Commercial Property Blog

Legal Tips and Traps

Take Heed of the Liquor Act

Posted by Dean Claughton on 11 Jun 2015

If you’re operating a business within a licensed venue, it pays not to assume that you’re covered under the Liquor Act. Do your research and make sure you have the necessary approvals, otherwise you might find yourself out in the cold with a business to run and nowhere to run it.

The Polish Club Ltd operated a licensed venue and agreed to allow Mr and Mrs Gnych to operate a Polish restaurant for club members and patrons in an area on the first floor. The Club also agreed to provide the couple with a non-exclusive licence to use a room beside the restaurant area when extra seating was needed.

A written Lease and Licence were prepared and submitted to the Club for execution but were never finalised or signed.

Once the restaurant was up and running, as a normal course of business, people would visit the club’s bar and return to their table, or if using the extra seating, alcoholic drinks would be delivered to their tables.

Following a chill in relations between the two parties, the Club’s solicitor provided written notice to the Gnych’s requesting that they vacate the club as soon as possible.

The main focus of the appeal was the breach of s 92(1) of the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW) and the consequences of that breach. Despite the fact the Gnych’s business was part of the licensed premises, they did not have the relevant regulatory approval necessary to make this lawful. The trial judge held that this invalidated the Lease.

If you are unsure of the law surrounding your Lease or want to ask about how liquor-licensing may impact your business, contact the Coleman Greig Commercial Property team: