Legal experts tips on holiday allowance, measures and licensing enquiries

By Poppleston Allen, Licensing

- Last updated on GMT

Enlighten: Poppleston Allen answer questions on different licensing aspects
Enlighten: Poppleston Allen answer questions on different licensing aspects

Related tags Personal licence holder License

Legal experts Poppleston Allen answer licensee questions on holiday allowance for a designated premises supervisor and wine measures and one question from someone considering becoming a licensee regarding licensing enquiries.

Holiday allowance for DPS

Q:I am a designated premises supervisor (DPS) of a pub in a city centre. I was told recently that if I go on holiday, which I plan to for 21 days, I have to advise the licensing authority of the changed circumstances of the pub. Is this correct?
A:​ There is no requirement that the DPS must be present all the time or you would have be chained to the pub and never allowed to leave!
However, in an ideal world, the person you leave in command in your absence is a personal licence holder but note this is not actually a formal requirement so there is no need to amend the licence by appointing a replacement. Always, however, check your licence conditions. Either you or your deputy (if a personal licence holder) should update your forms of authorisation for all those non-personal licence holding staff to sell alcohol in your absence.
It is always worth going through a training update before your departure, making sure everyone is comfortable with their responsibilities. If your chain of command is clear, you should be able to go away and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that the pub is in safe hands.

Take right sales measures

Q: As the designated premises supervisor I am aware that I have to offer still wine by the glass available in 125ml measures. Does this apply to all wines that I stock by the glass, or can I just provide my house wine in these measures?

A:​ The purpose of the mandatory condition is to allow customers to choose smaller measures if they wish.
Therefore you should ensure all of the wines you sell by the glass are available if requested in 125ml measures and that the various measures are displayed in a menu, price list or other printed material, which is available to customers on the premises. Where a customer does not specify the quantity, you should make them aware of the range of measures either verbally or by reference to your printed material. Once this is done, you do not have to repeat it each time the customer comes to the bar.

Should I make enquiries?

Q: I want to run a pub and am considering taking a lease of the premises. I wonder whether there are any licensing enquiries I should make prior to taking it on?

A:​ It would definitely be worth carrying out a licensing due diligence check on the premises prior to taking it on. To begin, speak to the existing tenant and ask whether they have had issues with any of the authorities or indeed with the residents, although be careful on what they advise as they may, of course, not give you the whole picture.
You need to speak to the licensing officer at the local authority to see if they are aware of any issues that have arisen in the past. For example, if there has been a review or other enforcement action. They will also be able to give you a full and up-to-date copy of the premises licence, including licensed layout plans. Also speak with the local police licensing officer and environmental health. With the police, it may be that there have been incidents of crime and disorder, noise, nuisance, or antisocial behaviour. Someone in the environmental health team should also be able to advise you whether there has been any nuisance (eg, litter) or noise complaints. A word of warning – many authorities now make a Freedom of Information Act request before they will reply, and these can sometimes take several weeks.
Taking over a licensed premises always carries a degree of risk and it is advisable to engage legal representation to ensure no stone is left unturned.

Related topics Licensing law

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