Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011

PART 13

Miscellaneous

89.

Investigation of persons other than licensees.

89.— (1) The Authority shall, at the request of the Minister, or may, of its own volition or upon a complaint made by a member of the public, cause such investigation as it thinks fit to be carried out in relation to any person who, not being a licensee, is suspected of having contravened or contravening section 28(1) .

(2) For the purposes of an investigation (non-licensee), the Authority shall appoint an inspector, subject to such terms as it thinks fit—

( a) to carry out the investigation (non-licensee), and

( b) to submit to it an investigation report (non-licensee) following the completion of the investigation (non-licensee).

(3) The Authority may appoint more than one inspector to carry out an investigation (non-licensee) but, in any such case, the investigation report (non-licensee) concerned shall be prepared jointly by the inspectors so appointed and the definition of “investigation report (non-licensee)” in subsection (8) and the other provisions of this section shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed accordingly.

(4) The provisions of section 66 shall apply to an investigation (non-licensee) as they apply to an investigation as if—

( a) any reference in that section to an investigation were a reference to an investigation (non-licensee), and

( b) any reference to a licensee (howsoever expressed) in that section were a reference to the person to whom the investigation (non-licensee) relates,

and with all other necessary modifications.

(5) Where an inspector has completed an investigation (non-licensee), the inspector shall, as soon as is practicable after having considered, in so far as they are relevant to the investigation (non-licensee), any information or records, books or accounts (whether kept in manual form or otherwise) or other documents provided to the inspector pursuant to any requirement under section 66 as read with subsection (4), any statement or admission made by any person pursuant to any requirement under that section as so read, any submissions made and any evidence presented (whether at an oral hearing referred to in section 66(15) or otherwise), prepare an investigation report (non-licensee) and submit it to the Authority.

(6) Where the Authority has considered an investigation report (non-licensee) submitted to it pursuant to subsection (5), the Authority—

( a) if it is satisfied that a contravention of section 28(1) by the person to whom the investigation (non-licensee) relates has occurred or is occurring, shall, without prejudice to the generality of section 94 , forthwith give a copy of the investigation report (non-licensee) to the Garda Síochána and the Minister together with a notice in writing of its decision under this paragraph and the reasons for the decision,

( b) if it is not satisfied that a contravention of section 28(1) by the person to whom the investigation (non-licensee) relates has occurred or is occurring but is of the opinion that a further investigation (non-licensee) of that person is warranted, shall cause the further investigation (non-licensee) to be carried out pursuant to its powers under this section,

( c) if it is not satisfied that a contravention of section 28(1) by the person to whom the investigation (non-licensee) relates has occurred or is occurring and is not of the opinion that a further investigation (non-licensee) of the person is warranted, shall, as soon as is practicable, give notice in writing to that person to the effect that—

(i) it is not satisfied that a contravention of section 28(1) by the person has occurred or is occurring,

(ii) it is not of the opinion that a further investigation (non-licensee) of the person is warranted, and

(iii) subparagraphs (i) and (ii) do not preclude any future investigation (non-licensee) being carried out in relation to the person should it once again be suspected that a contravention of section 28(1) by the person has occurred or is occurring.

(7) Where the Authority is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (6)(a), it may, on notice to the person to whom the investigation report (non-licensee) concerned relates, seek an injunction in the High Court requiring the person to cease the activities which such report and the notice concerned referred to in that subsection have identified as having contravened or contravening section 28(1) .

(8) In this section—

“investigation (non-licensee)” means an investigation under subsection (1);

“investigation report (non-licensee)”, in relation to an investigation (non-licensee), means a report in writing prepared, following the completion of the investigation (non-licensee), by the inspector appointed to carry out the investigation (non-licensee)—

( a) stating that the inspector—

(i) is satisfied that the person to whom the report relates has contravened or is contravening section 28(1) , or

(ii) is not so satisfied,

as appropriate,

( b) if paragraph (a) (i) is applicable, stating the grounds on which the inspector is so satisfied,

( c) if paragraph (a) (ii) is applicable, stating—

(i) the basis on which the inspector is not so satisfied, and

(ii) the inspector’s opinion, in view of such basis, on whether or not a further investigation (non-licensee) of the person is warranted and, if warranted, the inspector’s opinion on the principal matters to which the further investigation (non-licensee) should relate.