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PART 4Enforcement

Enforcement authority powers to require information etc.

10Power to require documents or information

(1)An authorised officer of an enforcement authority may exercise the powers conferred by subsections (2) and (3) in relation to documents or information reasonably required by the authority for the purpose of investigating whether any offence under this Act has been committed in respect of a dwelling located in the enforcement authority’s area.

(2)An authorised officer may give a notice to a person within subsection (4) requiring that person to produce, at a time and place, and to a person, specified in the notice, any documents which—

(a)are specified or described in the notice, or fall within a category of document specified or described in the notice, and

(b)are in the person’s custody or under the person’s control.

(3)An authorised officer may give a notice to a person within subsection (4) requiring that person to provide, in a form and manner specified in the notice, and at a time and place and to a person specified in the notice, any information which—

(a)is specified or described in the notice, or falls within a category of information which is specified in the notice, and

(b)is known to the person.

(4)The persons within this section are—

(a)a person who is or has been a landlord under a standard occupation contract;

(b)a person who is or has been a contract-holder under a standard occupation contract;

(c)a person who is or has been a letting agent.

(5)A notice under subsection (2) or (3) must include information about the possible consequences of not complying with the notice.

(6)A person to whom any document is produced in accordance with a notice under subsection (2) or (3) may copy the document.

(7)No person may be required under this section to produce any document or provide any information which the person would be entitled to refuse to produce or provide, in proceedings in the High Court, on grounds of legal professional privilege.

(8)In this section,“document” includes information recorded otherwise than in legible form, and in relation to information so recorded, any reference to the production of a document is a reference to the production of a copy of the information in legible form.

11Offence of failing to comply with a notice under section 10

(1)It is an offence for a person to fail to do anything required of the person by a notice under section 10.

(2)In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it is a defence that the person had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the notice.

(3)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

(4)It is an offence for a person to intentionally alter, suppress or destroy any document which the person has been required to produce by a notice under section 10.

(5)A person who commits an offence under subsection (4) is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

(6)In this section “document” includes information recorded otherwise than in legible form, and in relation to information so recorded—

(a)the reference in subsection (4) to the production of a document is a reference to the production of a copy of the information in legible form, and

(b)the reference in that subsection to suppressing a document includes a reference to destroying the means of reproducing the information.

12Offence of providing false or misleading information in relation to a notice under section 10

(1)It is an offence for a person given a notice under section 10, in purported compliance with the notice, to supply information that is false or misleading, if the person—

(a)knows that the information supplied is false or misleading, or

(b)is reckless as to whether it is false or misleading.

(2)It is an offence for a person to supply information that is false or misleading, if the person⁠⁠—

(a)knows that the information is false or misleading, or is reckless as to whether it is false or misleading, and

(b)knows that the information is to be used for the purpose of supplying information in purported compliance with the requirements of a notice given to another person under section 10.

(3)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

(4)In this section, “false or misleading” means false or misleading in a material respect.