A leading estate agent in a town where the local council wants to dramatically extend a ban on For Sale and To Let boards says the initiative will have no impact unless it is effectively policed.
Estate Agent Today recently reported that Brighton & Hove council proposes to extend a ban on boards first introduced in some conservation areas in 2010, with a £1,000 penalty for agencies breaking the rules.
Details of the extent, timing and boundaries of the wider ban will be revealed in the near future, following the vote in favour taken by the full council.
But now James Epps from Oakley estate agency in Brighton has told the local Argus newspaper and website that current restrictions on advertising boards in historically significant and sensitive areas of the city are already ignored by some agencies.
Epps believes the situation is currently unfairt because less responsible firms that break the current rules repeatedly escape punishment and enjoy free advertising.
He is quoted as saying that even a £1,000 fine would be good value for the level of promotion and recognition having prominent boards displayed brought to those agents who were happy to break the rules.
“The newer and less reputable companies don’t care, all they are after is brand awareness. They are willing to take the risk and even if they are hit with a fine, they consider it’s worth it for the exposure. Their attitude makes a mockery of the current rules” he adds.
Council officers are reported by the Argus to have said they dealt with just five complaints on the issue in the current year, resolving the issues without recourse to the courts.