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Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Section 107 - Collection

213.Section 107 gives the regulator, for purposes connected with its functions, the power to require documents or information from any person it believes may possess them, concerning the financial or other affairs of registered providers or the activities or proposed activities of a registered provider or a person who has applied to become a registered provider.

214.The regulator is likely to use this power to follow up concerns raised by tenants, local authorities or others by asking for specific information from the provider in addition to standard performance information obtained under section 204. The regulator may ask for the same types of information from profit-making registered providers as from non-profit providers.

215.Subsection (2) provides that a requirement may not be imposed on a person other than the body to which the document or information relates, unless the body has been required to provide the document or information but failed to do so; or the regulator thinks the body is unable to provide it.

216.Subsection (3) provides that the regulator may specify the form and manner in which it is to be provided and when and where it is to be provided.

217.Subsection (4) permits the regulator to copy or record the documents or information required by it under this section.

218.Subsection (5) specifies that it is an offence to fail to comply with a request without a reasonable excuse. Subsection (3) of section 108 provides that a person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine up to level 5 (currently £5000) on the standard scale.

219.Subsection (6) further specifies that it will also be an offence intentionally to alter, suppress or destroy information or documents to which a request for information relates. Subsection (4)of section 108 provides that a person guilty of this offence is liable either on summary conviction to a fine up to the statutory maximum (currently £5000), or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of no more than 2 years, or a fine, or both.

220.Subsection (7) provides that if a person who has been required to provide information by the regulator under this power fails to comply, then the regulator may apply to the High Court for an order to remedy that person’s failure to provide the information required. Subsection (6) of section 108 provides that such an order may include a provision for costs.

Section 108Section 107: supplemental

221.Subsection (1) of section 108 limits the power to require information in section 107 such that the regulator cannot require a person to disclose anything that they would be entitled to refuse to disclose in High Court proceedings on the grounds of legal professional privilege.

222.Similarly subsection (2) specifies that a requirement for information does not require a banker to breach a duty of confidentiality owed to a person who is not the registered provider to whose affairs or activities the documents or information relates or the subsidiary or associate of that registered provider.

223.Subsection (5) provides that prosecutions may only be brought by or with the consent of the regulator or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Section 109 - Disclosure

224.Subsection (1) provides that a public authority may disclose information to the regulator provided that the authority thinks the disclosure is necessary for a purpose connected with the regulator’s functions. Subsection (8) defines a “public authority” as a person with functions of a public nature, without restriction as to the location where those functions are carried out.

225.Subsection (2) provides for the regulator to disclose information to a public authority (as defined in subsection (8)) if the regulator thinks the disclosure is necessary for any purpose that is either connected with the regulator’s own function, or with the functions of the public authority to which the information is disclosed.

226.Subsection (3) provides that the regulator may disclose information to a person acting on its behalf (but who is not a public authority) for a purpose connected with the regulator’s functions, for example an appointed auditor.

227.Subsections (4), (6) and (7) provide that such disclosures may be subject to restrictions on further disclosure and that any disclosure in contravention of such a restriction is an offence. A person who is guilty of this offence will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 (currently £1000) on the standard scale.

228.Subsection (5) means that a public authority or the regulator will not be able to disclose information under this section if doing so would breach a statutory prohibition on disclosure imposed by other legislation.

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