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Estate agent - Prohibition on doing estate agency work - Local authority exercising regulatory powers as lead enforcement authority - Two-stage process of investigation and adjudication devised to consider prohibition - Procedure not requiring adjudicator to hear oral representations - Whether procedure lawful - Estate Agents Act 1979 (as amended by Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007, s 55(2) and Public Bodies (Abolition of the National Consumer Council and Transfer of the Office of Fair Trading's Functions in relation to Estate Agents etc) Order 2014 (SI 2014/631), art 5, Sch 2, para 1), ss 3, 5, Sch 2, para 2 Littlewood v Powys County Council [2015] EWHC 2125 (Admin); [2015] WLR (D) 336

11 August 2015

QBD: Holman J

• 23 July 2015

For the purposes of Schedule 2 to the Estate Agents Act 1979, where the making of an order under section 3 of the Act prohibiting an unfit person from acting as an estate agent had been delegated to an adjudicator, it was that adjudicator who personally had to hear oral representations from the person affected. The local authority's proposed procedure whereby the adjudicator, who was the actual decision-maker, only received an audio recording and verbatim transcript of the proceedings before an investigator did not comply with the requirements of the 1979 Act and was unlawful.

Holman J, sitting as a judge of the Queen's Bench Division, so held in a reserved judgment when allowing the claim for judicial review by the claimants, Christian and Angie Littlewood, against the decision of the defendan...

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