Hospitality businesses could be left operating without valid insurance following delays in new fire safety legislation, industry experts have warned.
The new self-assessment accreditation system was due to replace local authority regulation on 1 April but this has now been pushed back until October.
It appears that some councils, including Hampshire, Lothian and Borders, have already stopped carrying out fire-checks on new buildings or extensions to existing premises, claiming it is no longer their responsibility.
A spokesman for the British Hospitality Association warned that without valid fire certificates, businesses could find their building insurance was invalid.
He added: "We must advise people not to build outside structures or conduct major refurbishments, as without planning permission and fire certificates, operators risk prejudicing a licensing application or losing their existing licences."
By Emily Manson