|New wave of board wars|
Protruding nails left behind are 'accidents waiting to happen'
The issue of Estate Agent's boards seems to be one that continues to raise its contentious head. However, this round of board wars is not about the boards themselves, but the dangerous nails they leave behind when removed.
A local resident told us "Estate Agents post boards on walls all along Southfield road. The boards come and go but the nails that hold the boards up to not get removed and are left protruding out of almost every wall along that road. Last night I walked into such a nail (not for the first time), luckily I was holding a carrier bag of papers, the bag was ripped and so were some of the papers. If that had been my knee I would almost certainly have required surgery."
The resident tried to highlight the issue with a couple of agents but had no luck having the nails removed. She continued "I have seen little children playing near bus stops in the area, there are dozens of these nails protruding from walls. One day soon a little child will have a serious accident on one of these nails."
Whilst there are strict rules and guidelines governing the displaying of boards, there are no such rules when it comes to their removal. Just who is responsible for the protruding hazard, and therefore liable should an accident happen, is the burning question. The Ombusman governing Estate Agents states in their code of practice : For Sale Boards 4a
You can only erect a 'For Sale' board with the client's permission. When you put up a 'For Sale' board you must keep to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 as amended. You must accept liability for any claim arising under these Regulations in connection with the board, unless the action arises as a result of a further board being put up by another person."
Therefore, according to the Ombusman, it is the Estate Agents who are liable for any claim resulting from the erection and removal of their boards. However, not all local Agents are registered under the Ombusmen's scheme. Couple this with the possibility of being able to prove who the now removed board actually belonged to in the first place, it leaves the pedestrians, children and not forgetting dogs of Chiswick taking a risk each time they take a walk along a board lined street.