Uninsured pubs and bars affected by looting and vandalism in the widespread riots are eligible for compensation from the police.
The Riot (Damages) Act 1886 (RDA) refers to damage to any type of building caused by "any persons riotously and tumultuously assembled together".
The Home Office has confirmed to the Publican's Morning Advertiser that this legislation can be used by uninsured businesses. The PMA's legal editor Peter coulson said that a common issue with this law is whether the police classify the incidents as riots.
Claims must be made within 14 days of the incident through a form to the local police authority, but Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to extend this to 42 days.
Coulson said that some insurers will also use the act to claim compensation for their clients, which is why pubs affected need to make sure they contact their insurer within a week.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We understand that police authorities are likely to receive claims for compensation under the RDA and that they may be seeking some financial support from the Government to help meet these costs. We will work closely with the Metropolitan Police and other affected police forces to assess the cost of compensation claims."
Coulson added: "The police will resist using their compensation fund, but licensees who are not insured can use the act to apply for compensation for any damages to their pubs during the riots."