Estate Agent Signs And The Regulatory Landscape

Estate agent boards littering our streets are becoming a notorious eyesore. Before you order your estate agent signs in East Sussex or across the country, it pays to know the regulatory landscape, so you don’t fall foul of increasingly steep fines.

The code of practice, as laid down by the property ombudsman, is clear – you must not erect any form of for sale board at a property unless you’ve been instructed to sell it, and you must conform with the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007, which is very specific about the size of boards and the amount of time they may be displayed.

The problem with signs

Legislation restricting intrusive and multiplying signs is nothing new. In fact, London first introduced a law restricting sign boards in the 1700s. Although things have moved on since the days of every tinker, tailor and candlestick maker advertising their wares with gigantic hanging signage, there’s no doubt that a plethora of estate agent signs can be a nuisance and some councils have considered banning their use entirely.

Know the law

The legislation governing estate agent boards can be quite confusing, especially as it pertains to the permissible size of any temporary advertising. That’s why boards are created in standard sizes using low cost corrugated board, which in theory means that they are cheap to repurpose or start afresh. However, in areas where there is a high turnover of rented accommodation, signage can be left in place for months, creating a real eyesore.

The law states that estate agent signs must be removed within 14 days of a property being sold or let, otherwise a penalty charge notice of £1000 will be issued. Councils have traditionally been lax at enforcing PCNs, but recent changes to the amount they may keep from their enforcement means you could fall foul of the local planning office to the tune of several thousand pounds if you don’t remove your signs within the permitted time.

The problem with spam boards

Spamming has recently become a problem, with one London agent using local community events to erect advertising boards that flouted the regulations. These so-called ‘spam boards’ featured the agent’s name in large letters and looked just like a standard estate agent board. Many were even erected illegally outside properties without the owner’s consent.

In Bath and Brighton, total bans on estate agent boards have been implemented. A ban has also been trialled in other areas.

Why you need lawful estate agent signs

It’s not all bad news. Lawful signs that comply with regulations and are take down within the 14 day limit are still one of the most effective ways of advertising property for sale or rent. They attract the interest of buyers and remain the most obvious and appealing way to advertise.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we can help you create eye-catching boards that will attract passers-by and motorists to come and view your properties. Using the most advanced and cost-effective materials, we can help you create the impact you need to get that quick sale. Contact us via phone or email for more information and advice.