ESTATE AGENT'S (PROPERTY MISDESCRIPTIONS) BILL

Standing Committee B

ESTATE AGENT'S (PROPERTY MISDESCRIPTIONS) BILL

20th March 1991

PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

Standing Committee B

ESTATE AGENTS (PROPERTY MISDESCRIPTIONS) BILL

Wednesday 20 March 1991

CONTENTS

Clauses 1 to 7 agreed to, some with amendments.

Schedule agreed to.

Title, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at twenty-three minutes to Eleven o'clock.

LONDON: HMSO

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1

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: MR. NORMAN HOGG

Adams, Mrs. Irene (Paisley, North)

Bowis, Mr. John (Battersea)

Burns, Mr. Simon (Chelmsford)

Coombs, Mr. Anthony (Wyre Forest)

Davis, Mr. Terry (Birmingham, Hodge Hill)

French, Mr. Douglas (Gloucester)

Griffiths, Mr. Nigel (Edinburgh, South)

Grist, Mr. Ian (Cardiff, Central)

Hughes, Mr. Robert (Aberdeen, North)

Hughes, Mr. Simon (Southwark and Bermondsey)

Leigh, Mr. Edward (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs)

MacKay, Mr. Andrew (Berkshire, East)

Mitchell, Mr. Austin (Great Grimsby)

Stevens, Mr. Lewis (Nuneaton)

Summerson, Mr. Hugo (Walthamstow)

Williams, Mr. Alan (Swansea, West)

Mr. F. A. Cranmer, Committee Clerk.

2
3 Standing Committee B Wednesday 20th March 1991

[MR. NORMAN HOGG in the Chair]

ESTATE AGENTS (PROPERTY MISDESCRIPTIONS) BILL

10.30 am

Mr. Anthony Coombs (Wyre Forest): I beg to move, That during the proceedings on the Estate Agents (Property Misdescriptions) Bill the Committee do meet on Wednesdays at half-past Ten o'clock. May I say how pleased I am that you are in the Chair, Mr. Hogg? We have not been long parted as I served on the Committee dealing with the Maintenance Enforcement Bill. The progenitor of the Bill is the hon. Member for Coventry, South-West (Mr. Butcher). I am pleased to say that he is well on the way to recovery from his illness, and I am sure that all members of the Committee would wish to send him their best wishes. I should declare an interest, as I have been involved in the building—though not estate agent—business. Finally, I hope that we shall conclude our proceedings this morning, the sittings motion notwithstanding.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That during the proceedings on the Estate Agents (Property Misdescriptions) bill the Committee do meet on Wednesdays at half-past Ten o'clock.

Instruction of the House of 12th March read as follows:—

Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Estate Agents (Property Misdescriptions) Bill that it have power to make amendments to the Bill extending the prohibition on the making of false or misleading statements in the course of estate agency business to the making of such statements in the course of related descriptions of business carried on by solicitors and builders.—[Mr. Greg Knight.]

The Chairman: I must remind the Committee that there is a money resolution to the Bill.

Clause 1
OFFENCE OF PROPERTY MISSTATEMENT IN ESTATE AGENCY BUSINESS

Amendments made: No. 1, in page 1, line 6, after 'business' insert 'or a property development business, otherwise than in providing conveyancing services,'.

No. 2, in page 1, line 13, leave out subsection (3).

4

No. 3, in page 2, line 11, leave out from 'in' to end of line 15 and insert— 'subsection (1) of section 1 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 and that Act either applies to it or would apply to it but for subsection (2)(a) of that section (exception for things done in course of profession by practising solicitor or employee), (f) a statement is made in the course of a property development business if (but only if) it is made—

  • in the course of a business (including a business in which the person making the statement is employed) concerned wholly or substantially with the development of land, and
  • for the purpose of, or with a view to, disposing of an interest in land consisting of or including a building, or part of a building, constructed or renovated in the course of the business, and
  • (g) "conveyancing services" means the preparation of any transfer, conveyance, writ, contract or other document in connection with the disposal or acquisition of an interest in land, and services ancillary to that, but does not include anything done as mentioned in section 1(1)(a) of the Estate Agents Act 1979. (6A) For the purposes of this section any reference in this section or section 1 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 to disposing of or acquiring an interest in land—
  • in England and Wales and Northern Ireland shall be construed in accordance with section 2 of that Act, and
  • in Scotland is a reference to the transfer or creation of an "interest in land" as defined in section 28(1) of the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979.'.—[Mr. Anthony Coombs.]
  • Clause 1, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 2 to 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 7
    SHORT TITLE AND EXTENT

    Amendment made: No. 4 in page 3, line 35, leave out 'Estate Agents (Property Misdescriptions)' and insert 'Property Misdescriptions'.—[Mr. Coombs.]

    Clause 7, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Schedule agreed to.

    Title

    A Bill. To prohibit the making of false or misleading statements by persons carrying on estate agency business in connection with property transactions

    Amendment made: No. 5, leave out from 'statements' to end and insert 'about property matters in the course of estate agency business and property development business.—[Mr. Coombs.]

    Title, as amended, agreed to.

    Bill, as amended, to be reported.

    Committee rose at twenty-three minutes to Eleven o'clock.

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

    Hogg, Mr. Norman (Chairman)

    Bowis, Mr.

    Burns, Mr.

    Coombs, Mr. Anthony

    French, Mr.

    Griffiths, Mr. Nigel

    Grist, Mr.

    Leigh, Mr.

    MacKay, Mr. Andrew

    Summerson, Mr.