Coronavirus: Oxfordshire landlord fears being 'pushed into insolvency'

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Bryn JonesImage source, Bryn Jones
Image caption,
Bryn Jones says his business will not be viable if rent needs to be paid during the pandemic

A landlord has said his pub and others like it could go bust if they continue to be charged rent during the pandemic.

Bryn Jones, who has run the Oxford Arms in Kirtlington for 17 years, said Star Pubs & Bars wants to collect at least 50% of his rent in June.

But Mr Jones said he also owed large sums to suppliers and would have to throw away stock as it cannot be sold.

Star Pubs & Bars, which is owned by Heineken, said it was doing "as much as [it] can" to help landlords.

Mr Jones accused the company of trying to take its "pound of flesh" from tenant pub owners after receiving relief from the government.

He said: "What they are seeking to do may, strictly, be within the law, but it is outside the boundaries of any definition of morality."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Mr Jones has run the Oxford Arms in Kirtlington for 17 years

The British Pub Confederation has included Star Pubs & Bars in a "Hall of Shame" of pub-owning businesses that have not cancelled rent.

Conversely, others, including Fuller's and Admiral Taverns, are in a "Hall of Fame" after they suspended payments.

Star Pubs & Bars' managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: "In addition to the government's waivers and grants to help cover rent, salaries and other fixed costs, Star Pubs & Bars is providing rent reductions to pubs on an individual basis and is suspending the collection of the revised rent until at least June."

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