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Giving up the Licence

I am about to retire should I surrender my Premises Licence?

Q:  I am retiring from the licensed trade and have a premises with a 02:00am premises licence.  I am giving up my lease on the premises but I own the freehold of a flat immediately next door.  I want to protect myself going forward from a new operator taking over my premises and causing me any noise issues.  I have spoken to the local Licensing Officer and they have suggested that I surrender my premises licence.  Is this a good idea?

A:  In this situation, you must obtain appropriate legal advice.  You may require not only advice in relation to your Premises Licence but also in relation to your Lease.  Most leases will have conditions which are intended to prevent you from doing anything which adversely affects the premises or any associated premises.  A breach of the terms could result in the freeholder of the property taking legal action.   If there are no such conditions and no obligations anywhere else requiring the premises to trade in a certain way, such as planning permission, then you could consider surrendering your Premises Licence or alternatively applying to reduce the Premises Licence terminal hours or licensable activities. As a local resident you would have a right to make representations against any subsequent application to increase those hours by any transferee.  Clearly, if any action is taken which adversely affects the premises licence then this could financially affect the freeholder’s ability to successfully market the premises, and consequently detailed legal advice is recommended.

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