Declutter to shift


Life is struggle against clutter. To a list of irritants like illegally parked vans and illegally dumped refuse, we can add illegal estate agent signs.

Claire wants to know if her experience is unique (we have deleted the name of the company):

"I live in the conservation area and am having trouble getting [redacted] to take their ‘Let by’ sign down from outside my property. The flat in question has been let for over a month and [redacted] were incredibly rude and aggressive when I called to ask for its removal. First they lied and told me the freeholder had authorised it (he confirmed he had not, and had in fact removed it himself, only for [redacted] to come back round and put it up). They then threatened “there will be trouble” if I remove it myself.

"I'm interested to see if this is an issue that affects or bothers other flat owners in the area, as I have now taken it to the council."

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep - our neighbour still has their "to let" sign in their front garden and they've been there for months.

Anonymous said...

I would create an invoice for the "use" of your property for their advertising as they have no mandate and therefore are libel. Mention it to freeholder as well :)

Anonymous said...

I returned home from work a few months ago to find a 'To Let' sign nailed into my front wall. My downstairs neighbour is in a council flat and I certainly didn't want my flat let out... My downstairs neighbour confronted me about it, asking why I was moving without telling her.

I called the estate agent and they had put it outside the wrong property. I went mad, saying they'd put nails into my wall without my permission. There response was that they had permission from the person renting out the flat. I don't think they understood why I was so angry - there's still holes in the wall where they eventually took the sign down a week later. Idiots. No apology, nothing.

Timmy2wheels said...

Given that probably 90% + of people doing anything with property use Rightmove etc or the agent's own website, I cannot see a need for them personally.

Anonymous said...

Our neighbours have had the let by pavilion there for months now. It's as if they're advertising which places they're renting now. The people they have been there for well over half a year now.

Does help though when to get the keys out at optimal time when you can spot the sign!

J.R. Shakerley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I've checked this out on line and it says that signs can only stay up for 14 days after a property is let.

pip said...

I've also looked online and found this:

The use of illegal signs is contrary to planning regulations [Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulation 1992], which stipulate the number and the size of the boards, and the length of time after a sale or tenancy has been granted that they can be displayed. They are also contrary to Trading Standards law, which makes it a criminal offence to advertise property for sale or to let when this is not the case.

Estate agents must take down a board within two weeks of the property being sold or let and only two boards are allowed per property and they must be displayed back-to-back.

Anonymous said...

Practical tip: Take it down without damaging it.

pip said...

Having a few minutes on my hands and always happy to find ammunition to beat bullies in whatever sphere of life they rear their ugly heads: the exact reference for the 14 day limit is Schedule 3, paragraph 3A(3) of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.

Little Nicky's Pizza said...

Yes I've had a similar issue, but in my case our neighbours were selling their house and the estate agent put boards up in front of our house as well as theirs! I just removed it myself and took it to the tip. I guess you have to feel a bit sorry for them, they probably can't afford to fill up their minis with petrol now they're not selling anything.

Anonymous said...

Was about to say that the agent who said it has to be up for 6 months is lying - but others have beaten me to it. Basically they leave them up as free advertising but they are not meant to.

Complain to the council!

Anonymous said...

Name & shame!

J.R. Shakerley said...

AHA!

It pays to look thing up - although, legislation.gov.uk don't make it easy.

The regulation is actually more recent than 1992. The latest update was 2007 - SCHEDULE 3
CLASSES OF ADVERTISEMENT FOR WHICH DEEMED CONSENT IS GRANTED: PART 1
SPECIFIED CLASSES AND CONDITIONS: Class 3 Miscellaneous Temporary Advertisements: 3A Conditions and Limitations: (1-3)

------------
CLASS 3 Miscellaneous temporary advertisements
Description
3A. An advertisement relating to the sale or letting, for residential, agricultural, industrial or commercial use or for development for such use, of the land or premises on which it is displayed.

------------------------
Conditions and Limitations
3A. —

(1) Not more than one advertisement, consisting of a single board or two joined boards, is permitted; and where more than one advertisement is displayed, the first to be displayed shall be taken to be the one permitted.

(2) No advertisement may be displayed indicating that land or premises have been sold or let, other than by the addition to an existing advertisement of a statement that a sale or letting has been agreed, or that the land or premises have been sold or let, subject to contract.

(3) The advertisement shall be removed within 14 days after the completion of a sale or the grant of a tenancy.
-----------
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/783/schedule/3/made#text%3Dadvertisement

I feel infuriated.

J.R. Shakerley said...

Or, if you'd prefer, here's the same thing but with less jargon:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/321506.pdf

Anonymous said...

