Lettings Policy

Lettings Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 The following document sets out the Lettings Policy in relation to the letting of the Meeting House premises of Unitarians in Newport, Isle of Wight. The premises include the Chapel, the Main Hall, and all rooms which form part of those premises (“the premises”). This Policy document considers. The Equality Act 2010.

1.2 A Premises Hiring Agreement, which is attached to and forms part of this Policy document , must be completed and signed in respect of every booking of the premises. The person signing the Premises Hiring Agreement shall be known as “the Hirer” and shall accept full responsibility for the due observance in all respects of the Terms and Conditions as set out in this Policy document. The Hirer must be a responsible adult over the age of 18.

2. Primary Intent

2.1 The Chapel and Halls of the Meeting House are important historical buildings, and a significant part of this area’s history and heritage. The Unitarians and its Officers have the responsibility for maintaining them for use and enjoyment by future generations.

2.2 The premises are primarily to be used to act as a resource to the wider congregation, other faiths

organisations and the community of the Isle of Wight, through its activities.

2.3 A secondary function of the premises is for the hosting and promoting of positive activities.

3. Letting Restrictions

3.1 Our attitude towards an application for the use of our premises will be a positive one. We will seek to encourage appropriate organisations to use the premises for meetings and activities, where such meetings are complementary to the Meeting House regular activities. The Meeting House may request references from a new user before agreeing a booking.

3.2 We will not, however, accept bookings for activities which will prevent our regular activities from functioning in full or which promote any political party or opinion.

3.3 Lettings will not interfere unduly with Meeting House life. They will not normally be accepted if the premises are already booked for a Meeting House event.

3.4 We will not normally hire out the premises for any parties which will involve large groups of teenagers or young adults between the ages of 14 – 21.

3.5 Out of respect to other users and our neighbours surrounding the premises, we expect all users to conduct themselves in a reasonable and courteous manner whilst on the premises, and when leaving the premises. Lettings will not normally be taken for events likely to create noise or other nuisance to neighbours and other users, e.g. where a live band is involved.

3.6 All events are to finish by 11pm, with the premises to be empty by midnight. The premises will not be available to the Hirer before the beginning of the booking time and must be vacated 15 minutes after the end of the booking.

3.7 The Hirer is not allowed to sub let to any third parties.

3.8 If the Hirer wishes to store a small amount of equipment, they must only use the area that is allocated to them and label all equipment including refreshments with their name. Any unlabelled equipment may be removed as rubbish.

4. Charges

4.1 Charges will be set at a reasonable rate, below full commercial value, consistent with covering costs and providing a modest contribution to maintenance costs. A notice of Charges levied and Conditions relating to the Charges forms part of the Premises Hiring Agreement. The schedule of Charges will be reviewed on an annual basis.

4.2 A 50% discount will apply to Charities, evidence must be provided.

4.3 If the Hirer wishes to cancel the booking, the Committee may, at its absolute discretion, refund any fees paid, but shall be under no obligation to do so. The Committee reserves the right to cancel the booking if exceptional unforeseen circumstances arise and without a reason being stated.

5. Access and Security

5.1 The Meeting House does not employ a full-time caretaker; therefore, the Hirer is responsible for all setting up and putting away of any equipment used in the correct storage area.

5.2 Any letting of the premises will require a responsible person to be present at the beginning and end of the letting period on each occasion that a letting is to take place to check that the facilities are in order. The premises must not be left unattended during the period of the booking.

5.3 If a keycode is provided, then this must always be safeguarded, and the key returned to the key box, and numbers mixed up. The keys shall not be copied nor given or lent to any third party. It is the Hirer’s responsibility to ensure that all fire doors and windows are closed, all doors locked, and all lights switched off (including the toilets) at the end of the letting period.

5.4 The right is reserved for a representative of the Committee or their appointed officer to enter any part of the building at any time.

6. Health and Safety

6.1 Whilst the Meeting House will take steps to ensure the premises are safe to use, it is the responsibility of the Hirer to ensure the safe conduct of their activity during the period of hire, including the presence of a suitably qualified First Aider if necessary.

6.2 All entrances and exits must always be kept clear.

6.3 The Hirer will be responsible for ensuring that Security, Fire and Health and Safety requirements are met.

6.4 There are no public telephones in the premises, therefore the Hirer must ensure that he/she has access to a mobile telephone in case of emergencies.

6.5 Any portable electrical appliance or device brought in from elsewhere and used on the premises must have an up-to-date safety certificate which must be made available for inspection upon request.

