Reporting Estate Agent Signs

The proliferation of estate agent signs is just one of the potential impacts of concentrations of HMOs listed in a report on HMOs produced by the Planning Policy department of Runnymede Borough Council and with so many local properties let to Royal Holloway students, local residents will have noticed that some of these signs appear to be on permanent display.

Temporary estate agent signs are, however, subject to planning legislation and the Town and Country Planning Regulations stipulate that, in the case of a sign advertising residential property, the sign must be removed within 14 days after the completion of the grant of a tenancy. So, if you see a sign indicating that a property has been let, that has been there for more than two weeks and you would like it removed, simply write to the Planning Enforcement department of Runnymede Borough Council and ask them to enforce the regulations on the estate agent in question.

By writing to the Planning Department, rather than contacting the estate agent directly, RBC will be able to build up a picture of this aspect of the problems with HMOs by recording all of the incidents and the estate agents concerned.  We should point out though, that these planning regulations apply to all estate agent ‘Let’ signs and not just those signs advertising HMOs.

When writing, the following template e-mail may be of help:

Subject: Breach of planning regulations

I am writing to you regarding the estate agent ‘Let’ sign currently displayed at <address of property with sign>.

The sign has been posted by <name of estate agent> and has been there for <number> weeks. I believe though, that such a sign is subject to Schedule 3 of The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 and, as it would be classified as a Class 3 sign, it should have been removed within 14 days of the grant of the tenancy. I believe then, that the presence of this sign contravenes these regulations.

As Runnymede Borough Council is the appropriate enforcement authority can you please confirm that you will contact the estate agent in question and ensure that the sign is removed as soon as possible? Also, can you please provide me with case reference number for this reported breach of planning regulations?

Kind regards,

<Your name>