Choosing A Home As Well As A Pub Business

pub to let, run a pub, pub tenancy, accommodation
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Mon, 30/01/2017 - 10:00

Running a pub and living ‘above the shop’ requires complex juggling between your business and your personal life. Considerable self-control is needed to ensure that the business does not take over every aspect of your life. 

Not surprisingly, for many new landlords, this is often the unexpected side effect of taking on a pub business - forcing adjustments that had not previously been expected.

Many pubs come with live in accommodation. Traditionally, pub landlords lived on site operating the pub within the confines of their home. This has changed somewhat over the years, with greater demands for privacy resulting in a greater division of territory between the two functions of the pub. However, it is still very much common practice in many towns and cities for the landlord to live in accommodation above or adjacent to the pub.

So if you are looking for a pub to let with accommodation, what should you be looking out for?

Living Above A Pub


Having accommodation that comes with the job can be a distinct advantage when you are setting up in business for the first time.  You don’t have to worry about rent or a separate mortgage, and it does enable you to devote more time to developing your business and making it a success.

It is also helpful if you are moving from one area of the country to the other. Not having to worry about finding accommodation can reduce the stress involved, and give you added time to focus on the business

It is also great for security – it means that there is always someone on site.  Break ins are less likely to occur when people are actually living in the premises.

An added bonus is there’s commute to work! When you live on the premises, all you have to do is unlock your private door, go down the stairs and you are at work.  This can make a massive difference to your working hours.  Instead of having to travel to and from work, you can now use the time you might have spent travelling on the business, spending time with your partner or family, or enjoying an extra leisure activity.

This is especially valuable when you could be travelling to and from the pub several times a day for each session.

Choosing Accommodation

When searching for a pub that will enable you to live on the premises, it is very important to bear in mind that the pub will be your home for the foreseeable future. Your priority, quite naturally, is finding the ideal pub for your business concept. But spare a thought for personal needs.

The Lamb - Oxfordshire

It is all too easy to forget about what you need to create a home when you’re excited about the potential of a pub.  Moving in and finding there is not enough space to live comfortably poses an immediate problem.  A small flat may be sufficient for a couple, but if you have children living with you, or expect family members come to stay, is it big enough? Do you have separate cooking facilities – or will you need to use the pub kitchen?  It can work for some, but not for everyone.

There is also the question of a separate private entrance?  Do you need to walk through the pub every time you go to your private quarters?  For some pub landlords that’s part and parcel of running a pub, but it might not be ideal if you have a young family.

Setting Boundaries

It is important to have a clear boundary between your home and your working life in the pub.   Everyone needs a break from work. While living above the pub does mean you get to really immerse yourself in the business, sometimes you need to escape.

Often it is a simple question of letting staff know how they can get hold of you if you’re having a quiet night off. Do you want them to phone you if they need help, or shout up the stairs? Can staff freely walk into your living space, or do you require a knock on the door? These are all things to consider to ensure you get the privacy you desire, and it’s much easier to set boundaries from the start.

You also need to set boundaries for yourself. Running a pub can give you a great lifestyle, but you do need to be very strict about taking work home.  It is all too easy to just think, “I’ll take these forms upstairs and finish them after dinner” or “I’ll just log on for half an hour and check emails before breakfast.” Most self-employed people are guilty of this, and sometimes it’s necessary, but try to keep some boundaries between work and home.

The White Lion - Hertforshire

5 Things To Think About

  1. Does the accommodation provide enough space for you, your partner and any family members?
  2. Is there a separate kitchen, and if not can you manage if you need to share the pub kitchen?
  3. Do you need private outdoor space – a garden, patio or roof terrace?
  4. Is having a separate entrance to the accommodation important to you?
  5. Is the pub right for you? The accommodation might be great, but you’re looking for a business you can make a success of, so make sure you tick all boxes.

Of course, you don’t have to live on site. Many pub landlords continue to live in their own homes and rent out accommodation to key members of staff. For example, if you want to install a pub manager in your pub this is great way to attract experienced staff to your business.

Are you ready to find a pub to let? Contact our team to discuss your requirements and explore running a pub with Greene King.