The Licensing Act 2003 provides special arrangements for the continuation of permissions under a premises licence when the holder of a licence dies suddenly or becomes bankrupt or mentally incapable.
Normally, the licence would lapse in such circumstances. However, there may be some time before the deceased persons estate can be dealt with or an administrator receiver appointed. This could have a damaging effect on those with interests in the premises, such as the owner, lessor or employees working at the premises, and could bring unnecessary disruption to customers plans.
The Act provides for the licence to be capable of being reinstated within a discrete period of time in certain circumstances.
These circumstances arise only where a premises licence has lapsed owing to the death, incapacity or insolvency of the holder. Notice maybe given to the licensing authority within 28 consecutive days beginning the day after the licence lapsed.
The Notice must also be copied to the Chief Officer of Police (address details below).
The premises licence would lapse until such a notice is given and carrying on licensable activities in that time would be unlawful.
Such activity will be an offence as an unauthorised licensable activity, to which there is a defence of 'due diligence'. This may be relevant where, for example, the manager of a particular premises is wholly unaware for a period of time that the premises licence holder has died.
As soon as an interim authority notice is given within the 28 day period, the business may continue to carry on any licensable activities permitted by the premises licence.
An interim authority notice may only be given either by a person with a prescribed interest in the premises, or by a person connected to the former holder of the licence (normally a personal representative of the former holder or a person with power of attorney or where someone has become insolvent, that persons insolvency practitioner).
The effect of giving the notice is to reinstate the premises licence as if the person giving the notice is the holder of the licence and thereby allow licensable activities to continue to take place pending a formal application or transfer.
The maximum period for which an interim authority notice may have effect is three months.
The interim authority notices ceased to have effect unless by the end of the initial 28 day period a copy of the notice has been given to the Chief Officer of Police within 2 working days of receiving the copy, and if satisfied that in the exceptional circumstances of the case failure to cancel the interim authority notice would undermine the crime prevention objective, the police may give a notice to that effect to the licensing authority. In such circumstances, the licensing authority must hold a hearing to consider the objection notice if it decides that it is necessary to dos so for the promotion of the crime prevention objective.
Application forms are available under related documents on this page or you can apply on line.
It should also be noted that where the premises licence lapses (because of death, incapacity or insolvency of the holder etc), or by its surrender, but no interim authority notice has effect, an eligible person who may apply for the grant of a premise licence may apply within 7 days of the lapse for the transfer of the licence to them with immediate effect pending the determination fo the application. This will result in the licence being reinstated from the point at which the transfer application was received by the licensing authority. The person applying for the transfer must copy their application to the Chief Officer of Police (address details below).
Where no Interim Authority Notice is received within 28 days of the licence lapsing or an application for transfer made as above, the licence is cancelled. A further premises licence will only be issued following a new application for the grant of a premises licence.
Chief Officer of Police Address Details:
Liquor Licensing Bureau, PO Box 3259, Bristol, BS2 2EJ