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Estate Agents Act 1979

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

19Regulation of pre-contract deposits outside Scotland

(1)No person may, in the course of estate agency work in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, seek from any other person (in this section referred to as a " prospective purchaser ") who wishes to acquire an interest in land in the United Kingdom, a payment which, if made, would constitute a pre-contract deposit in excess of the prescribed limit.

(2)If, in the course of estate agency work, any person receives from a prospective purchaser a pre-contract deposit which exceeds the prescribed limit, so much of that deposit as exceeds the prescribed limit shall forthwith be either repaid to the prospective purchaser or paid to such other person as the prospective purchaser may direct.

(3)In relation to a prospective purchaser, references in subsections (1) and (2) above to a pre-contract deposit shall be treated as references to the aggregate of all the payments which constitute pre-contract deposits in relation to his proposed acquisition of a particular interest in land in the United Kingdom.

(4)In this section " the prescribed limit" means such limit as the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe ; and such a limit may be so prescribed either as a specific amount or as a percentage or fraction of a price or other amount determined in any particular case in accordance with the regulations.

(5)The power to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6)Failure by any person to comply with subsection (1) or subsection (2) above may be taken into account by the Director in accordance with section 3(1)(c) above but shall not render that person liable to any criminal penalty nor constitute a ground for any civil claim, other than a claim for the recovery of such an excess as is referred to in subsection (2) above.

(7)This section does not form part of the law of Scotland.

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