A London council is making a controversial attempt to ban the display of all estate agent boards in several areas of its borough.
The attempt is being led by Wandsworth Council who claim estate agents are using boards as a way to advertise their services long after a property has been sold or let.
A report to a key council committee states “In some areas, agents are using their boards as a means of additional advertising notwithstanding if their properties are being sold or let. In other circumstances, it appears the boards are being displayed for long periods of time without being removed by agents when their premises are sold or let.
“This is having a detrimental effect on the visual amenity of our streets and has prompted calls from residents for the council to take pro-active action to resolve the situation.”
Councils Have Long Argued Against Estate Agent Boards
This isn’t the first time that councils have complained about the way many estate agents use their ‘For Sale’ and ‘To Let’ boards.
Brighton introduced limits on boards in 2010 covering defined areas with “good historic architecture, including some of the highest quality, (where) such boards cause significant problems to the historic character of these areas”.
Hastings, Preston, Waltham Forest and Newcastle all introduced limits on how estate agent boards can be used in 2014, then Leeds and Hammersmith & Fulham followed suit in 2015.
In fact, even Wandsworth have previously introduced fines for estate agents that leave their boards up for too long. They are now looking to go one step further by banning them altogether.
If the latest attempts to rid our properties of estate agent boards is to succeed, Wandsworth council will need the support of Housing Secretary James Brokenshire who can grant them additional powers to enforce their ban.
Here at Property Road, we can’t help but feel the latest plans are going too far. Estate agent boards are one of the best tools in a homebuyers arsenal for getting their property noticed and act as a homing beacon for potential buyers.
Whether a ‘For Sale’ board is included is one of the key things we look at in our online estate agent reviews, therefore, while we support action against boards that are left up too long after a sale or rental has completed, we can’t support an outright ban.