Landmark case threatens estate agents' signs

Posted: 21 Jun 2006 09:43:42 GMT

            Property News - Landmark case threatens estate agents' signs

There are hopes today that estate agents will be forced to take greater responsibility over their "To Let" and "For Sale" signs after a landmark ruling in Wales.

In a move that could have far wider implications, the High Court decided to uphold the conviction of a Cardiff estate agent for failing to take down its To Let signs within the statutory 14-day period after properties have been rented.

It is an issue that has irritated homeowners across the country, with estate agents perceived to be using the signs as free advertising space over prolonged periods.

In Cardiff, Barbara Rees was convicted of five separate planning offences last autumn but it was a decision that was vigorously contested

But with the High Court agreeing that the estate agent was in the wrong, a council spokeswoman told the Western Mail that there is now hope for other local authorities looking to take similar enforcement action.

On the other hand, a spokesperson for Barbara Rees has said it could merely lead to an unhelpful transformation in the way that estate agents use the boards.

"We will see boards change so they're now saying 'Letting Agreed' and it may not make any difference to new boards appearing," he suggested.

While it is thought that around 70 per cent of people now rely on the internet to search for properties, there is no doubt that For Sale and To Let boards will remain popular.

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