS is being similarly led.