Date Published 22 July 2013
A For Sale board has cost an estate agent nearly £1,500 because it was put up in an area where the local council has banned them.
Estate agent Finlay Brewer was found guilty of putting up the board in one of Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s protected ‘board ban’ areas at West London Magistrates.
The company was ordered to pay £1,000 and will have to meet Hammersmith & Fulham costs of £397.16 plus a £100 victim surcharge – a total of £1,497.16.
After the case, the council said it always wins in prosecuting estate agents who defy its ban.
Council deputy leader Greg Smith said: `Our conservation areas have an elegance and charm which is well worth protecting from these ugly boards.
`Thankfully the majority of estate agents respect the board ban but the few that do not are pursued through the courts and we have a 100% prosecution success rate so far. `
Last year the Government approved a ten-year extension of the board ban covering conservation areas in Hammersmith and West Kensington.
To display a board, the agent must get express planning consent from the council – which is unlikely to be approved. The ban on boards is the longest ever approved in the UK.
Historically, the council says it has had a problem with estate agents competing to see who could put up most boards – especially in roads where large Victorian houses have been converted into flats. Consultation with residents revealed that 98% of respondents backed the move to eradicate agency signs.
Residents upset by estate agency boards can use a special email address to report them.