A while ago, one prominent Estate Agency in Brockley, also nailed a board to the brick work, of our front stairs. I was very tempted to return the complement.

These idiots need to get fined, as they put boards up like they're fly posting, for Neil Diamond....lol

They need to pay for the repairs.

Surely it must be criminal damage or something? If they damage your property?

hfk said...

Our place is not supposed to be Sub-let as per the lease, so I just called the company, quoted the lease at them and it was gone within 2 days.

TM said...

Set fire to their dustbins....

After Marty Feldman for those old enough to remember him.

Anonymous said...

Just take it down. I had a sign appear outside my house instead of the house next door, I rang them they said some would come around to remove it, but after three days of having people knock on my door and peer through my front windows I took it down myself and burnt it. One woman knocked on my door and refused to believe I wasn't selling. She more or less accused me of lying and tried to push past me into the hall!

Anonymous said...

They definitely aren't allowed to put nails in walls without the owner's permission -

From thisismoney.co.uk:

If a board is nailed onto private property, it is classed as criminal damage and could lead to police prosecution. The owner of the property could also take action through the civil courts for damage to property.

Mr Breakspears said...

These Pavillion signs are are all down Howson Road and have been up for ages. They make the road so ugly. These letting agents take the piss and should be taken to rights.

KennyTinsel said...

Pavilion certainly seem to be the worst at this (why are people being shy about naming the agents involved?). What's more, they've put up that large billboard type sign by the entrance to the works at Brockley Station, and they've fixed something almost as large to that grey monstrosity on Mantle Road. These boards aren't regular estate agent boards, they're hulking great adverts which presumably need planning permission...

KennyTinsel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cuppicake said...

These signs make great sledges for when the snow comes.

Just pop two holes at the top, add a rope, and wheeeeee!

oryx said...

The ones I really hate are those signs which look like estate agents' 'For Sale' or 'To Let' signs but are in fact adverts for local events.

This is not because I have anything against local events, just because of the unspeakable disappointment I once experienced in thinking my nightmare next door neighbours were about to move, then discovering they weren't. (This was in SW London, not Brockley!)

rumpole said...

The shyness about naming the agent in the main thread will be because it includes allegations of threatening behaviour for which (presumably) no evidence remains, therefore there's a risk of libel action if they are named.

Anonymous said...

My street (in SE13/SE4 borders) is full of these - they are from a range of different agents, not just one, though. It makes the whole street look like everyone is moving away - a friend actually asked me why there were so many flats to let or sell here, even though they've actually been let or sold ages ago.

Anonymous said...

Why delete the name of the company? Only fearless against hard up Nigerian businessmen it seems. How brave.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - This site does not publish unsupported claims about any business in the area. I don't know what business you are referring to, but you are wrong in any case.

Anonymous said...

Keep taking the signs down at night. They'll get bored of replacing them, not to mention the cost for them to get someone to keep putting up new ones.

By "there'll be trouble", what exactly does that mean?? Who will you be in trouble with? What can they do? If the property is sold or let, why is the sign needed at all?

Claire said...

Surprised at the number of responses to this. Thanks for taking the time.

I do feel that this is bullying behaviour and, while I named the estate agent in my original email to Brockley Nick, he removed it for legal reasons, which I do understand.

The estate agent concerned has not yet been mentioned in the thread, although I would like to point out that it is not Acorn. They also had a sign up outside for a flat that was already let but when I emailed them, the manager not only emailed me straight back and apologised profusely, they took it down within a few hours.

Not sure what the anonymous comment about Nigerian businessmen has to do with anything, I am not aware that this company has any Nigerian connections, the man who was rude to me was not Nigerian, and the race of the individuals concerned is absolutely irrelevant. The point is that they are rude, unprofessional and threatening, full stop.

I live in a lovely street and to have it cluttered up with ugly, unnecessary and illegal signs is a shame. To ask quite reasonably for its removal and to be treated so shabbily just makes me angry,

Lou Baker said...

Claire:

Go back to them again and tell them if it's not removed then you'll not only report them to the council but the ombudsman - and to the National Association of Estate Agents, if they're members.

And they should be named and shamed on here. There is no legal issue so long as it's all true - and a photograph should largely be able to prove that. We should not be afraid to say wonderful things about good local businesses and not so wonderful things about bad ones - of which there are plenty.

Anonymous said...

We rip the ones down from our flats, they get binned. Within a couple of months more start reappearing though.

Hugh said...

Is there a species lower or less qualified than estate agents? Science says not.

Anonymous said...

I've recently had some pretty horrific experiences with one particular estate agent in Brockley. I suspect it might be the same one.

