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Licence for hire

The organisers of a wedding event wish to use my Premises Licence.

Q:  My licensed premises has been hired for a wedding reception.  My Premises Licence issued under the Licensing Act 2003 authorises the sale of alcohol, live and recorded music and late night refreshment.  The organisers wish to operate under my Premises Licence.  Is this advisable?

A:  There are many operators in England and Wales who hire out part or all of their venue to third parties and those organisations then trade under the existing premises licence.  Care must be taken as on occasions, the Premises Licence Holder (“PLH”) and the Designated Premises Supervisor (“DPS”) have found themselves falling foul of the Licensing Act 2003(LA) resulting in a review of their premises licence. In such cases the whole nature of your operation and your premises licence will be placed under scrutiny and could result in additional conditions, a reduction of your hours, removal of licensable activities or at worst, the licence revoked. 

A Premises Licence authorising trade until the early hours will often have certain conditions, for example relating to door staff and/or restricting children.  Complying with such conditions may not be suitable to the hirer. 

The PLH and DPS are under an obligation to ensure that when their premises is operating, all the conditions on the premises licence are complied with.  Whether or not the premises has been hired out to a third party would carry little weight.  Some operators will try to exclude themselves from liability by creating a contract between themselves and the hirer.  This is a very complex area and you should seek appropriate legal advice.  One option would be for a hirer to obtain a TEN under s100 of the LA.  This will authorise licensable activities for a one off event. The notice would be held by the hirer.  They can discuss appropriate conditions with the Police Licensing and Environmental Health Officer. Should there be any incident which causes the Police or Licensing Authority any concern, this would afford the PLH and a DPS of a premises licence some protection from being prosecuted or from their licence being reviewed.

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