THE landlord of a Basingstoke pub says £100,000 of his own money is set to go down the drain after a wrangle with the company that owns the premises ended in court.
Peter Bradley, landlord of The Way Inn, was told on January 20 by Enterprise Inns that he had to cease trading and has until February 11 to leave the pub.
Seven members of staff, four of whom worked full-time, have lost their jobs.
Mr Bradley has leased The Way Inn since July 2006, and as part of the contract with Enterprise Inns, had to buy the beer from the company and pay £1,000 a week in rent.
The 46-year-old said he used £100,000 of his own money to spruce up the pub when he started in 2006 – money which he will not get back from Enterprise Inns.
He told The Gazette: “They told me I had to shut because I can’t afford to pay the rent and the prices they charge for beer. They told me they will look at rent concessions and cheaper beer, but I feel they have never done anything to help me in all the time I have been here.
“I am a partner and they are meant to help, and they haven’t. I want a fairer supply on profits because it is all going to them, and the contract says you can negotiate.
“All the money I have invested is gone. They have got possession and they get it back, and I have a deadline to get out.”
He added: “I had a mortgage agreed to buy the freehold so I could run it myself. They said in three letters they would consider the offer, and on January 15, they said ‘no’ because I couldn’t afford to pay the rent and beer so I was in breach of my contract.”
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “Mr Bradley’s failure to pay rent in recent months unfortunately gave us little option than to seek an Order for Possession which was granted by Basingstoke County Court on January 13.
“We are disappointed that this proved necessary but we are satisfied that we exercised considerable patience and fairness in our attempt to resolve our differences with Mr Bradley without recourse to such legal action.”