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London’s back on board!

publication date: Aug 18, 2010
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Like them or loathe them, estate agents' boards are the most cost effective means of advertising a property and a 15-year-old law that has effectively banned them from much of Central London has now lapsed.

Richard BarberRichard Barber (left), partner in central London estate agency W.A. Ellis sees their return as a bonus for agents although he accepts that they are regarded as a blight by many. "They produce a high quality response from potential purchasers who have already vetted the location and exterior. I expect we will see a whole new crop of 'For Sale' and 'To Let' signs springing up on the conservation areas of Kensington and Chelsea following expiry of Regulation 7 of the Town and Country (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.

“These regulations effectively banished boards from large swathes of the Borough and unless they are reinstated there will be a return to the situation that existed in the early nineties when some buildings (normally those in multiple occupation), were peppered with agents' boards regardless of whether there was a flat for sale in the building or not. Unless there is regulation which is effectively and vigorously policed the unscrupulous will bend the rules to everyone's detriment."

But Barber accepts that there are many who will not welcome the return of sale boards. "Self-regulation is not an option" he says, "There are effectively just two choices; a complete ban or rigorous enforcement of strict guidelines punishable by substantial financial penalties. If a licence fee were paid for each board erected wardens could be employed to police the Borough and fine any miscreants. It would be a shame to lose this valuable marketing tool which is of benefit to so many because of the selfishness of a few."