7. General

7.1 A strict No Smoking Policy applies to all rooms (including toilets) in all the premises.

7.2 Alcohol cannot be sold in the building. The Hirer is not permitted to apply for Occasional Licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor in the building.

7.3 Any advertising material must be submitted to the Committee for approval. All such material must clearly display the name of the person or organisation responsible for the event.

7.4 No adhesive or fixing material may be used which may damage the fabric of the premises.

7.5 Chewing gum is not allowed on the premises.

7.6 All rubbish must be taken from the premises by the Hirer and must not be deposited in the outside refuse bins. No food or drink must be deposited on the ground outside the premises.

7.7 There is no car park on the premises.

7.8 There are Council Car Park Spaces in the near vicinity of the Meeting House.

8. Responsibilities

8.1 The Committee will be responsible for providing facilities as agreed in good working order throughout the letting period.

8.2 The Hirer will be responsible for ensuring that all users are aware of the procedures for safe and correct use of equipment and facilities and shall report any deficiencies on each use.

8.3 The Hirer shall ensure that there is always a responsible adult or adults present and able to supervise during the letting. During the period of hire, the Hirer is responsible for the orderly behaviour of guests/members on the premises.

8.4 The Hirer must leave the premises in a clean and tidy condition. Losses, breakages and damage must be reported, and paid for in full. Hirers may re-arrange tables and chairs in the premises but must restore them to their original places immediately at the end of the letting.

8.5 The Hirer agrees to indemnify the Committee against all claims, demands, actions, proceedings, damages, costs and expenses arising out of non-observance of the Terms of this Policy document.

9. Kitchen Use/ Refreshments

9.1 Kitchens may be used for the preparation of Tea/Coffee and refreshments by approved personnel and with the prior agreement of the Committee. It will be the responsibility of the Hirer to provide the refreshment materials. It is the responsibility of an external Hirer to ensure that any persons using the kitchens are aware of the requirements of the relevant Food Hygiene Regulations and Food Safety Act Codes of Practice. Attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the kitchen, kitchen utensils and crockery at the end of the letting. Any breakages must be reported immediately in writing and will be subject to an additional charge.

10. Insurance

10.1 It is the responsibility of the Hirer to effect whatever insurance he/she requires to cover his/her liabilities. Insurance effective by the Committee does not extend to a Hirer’s liabilities. The Committee accepts no liability for accidents, injuries, damage and/or loss of personal property because of using the premises.

11. Legal Requirements

11.1 The Hirer must comply with any legal requirement concerning music, singing and dancing licences, theatre licences and copyright. The Hirer shall be fully responsible for obtaining any such licences or any other permission required, always providing that no such application shall be made without the approval of the Committee.

11.2 Hirers must also have in mind the provisions of the Children’s Act at any event involving children. Events for persons under 18 years of age must always be properly supervised by an adequate number of responsible adults, in accordance with the Children’s Act.

11.3 The Hirer shall not use the premises for any other purpose than that specified in the Premises Hiring Agreement, and is specifically forbidden to use, or allow the use of the premises or its surrounding grounds for any illegal or immoral purpose.

12. Compliance

12.1 Failure by the Hirer to comply with any or all the terms of this Policy document where applicable, whether intentionally or not, may be deemed by the Committee to be just cause for immediate cancellation of any letting or series of lettings.

13. Administration

13.1 Bookings of the premises will be administered by the Bookings Manager. This includes the acceptance and declining of bookings in consultation with the Committee if necessary.

14. Booking

14.1 Contact Bookings Manager to make a booking;

By Phone: Call Denise on 07341552600

By email: iow.unitarians@gmail.com

14.2 Any bookings made will be provisional until a complete Premises Hiring Agreement is completed,signed.

 14.3 Application Forms and a Copy of the Lettings Policy can be obtained from the Meeting House or the website https://isleofwightunitarians.org/

15. Payments/Cancellations

15.1 Hiring of the premises incurs an hourly charge.

15.2 Payments may be made by cash, cheque (made payable to Unitarian Meeting House)

15.3 No debit or credit card payment facility is available.

15.4 The payment in full must be paid on the day of hiring. The Committee reserves the right to cancel the hire at short notice if the hire fee is not paid in full in accordance with this


Intending hirers should ensure that this is acceptable to them before making a booking.

15.5 Any cancellation by the Hirer must be made in writing or a phone call, to the Bookings Manager and must be more than 14 days before the hire date.

16. Hire Rates (2019):

£10 per hour (Chapel or Hall)

Day 9am – 5pm – £50 (Chapel or Hall)

Whole site – 9am to 11pm – £150