Renewal of Intoxicating liquor licences
The Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 governs the licensing in premises in which intoxicating liquor is being sold.
The most common of these are pubs, off licences, hotels and restaurants.
Traditionally, the licences for these premises had to be renewed in every year. However, this has since been changed to every 5 years.
The next 5 yearly licensing renewals are now due in September 2022.
The Court Service will produce a notice of reminder and invite application for renewal. However, it must be remembered that they will not send reminders to individual licence owners nor is there any liability on individual Solicitors (unless contracted otherwise to do so) to remind licence holders to renew.
There were a number of instances at the last renewal in 2017 of licence holders simply forgetting to lodge their renewal application. There is provision for their application to be renewed out of time within a period of 12 months. However, such an application usually attracts higher Court fees and extended legal costs.
It is important to note that in the event that there is no renewal within that 12-month period that the opportunity for same is lost and the licence is in effect void. In those circumstances it will then be necessary to make an application to the County Court for a new licence. There were examples of premises having to close as a result of same whenever this was detected and brought to the licence holders’ attention.
In addition, there are many business who rent licensed premises and are in possession of the Licence. In those circumstances it is the responsible of the party with the licence in their name and running the business to renew the Lease. Therefore, it is important for both Landlords and Tenants of Licensed premises to be aware of that to avoid any delay..
If you require assistance with any of your intoxicating liquor licence renewals or guidance with any aspect of the licensing laws, then please do not hesitate to make contact with our Mr Kieran Quinn or Emma McCaul of this office.