Ken Frost - It's not a leap of imagination to assume that the landlord walked away from a tied pubco lease - as indeed this is happening with tied pubco leaseholders all over the UK.
This apparently irrational action by licensees who have been enduring impending economic and financial crisis for years without let up is a symptom, now very common, of what's happening in pubs all over Britain. Pubco's are charging too much for rent and supply prices; it's making pubs fail and it's chucking publicans onto the streets.
Your local landlord was probably bound into tied a pubco lease which had absorbed all their financial investment, their personal effort and energy leaving them staring into a future of even more losses and a downward spiral into bankruptcy. All backed up with completely inadequate freeholder support from a team of regional and local Business development Managers whose job is to take as much as they can out of their 'business partner's' business and transfer it into the pockets of offshore bondholders and their own bonus schemes.
The British pub sector is in absolute crisis. Major pubco's have been in effect insolvent for years, trading by dint of strong cashflow, putting back covenants on debts, restructuring operational activities, pressing hard on tenants by removing credit terms in place of cash in with order, squeezing suppliers for better prices while incrementally increasing supply prices to their customers and aggressively hiking rents wherever possible - sweating their assets ever harder out of an ever decreasing number of units remaining financially viable.
It's a big story. The tale of the Great British Pubco Scam. And it's being told all around us, every day, in communities in every corner of the land. Shocking. Right under our noses.