The government has confirmed that it will not take any further action to control sales and letting agency signboards following an attempt by a campaigning MP to get the matter raised in parliament.
Housing minister Eddie Hughes has made the statement following a question from Birmingham Labour MP Steve McCabe what recent assessment the housing ministry has made as the adequacy of the power already available to local authority to regulate ‘To Let’ boards.
In particularly, the MP wanted to know how letting agents can be stopped from leaving up signboards after a property has been let, which is normally limited to a fortnight.
McCabe has been leading a campaign in his Selly Oak constituency since 2015 to control the high number of signboards used by letting agents to advertise student properties in particular.
“It’s clear that in my constituency the letting agent board regulations aren’t being adhered to and the landlords that own student properties appear to be keeping these boards up for the purposes of unlimited free advertising,” he said at the time.
McCabe is now hoping to get the issue of excessive To Let boards debated nationally.
In response, Hughes (pictured) replied: “The erection of boards advertising property sales and lettings by estate agents and landlords is controlled under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.
“Boards must be removed not later than 14 days after completion of the sale or granting of the tenancy and where conditions are not met, enforcement action can be taken.
“A local planning authority can choose to place more stringent control over advertisements by introducing stricter controls in defined areas (following approval from the Secretary of State) or by issuing a discontinuance notice.”
Harlow Council is the latest to use these existing powers to clamp down harder on boards within its borders.