JUNGLEdrum News

Is it a sign of the times ahead?

Love them or loathe them, estate agents signboards are a part of the street furniture on most UK roads, but for how much longer?

Ten councils across parts of the country were recently granted special legal powers to ban the use of the signs in some of the country’s most popular areas where a glut of signboards are causing problems for residents.

Ministers insist that the powers were introduced to help strike a fairer balance between advertising properties for sale or to let and tackling the hoardings, including fly boards, which have become a major problem in some regions.

In areas where the bans apply, no estate agent board may be erected without consent from the council.

Councils have been able to request special dispensation to ban boards since 2007 but the improving state of the housing market has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of local authorities requesting the powers in the last two years. This has prompted fresh calls from some people for a widespread ban on signboards being erected.

PROPERTYdrum’s very own Sheila Manchester was last week asked to appear on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme to discuss some of the main issues surrounding ‘for sale’ and ‘to let’ boards.

She insisted that while most letting agents would rather not see a blanket ban introduced, it would put them on a level playing field, making potential prohibition “workable”.

Despite the rise in the number of people now searching for property online, Manchester reminded listeners that agency boards remain crucial when it comes to marketing a property for sale or to let as they allow people to “locate the properties”, particularly for those who may not really familiar with an area when searching for property online.

She also pointed out that boards are also important for agents wanting to be seen as the “key players” in order to attract new business.

But while she accepted that some areas are awash with signboards, Manchester insisted that it is not a widespread problem, suggesting that blanket ban on boards would be unnecessary and somewhat inappropriate, something that very few agents would disagree with!

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