A few years ago I started a local campaign to have Estate Agents boards banned within the Borough of Ealing and anyone either walking or driving around Ealing today will soon realise that the campaign came to nothing.
Since my aborted attempt to have the boards removed there has been a significant increase in the number of Estate Agents operating within the Borough of Ealing. The result of which is a massive jump in the number of boards.
The Town and Country Act is very specific on the rules governing Estate Agency Boards.
The Estate Agent should have the board removed 14 days after the property has been let or sold (completion of sale). Only 1 board is allowed per property, 2 is permitted providing they are back to back.
There are also rules on the size the board can be and the wording.
As the Estate Agency business becomes increasingly competitive (cut throat) Estate Agents see For Sale or To Let Boards strategically placed as a cheap form of advertising. The problem with this for me is that so many times the boards are:
- Erected on open land.
- Erected at blocks of flats where the Agent has not been instructed.
- Multiple boards erected at properties.
- Left up at a property for week’s months and in some extreme cases, years after the property has either been sold, Let or the Agent disinstructed.
None of the above examples are of any benefit to the consumer who may be looking to either buy or rent a property in the area and is just being misinformed by the rogue board. In addition, the boards are a real eyesore, and the law is being broken.
The local council does have enforcement powers to deal with rogue boards and for repeated offenses can fine the agent £1000 per board.
I would urge all of you who feel as I do about the unsightly Boards to lobby their local MP and their Councillor, hopefully, if enough of us start to put pressure on them we can start to help clean up our Borough.
John Bishop – Director Colin Bibra, Ealing Broadway Office