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Greg welcomes Lib Dem action on lettings boards

November 27, 2009 12:30 PM

Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone has welcomed the Lib Dem run city council's introduction of a new code of practice on use of lettings boards.

Many neighbourhoods have long suffered from a proliferation of year-round displays of To Let notices, particularly in areas popular with students, and the enforcement of planning law has been difficult due to the existence of a number of loopholes which lettings agencies have learnt to take advantage of.

The new scheme will go live from December 1st and will help to address concerns that boards are being displayed longer than necessary and being used as general advertising for agents, damaging the visual amenity of neighbourhoods. Enforcement will be taken against unauthorised display of advertisements with potential fines of up to £2500 for infringement.

The revised code proposes that boards be removed no later than 14 days after granting of a tenancy or sale, and that only one board be allowed per property. Further guidance covers the size of boards and the information they contain.

A website, "The Board Code" will be introduced to monitor this issue, and will provide a mechanism for residents, landlords, and agents to report abuses.

Greg Stone said "I am only too aware that whole streets in areas such as Jesmond, Sandyford, and Heaton are covered with dozens of To Let signs on a seemingly permanent basis. Residents regularly complain about this matter to me, and I have raised concerns with a number of lettings agents recently. Clearly "To Let" signs will not disappear completely from the area, as they have a legitimate purpose if used properly, but residents will be reassured that the new code features robust enforcement powers to take action against those who abuse the system."