PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

First Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

Estate Agents (Specified Offences) (No. 2) Order 1991

Estate Agents (Undesirable Practices) (No. 2) Order 1991

Wednesday 8 May 1991

LONDON: HMSO

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The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: Sir Anthony Meyer

Atkinson, Mr. David (Bournemouth, East)

Bendall, Mr. Vivian (Ilford, North)

Bermingham, Mr. Gerald (St. Helens, South)

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas (Upminster)

Caborn, Mr. Richard (Sheffield, Central)

Campbell, Mr. Ronnie (Blyth Valley)

Carlile, Mr. Alex (Montgomery)

Churchill, Mr. (Davyhulme)

Clelland, Mr. David (Tyne Bridge)

Davis, Mr. David (Boothferry)

Dickens, Mr. Geoffrey (Littleborough and Saddleworth)

Evennett, Mr. David (Erith and Crayford)

Favell, Mr. Tony (Stockport)

Fishburn, Mr. Dudley (Kensington)

Grant, Mr. Bernie (Tottenham)

Griffiths, Mr. Nigel (Edinburgh, South)

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

Mitchell, Mr. Austin (Great Grimsby)

Wardle, Mr. Charles (Bexhill and Battle)

Rogers, Mr. R. J. (Committee Clerk)

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3 First Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments &c. Wednesday 8th May 1991

[SIR ANTHONY MEYER in the Chair]

ESTATE AGENTS (SPECIFIED OFFENCES) (No. 2) ORDER 1991

4.30 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs (Mr. Edward Leigh): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the Estate Agents (Specified Offences) (No. 2) Order 1991.

The Chairman: With the agreement of the Committee, it will be convenient to discuss at the same time the other order before us, namely, the Estate Agents (Undesirable Practices) (No. 2) Order 1991.

Mr. Leigh: The two orders close a loophole in the Estate Agents Act 1979, which does not require an estate agent to state any personal interest in writing. The orders also tackle abuses, especially in the provision of services; for example where an estate agent refuses to pass on offers to a client, or where a prospective purchaser refuses to accept services from the estate agent.

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4.31 pm

Mr. Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh, South): I shall make one or two observations to clarify the orders. They do not close a loophole but enact sections of the Estate Agents Act 1979, for which the Opposition and others have pressed for a long time. Press releases in the summers of 1988, 1989 and 1990 promised such action. It is a pleasant duty, as the Opposition spokesperson, to say that the Minister has taken action at last. I hope that this year a press release will follow action, rather than action failing to follow a press release. Other sections of the Act should be enacted to give more consumer protection. However, it would be churlish of me not to thank the Minister on behalf of the Labour party. The orders will go some way towards enhancing consumer protection and ensuring that fit people carry out estate agency.

Mr. Leigh: I am grateful for the hon Gentleman's kind words.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the Estate Agents (Specified Offences) (No. 2) Order 1991. Estate Agents (Undesirable Practices) (No. 2) Order 1991

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the Estate Agents (Undesirable Practices) (No. 2) Order 1991.—[Mr. Leigh.]

Committee rose at twenty-seven minutes to Five o'clock.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Meyer, Sir Anthony (Chairman)

Atkinson, Mr.

Bendall, Mr.

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Churchill, Mr.

Davis, Mr. David

Fishburn, Mr.

Griffiths, Mr. Nigel

Leigh, Mr.