Grangemouth pub landlord changes locks to get rid of terrible tenants

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A landlord had to physically take back his pub from tenants who had breached licensing laws and allegedly served alcohol to a 16-year-old schoolboy.

Amran Ali called in the locksmiths to change the locks and had the windows boarded up at the Ellwyn in Newlands Road, Grangemouth in an effort to get rid of the lease holders – a limited company – who had been running the pub for most of the year.

Mr Ali attended a review hearing of his premises licence at Falkirk Council licensing board yesterday (Wednesday).

Board members heard from police about assaults which occurred at the venue in October and November and the failure on staff’s part to provide CCTV footage in a timely fashion.

An incident which saw a member of staff allegedly sell alcohol to a 16-year-old high school pupil has now been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Mr Ali owns both the Ellwyn and the Costcutter store in Central Avenue, which was once part of the pub premises.

Mr Ali’s solicitor stated his client had done everything he could to bring the lease to an end and get rid of the tenant – including preventing them from appointing a new designated premises manager when the previous one had left, thus preventing the sale of alcohol at the premises.

The most extreme step he took was having the locks changed and boarding up the windows.

His solicitor continued: “He has taken steps which are pretty unusual – closing down the premises of his own accord. He is going to go out and find a good tenant and the premises cannot re-open until the new designated premises manager is appointed and that manager is the responsibility of the new tenant.

“Mr Ali runs the Costcutter, that’s his main business. He wants a quiet life and he did indeed have the set-up well organised up until the summer of 2018.

Addressing the board directly Mr Ali said: “I don’t care if it takes January, February, March or April – until the board is 100 per cent satisfied the new tenant is the right person, the pub will not open.”

Convener Allyson Black and the board agreed to suspend Mr Ali’s premises licence for a period of six weeks.

The board delayed taking action against a personal licence holder accused of selling alcohol to an underage person until court proceedings had concluded.