Warning goes out to estate agents as council cracks down on For Sale signs

24 January 2017

Estate agents who cause clutter by leaving advertising boards out too long are being warned they now face fines of up to £100 a time in a crack down by Southwark Council.

The council has made the decision to implement legal powers that allow it to issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for boards that advertise properties for sale or let that aren’t removed within two weeks of the sale or let being completed.

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “Residents have told us they don’t want to see their streets and estates cluttered with these signs. They look untidy and give a sense of transience, which can be unsettling and create the wrong impression of a community.

“In the past we have responded to individual complaints through our enforcement process, but this can be time consuming and expensive. Implementing this new procedure means any signs left out for too long risk an immediate fine, which we hope will make estate agents think twice before just leaving unnecessary signs up at properties they have sold or let.”

Last year the council received 16 separate complaints about boards being left up much longer than needed, and in 2013/14 a survey by Trading Standard officers concluded that up to a quarter of boards around the borough are unauthorised.

To ensure the FPNs are issued fairly the council will follow a Code of Practice that sets out when and why an FPN is issued, steps officers will take and the appeal process.

The new procedure will come into effect from Wednesday 1 February. If a sign is found to breach the policy the estate agents will be given a warning and fixed time to remove it. If they do not, or the sign is not connected to a property being sold or let then they are classed as unauthorised and an FPN will be issued.

Page last updated: 24 January 2017