Search Legislation

Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007

Investigatory powers
Section 57: Powers of entry and inspection

158.This section widens the powers of entry under the 1979 Act. At present, under section 11 of the 1979 Act, enforcement officers have the power to enter premises when they have reasonable cause to suspect that an offence has been committed. This section extends the power so that enforcement officers can enter premises not only when there is reasonable cause to suspect that an offence has been committed but also where the enforcement officer has reasonable cause to suspect that a breach of the obligations listed under subsection (1)(b) of section 11 (as amended), or an undesirable practice, has occurred. The power is to be used to establish whether the specified breach or undesirable practice has occurred.

159.New subsection (1A) sets out the powers which are for the enforcement officer to enter premises, to require anyone connected with the business to provide him/her with any books or documents (including requiring that documents held on a computer related to the business be produced in a legible form) and to make copies of any books, or documents provided. This re-enacts with minor amendments the provision currently made by section 11(1)(b).

160.New subsection (1B) allows an officer to seize and detain the originals of any books or documents provided they may be required as evidence for use in proceedings that might follow. This replaces the current power in section 11(1)(c) to seize and detain documents and widens the circumstances in which the power is exercisable. In addition, new subsection (1C) allows an enforcement officer to seize and detain a book or document where it is not possible to take a copy of it or of an entry in it. These subsections are qualified by the new subsections (1D), (1E) and (1F), as well as subsections (2) and (3) of section 11.

161.Subsection (3) further amends section 11. Section 11(4) currently only allows a warrant to be issued when there are grounds to believe that an offence has been or is being or is about to be committed or that there is documentary evidence on the premises that is likely to reveal that an offence has been committed, and that admission to the premises has been or is likely to be refused or that giving notice would defeat the object of the entry. The new subsections (4), (4A) and (4B) are wider and, in addition to the existing circumstances under section 11, allow a warrant to be issued if there is reason to believe that an estate agent has breached any of the obligations under the Act specified in subsection (4A)(a), or has engaged in an undesirable practice. At least one of the conditions in subsection (4B) must also be satisfied for a warrant to be granted.

Section 58: Failure to produce information

162.This section provides a new power where a person has failed to provide to the OFT (under section 9 (1) of the 1979 Act) or to an enforcement officer (under section 11(1A)(b)) information, books or documents that have been required to be produced. The OFT or the enforcement officer can apply for a court order to require the “defaulter” to produce the information, books or documents asked for, or to take such other steps as may be specified in the order. This section also makes consequential amendments to section 9 and section 27 of the 1979 Act.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources