Rogue Estate Agents Brought to Justice

25 successful prosecutions for illegal 'For Sale' signs

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Estate agents who have flouted the law by erecting unsightly ‘for sale’ signs in protected conservation areas have been found guilty on 25 separate occasions in the last 18 months.

At the request of local residents, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council has prohibited estate agents from putting up the boards in seven designated parts of the borough.

Historically, these areas have 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.

H&F Council has a 100 per cent success rate in prosecuting estate agents, with rogue agents found guilty of breaking the ban 25 times in the last 18 months. These cases have resulted in fines ranging from £500 to £3,500.

The majority of local agents are only prosecuted once and then comply with the ban. However, Barnard Marcus have received a £2,000 fine plus costs on two occasions this year because the district judge took into account previous prosecutions for the company. The most recent case was against Marsh and Parsons, fined £1,000 for an illegal board in Richmond Way.

Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, H&F Council's cabinet member for transport and technical services, said: “This borough is lucky enough to have several conservation areas that each have their own individual charm and heritage. Our residents do not expect estate agents to denigrate these areas of undoubted beauty with multiple unattractive signs. Estate agents who show no respect to the wishes of the vast majority of local people by continuing to erect these signs in conservation zones will be pursued by the council through the courts.”

Last year the government approved a 10-year extension of the board ban covering conservation areas in Hammersmith and West Kensington… unless the agent has express consent from the council. The ban on unsightly boards is the longest ever approved in the UK, and covers nearly all the properties in the Barons Court and Lakeside/Sinclair/Blythe Road conservation areas.

Bans also apply to the Hammersmith Grove conservation area, and the majority of roads in the conservation areas of Olympia and Avonmore and the Gunter estate, and Harwood Road.

To report an illegal board, email the location to:

September 20, 2013