New Clause 33 - Power to seize documents following entry

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 28 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

“(1) An officer of a local housing authority who has entered premises under section (

(2) If one or more occupiers are on the premises, an officer seizing documents under this section must provide to that occupier or (if there is more than one) to at least one of them evidence of the officer's identity and authority, before seizing the documents.

(3) The officer need not comply with subsection (2) if it is not reasonably practicable to do so.

(4) An officer seizing documents under this section must take reasonable steps to—

(a) inform the person from whom they are seized that they have been seized, and

(b) provide that person with a written record of what has been seized.

(5) In determining the steps to be taken under subsection (4), an officer exercising a power under this section must have regard to any relevant provision about the seizure of property made by a code of practice under section 66 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

(6) This section does not confer any power on an officer to seize from a person any document which the person would be entitled to refuse to produce in proceedings in the High Court on the grounds of legal professional privilege.

(7) For the purpose of exercising the power under this section, the officer may, to the extent that is reasonably necessary for that purpose—

(a) require a person with authority to do so to access any electronic device in which information may be stored or from which it may be accessed, and

(b) if such a requirement has not been complied with, access the electronic device.

(8) Documents seized under this section may not be detained—

(a) for a period of more than 3 months beginning with the day on which they were seized, or

(b) where the documents are reasonably required to be detained for a longer period by the local housing authority for the purposes of the proceedings for which they were seized, for longer than they are required for those purposes.”—

This new clause contains a power for an officer of a local housing authority who has entered premises under NC28, or under a warrant under NC30, to seize documents reasonably suspected to be required as evidence of a breach of, or an offence under, the “rented accommodation legislation” as defined in NC25.