Pub Tenancy FAQs

Have a question before embarking on your new venture? Check out our FAQs.

Put to bed any concerns

The thought of running your own pub can be a daunting one, particularly if you have not taken on the challenge before. Our tenancy team have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions to settle any nerves you may have. If you still can't find what you're looking for, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

The pub industry is one many of us are familiar with, but usually, we see it from the opposite side! Whilst running your own pub is both social and fun, we won’t lie - it also requires long hours, hard work and dedication. Determination is key to your endeavour’s overall success – the rewards, however, certainly make it worthwhile in the long term. 

What other opportunities will you have to take the reins and be your own boss in such a vibrant industry? 

Terminology can get a little confusing if you are new to the industry.

A managed pub is run by a manager that is employed by the pub chain (for example, hired by St Austell Brewery) whilst a tenancy is run independently by an individual. This tenant will handle the day-to-day operations of the property but will not be responsible for the building itself as they pay rent to the landlord.

What about leased and tenanted? These two terms are often used interchangeably, however, there are some key differences you should be aware of. A tenancy is a short-term agreement, normally lasting between three and five years whereas a lease will be anywhere upwards of 10 years. Leasing a property will give you all the responsibility, including maintenance of the building itself however, you will have the option to sell on the goodwill of the business, unlike a tenancy.

A business plan can provide some much-needed direction to your new venture. Yet, writing this plan can be another point of stress and concern as you struggle to know where to even begin.

Check out our business plan template here to help you get started. You’ll also have support from our Business Development Managers to develop this further and create a comprehensive plan to see you thrive.

Most tenants will initially join us on a 12-month agreement before transferring onto a standard three-year contract, covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act (1954).

This first short-term agreement ensures the venture is the right business move for both parties – running a pub is a huge commitment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly, so this 12-month period can ease concerns, particularly if you are new to the industry.

Whilst some experience can certainly be an advantage, it isn’t a deciding factor. We value personal qualities above all else, recognising the determination and passion a tenant needs to thrive in one of our properties.

The rent will usually include the fixture and fittings, stock, glassware, and cutlery but you will be responsible should any of these need repair or replacing.

In essence, you share responsibility for the pub but are not solely accountable for the building’s maintenance. Promising support throughout, we’ll be able to provide guidance should you face any issues with your property.

The cost associated with starting up will vary from pub to pub but understanding the initial expenditure for your chosen property is crucial as it can have significant financial impacts.

Minimise the risk by calculating not only the cost of buying the pub tenancy but also the running costs. You’ll need working capital to cover daily expenses in the first few weeks and, should have realistic expectations set in terms of future profits and expenditure.

Fortunately, you won’t have to do this alone – our Business Development Managers will support you throughout to ensure you’ve built a solid financial plan to see you into the future.

No two pubs are ever the same, and therefore it’s difficult to provide a general profit figure for running a pub. But, on each of our tenancy vacancies, you will find a ballpark figure calculated specifically for the property in question.

Buying a tenancy can have a significant financial impact on you – perhaps you are currently unable to find the deposit or are concerned about committing to the agreement. For the right applicant, we are happy to help with funding.

It’s likely you’ve applied to run a pub before finding that all-important perfect match. You may have an idea of what the property you want to run will look like and how it will operate but finding a suitable venture may be a bit of a waiting game.

A great place to start if you are unsure is to research the area thoroughly to see what pubs are doing well and where you see your vision slotting in. Our Business Development Managers will be on hand to assist you, creating a robust plan to make the pub you choose a firm favourite for visitors and locals alike.

Once you’ve made the decision to take on a tenancy, you may be wondering how long exactly the process will take. When can you expect to open the doors to your pub?

You’ll fill in an initial application form which will then begin your journey to running your own pub. Following this, we’ll ask you to attend a few interviews and create a business plan template to ensure this venture will be beneficial for both parties.

Successful tenants will also be required to complete our pre-entry awareness training. This is an online learning course that will highlight the key responsibilities that you need to be aware of before you sign an agreement with us.

View our full application process here.

Be your own boss, run a pub

Ready to take on the challenge? Take the next step and begin your application today.

Find your next business venture in the South West

Take the wheel

Set your own course. Has one of our tenancy vacancies spiked your interest? Explore all current opportunities and speak to our tenancy team for further information.