Make provision about cold-calling to solicit employment to undertake the
laying of drives and other property repairs, maintenance and improvements.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Subject to section 2, in this Act a “cold-call” means a visit to a consumer by a
trader, whether or not the trader supplies goods or services, and which—
takes place otherwise than at the consumer's express request, or
takes place at the consumer's express request and after the trader or a
person linked to the trader has—
telephoned the consumer, or
visited the consumer,
otherwise than at the consumer's express request and indicated (either
expressly or by implication) during the course of that telephone call or
visit that a trader (not necessarily the trader who eventually makes the
visit) may or will visit the consumer or is willing to visit the consumer.
A visit of the type described in section 1(b) above (“the intended visit”) is not a
cold-call if the conditions of subsections (2) and (3) below are met.
The condition of this subsection is met if, after the initial visit or telephone call
and not earlier than 5 days before the intended visit, the trader or a person
linked to the trader serves on the consumer a letter (an “arrangement letter”)
setting out his intention to make the visit or arrange the visit, as the case may
The condition of this subsection is met if the consumer expressly requests that
the intended visit takes place and does not cancel it before it is made.
An arrangement letter must specify—
the proposed date and time of the intended visit,
the nature of the goods or services to be offered,
the name and address of the trader including—
in the case of a partnership firm, the name of each partner,
in the case of an individual, his name,
in the case of a limited company, its name, and
in relation to each person so named, an address in Great Britain
at which service of any document relating to the business will
that the consumer may cancel the visit at any time,
an address, a telephone number and an e-mail address which can be
used by consumers who wish to cancel the intended visit, and
any other prescribed information.
An arrangement letter may be served by such means as may be prescribed.
Prohibition on making cold-calls
No trader shall make a cold-call to a consumer's home or place of work with a
view to engaging the consumer in a conversation and offering to provide a
Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
three months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.
Cancellation of contract
No contract for the supply of property services made during a visit which is
prohibited under section 3 above shall be enforceable against the consumer.
Powers of entry, inspection and examination
A duly authorised officer of an enforcement authority on production, if
required, of his credentials, or a constable, may,—
for the purpose of ascertaining whether any offence under this Act has
been committed, inspect any goods and enter any premises or vehicles
other than premises used only as a dwelling,
if he has reasonable cause to suspect that an offence under this Act has
been committed, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it has been
committed, require any person carrying on a business or employed in
connection with a business to produce any books or documents relating
to the business and may take copies of, or of any entry in, any such book
if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under this Act has
been committed, seize and detain any goods for the purpose of
ascertaining, by testing or otherwise, whether the offence has been
seize and detain any goods or documents which he has reason to
believe may be required as evidence in proceedings for an offence
An officer or constable seizing any goods or documents in the exercise of his
powers under this Act shall inform the person from whom they are seized.
If a justice of the peace, on sworn information in writing, is satisfied under
subsections (4) and (5) below, he may by warrant under his hand, which shall
continue in force for a period of one month, authorise an officer of an
enforcement authority, or a constable to enter the premises, if need be by force.
A justice is satisfied under this subsection, if he is satisfied that there are
reasonable grounds to believe either—
that any goods, books or documents which a duly authorised officer
has power under this section to inspect are on any premises and that
their inspection is likely to disclose evidence of the commission of an
offence under this Act, or
that any offence under this Act has been, is being or is about to be
committed on any premises.
A justice is satisfied under this subsection, if he is satisfied either—
that admission to the premises has been or is likely to be refused and
that notice of intention to apply for a warrant under this subsection has
been given to the occupier; or
that an application for admission, or the giving of such a notice, would
defeat the object of the entry or that the premises are unoccupied or that
the occupier is temporarily absent and it might defeat the object of the
entry to await his return.
An officer entering any premises by virtue of this section may take with him
such other persons and such equipment as may appear to him necessary; and
on leaving any premises which he has entered by virtue of a warrant under
subsection (3) he shall, if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is
temporarily absent, leave them as effectively secured against trespassers as he
Nothing in this section shall be taken to compel the production by a solicitor of
a document containing a privileged communication made by or to him in that
capacity or to authorise the taking of possession of any such document which
Obstruction of authorised officers
wilfully obstructs an officer of an enforcement authority or a constable
acting in pursuance of this Act; or
wilfully fails to comply with any requirement properly made to him by
such an officer or a constable so acting under section 4(1)(b) of this Act;
without reasonable cause fails to give such an officer or a constable so
acting any other assistance or information which he may reasonably
require of him for the purpose of the performance of his functions
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
If any person in giving such information as is mentioned in subsection (1)
makes any statement which he knows to be false, he shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level
Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a person to answer any
question or give any information if to do so might incriminate him.
In Schedule 1A to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60) (specific
offences which are rescuable offences), at the end there is inserted—
“Property Repairs (Prohibition of Cold-calling) Act 2004
An offence under section 3 of the Property Repairs (Prohibition of
Cold-calling) Act 2004 (prohibition on making cold-calls).”.
Duties of enforcement authorities
It shall be a duty of every enforcement authority to enforce within their area
the provisions of this Act.
Proceedings for an offence under this Act shall not be instituted except by or
on behalf of an enforcement authority or a constable.
Defence of due diligence
In proceedings for an offence under this Act it shall be a defence for the person
charged to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due
diligence to avoid the commission of the offence.
If in any case the defence provided under subsection (1) above involves the
allegation that the commission of the offence was due to the act or default of
another person, the person charged shall not, without leave of the court, be
entitled to rely on that defence unless, no later than 7 clear days before the
hearing, he has served on the prosecutor a notice in writing giving such
information as was then in the possession identifying or assisting in the
identification of that other person.
Liability of directors, etc.
Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to
have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable
to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar
officer of the body corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any
such capacity, he as well as the body corporate, shall be guilty of the offence.
Where the affairs of the body corporate are managed by its members,
subsection (1) above shall apply to the acts and defaults of a member in
connection with his functions of management as if he were a director of the
Any power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this Act is
exercisable by statutory instrument which are subject to annulment by either