I am a tenant in a property that was for sale. The agent in question arranged for the owner to check the property one Saturday morning. I arrived home to find about 20 people queueing on my front door step for an open viewing that I knew nothing about.

A few days later, I wasn't informed that it had been sold - a sign just appeared in the front yard. Just the sight of their signs makes me feel physically sick and want to rip every single one of them down.

I'm considering reporting the individuals concerned to their head office. Claire - You might want to think about doing the same.

Mr Breakspears said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I recently bought a house that was for sale with two different estate agents at two different prices. Suprisingly enough we went with the cheaper option!

When I called the other estate agent to ask them to remove their sign, they were very rude - sour grapes I guess. However, they did take the sign down.

I am not sure if it is the same company - although I have a horrible feeling it is because their signs are everywhere - because I don't know where the Brockley/Crofton Park boundary lies for Estate Agents (maybe there isn't one). But there were very polite with me, so I am suprised by this if it is them. Then again, I think these guys just do sales and not lettings.

I am sorry to hear about your experience though, it is terrible.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Nick said...

Interestingly, all the guesses people have made (which I've deleted) are wrong, which shows how many different estate agents are held in low regard.

Anonymous said...

Yes, estate agents are never popular but unfortunately in Brockley they are particularly naughty! - from recent homebuyer experience!

staying put said...

I doubt that estate agents are worse in Brockley than anywhere else. They're like starving rats - getting more brazen and ruthless as their sourcese of sustenance dry up....

dude said...

Crickey, starved rats? Species lower..etc.

Anyone would think you were talking about personal injury lawyers.

NAT said...

Or property lawers with their needlessly elaborate confection.

I'm sure it would be possible for interested and disinterested parties, (surveyors, estate agents etc)to formulate a simpler way of holding land and a less costly and complex way of disposing of land in a back room in an afternoon.

This of course would do little for a profession which has contributed so much manpower to parliament.

Bill Board said...

Do you really think that they are going to sue you for what another person claims. Most likely they would halt their bad behaviour and ask you to remove their name from the post. Everybodies happy!

If it was on my property I would inform that that unless its taken down and the damage repaired I will take it down myself and deliver it to their office, or home of the director. That usually stops them.

Anonymous said...

It is still their property. So take it down and deliver it back to them. The pole should go through their letterbox fairly easily; you may have to roll up the board itself a bit.

Alternatively, take it down and store it for them. Charge them for your time in assisting them with complying with law plus a reasonable daily storage fee. Send regular statements and threaten with baliff if not paid.

Anonymous said...

I am so curious as to who it is. There are not that many estate agents in Brockley and how many guesses have been wrong?

Robert said...

I am not entirely sure if Pavillion are permitted to put up their large signs outside Brockley Station without planning consent.

I have been meaning to look into this - as I agree - they are not easy on the eye.

Hugh said...

Or just spraypaint over the sign and pass it off as casual vandalism. It would be very amusing to see the estage agents' reaction.

We're off said...

Can anyone share their experience of Pavilion, either as someone who has rented from them or leased their house through them? We are looking to rent out our house and they were recommended by someone.

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone share their experience of Pavilion"

I wanted to rent a flat from them, found the perfect one - put an offer in, and then had to wait for several weeks whilst they 'tried to get in touch with the landlord', was then told by one person that the landlord had moved out of the country, told by another that they hadn't spoken to them so they didn't know where the landlord was... I had to chase them up to find anything out about the status of our offer, rather than being kept informed. In the end the landlord did get back in touch to say that he wasn't sure if he even wanted to put the flat on the market anymore, so we ended up going somewhere else; but those few days when we didn't know where we stood were quite stressful (not knowing if we should do more viewings, how firm our offer was, etc etc). Just being kept updated by the agents would've been enough to make me feel less nervous.

I wouldn't recommend them, based on my personal renting experience.

We were treated much better by other agents - notably Fish Need Water, who were really polite and kept us updated with our property search (and even went the extra mile to show us properties and schedule appointments around our work hours etc). Even though we didn't find the right property with them, the experience was much nicer.

Claire said...

So, the sign remains and to demonstrate their contempt for me and this forum, the estate agent took the trouble to come round and drop some flyers through my letterbox.

I will respect Brockley Nick's wishes by not naming them but I'd like to make it clear that they are in Brockley and that I am not referring to Acorn, Saxton, KFH, Jones & Virdi, Foxtons, Rocodells, Sebastian Roche, Pavillion or King Sturge.

Hope that helps you make your choice when it comes to agents.

kolp said...

"Claire said...

So, the sign remains and to demonstrate their contempt for me and this forum"

Oh dear, Nick will sort out for you... after all

Brockley Nick said...
Do not let your heart[s] be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

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