Leicester City Council are still discussing the possibility of stopping landlords putting up property boards in certain parts of the city.
Last year, the council successfully applied to the Government for a Regulation 7 direction which will effectively ban the use of ‘To Let’ boards in some areas around the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. The conversation continues for other student populated areas.
What Does This Mean For Estate Agents?
This means that both landlords and estate agents will need to apply for planning consent in order to put up signs advertising their properties in certain areas of the city. This regulation affects some heavily student populated areas such as Windermere, Hazel, Clarendon Park, Greenhill, West End, Ashleigh Road and West End.
“We know that people who live close to the universities are concerned about the almost permanent proliferation of ‘To Let’ boards on their streets.” Cllr Piara Singh Clair, Deputy City Mayor and lead on regulatory services.
What If I Put Up A Board Anyway?
If landlords or estate agents fail to comply with the local regulation, they could face action in court and be fined up to £2,500. If they continue to break the rules, they can receive daily fines of £250.
This means the council are poised to make a lot of money between as this tighter regulation comes into force and more properties come onto the market for student tenants to occupy.
Why Has This Regulation Come Into Play?
The Deputy City Mayor and Leicester Council have agreed that the advertising boards create an eyesore in areas with high concentration of properties. The Council said they are intrusive and often misleading, serving as little more than advertisements for the letting agents themselves.
How Long Will This Last?
The new regulation will last for five years, before being reviewed again by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
Where Else Has Been Affected By To Let Sign
Not surprisingly, this issue isn’t just in Leicester. Cities across the UK are experiencing the same issues and regulation conversations. A London council is also considering a borough-wide ban on agent and landlords boards of all kinds. The ban is currently in place on specific London roads, but it is now planning to widen the scope of the ban.
“Estate Agent boards continue to be one of the most common complains made to Camden’s Planning Enforcement Team.” London Council Statement.
Tighter controls over the display of estate boards is taking up the Councils valuable time and resource. Some landlords and estate agents continue to rebel, with one local reporting over For Sale/Sold/To Let/Let By boards on one small block of apartments. The local claimed they had been there for years without being removed and this block is just 200 yards away from Erewash Borough Council’s offices. This poses the question as to how seriously they are taking this ban.
This new regulation has obviously caused controversy and conversation across the UK amongst landlords and estate agents. In order to comply with the local government action, they must simply gain planning consent to display any boards. The more rebellious behaviour the government see, the tighter the control will become.
“More and more local authorities are going down this route because it’s easy and makes them popular with their council tax payers. We’ve only ourselves to blame for not obeying the board legislation. At this rate estate agents boards will be an endangered species in 10 years’ time.” Leicester Local Landlord.
What Are The Exact Rules?
Each board shall have a white background and will conform to the following layout: 34cm x 48cm or 48cm x 34cm.
One company logo per board will be permitted providing that the logo does not exceed one third of the overall size of the advertising board.
Boards marked with ‘Let by’, ‘Let’, ‘More Wanted’ or similar wording are prohibited.
No more than one board shall be permitted per landlord/agent per street.
- a) Boards shall be mounted flush to the wall above/around the front door, or if that is not possible, flush to the wall on the street frontage elevation. In either instance, no part of a board shall be higher than first-floor window sill level;
- b) alternatively, boards shall be displayed internally in a ground floor window facing the street frontage, but not in addition to a board displayed externally.
Boards shall only be allowed on properties immediately available
‘To Let,’ unless they are for the following academic year, when they shall not be put up until 1st January of that year.
Letting boards shall be removed not later than 14 days after the granting of a tenancy for the room, house or flat to which it relates.
No ‘To Let’ boards shall be displayed between 1st October to 31st December inclusive.
How Will People See My Property Without A Board?
Leicester Estate Agents are predominantly taking advantage of the online market. With over 93% of properties found online, it would be silly not to take hold of this traffic. Whether you are selling your Leicester property or renting, you need to advertise it on the right platforms.
Open House Estate Agents Leicester are registered with a range of the top platforms such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Google and more. If your thinking of putting your property up on the market, get a free house valuation today and get the latest sales and rental tips. Or call us now on 0116 243 7938 for friendly expert help and find out how you can get your Leicester property ready for 2019.