A council in Essex is to clamp down on estate agency firms who flout the code of conduct agreed with the local property industry two years ago.
Harlow Council says agents in the town are frequently ignoring the agreement which was meant to ensure agents stuck to Planning and Highways legislation that for sale and to let boards are only placed within the boundary of a property and removed within two weeks of a property being sold or let.
Council leader now say the large number of boards across Harlow is ‘blighting the environment’ and, after failed attempts to persuade agents to play ball, a clampdown will now start.
Last week the council wrote to all estate agents in the town to say that it was withdrawing from the ‘code of conduct’ and will instead be pursuing a policy of enforcement using the legal tools available to it including the removal of boards and, where appropriate, the use of Fixed Penalty Notices.
Councillor Alastair Gunn, portfolio holder for environment, says: “The growth of illegal advertising boards in the town has become unacceptable and is an issue that residents frequently raise complaints about.
“We will now take strong action to ensure regulations are complied with. We support the work that local estate agents are doing to drive the local property market and stimulate growth and will work with estate agents who operate within the law.
“However, we will take action against those who have no respect for the environment and blatantly flout the regulations.”
Pic credit: Your Harlow.