Fines for unlawful lettings boards in Southwark from February

Tuesday 17 January 2017

We have been informed that on 14 December 2016, Southwark Council in London took a decision to issue fixed penalty notices in respect of unauthorised advertisements, including temporary advertisements for sales and letting boards.

The Council has said that lawfully to use a board to advertise a property it must be on the land or property that is being sold and any board must be removed within 14 days of completion of a sale or tenancy.

Furthermore, a residential board cannot exceed 0.5 sqm or 0.6sqm if two boards are joined together. A non-residential board can be 2 sqm or 2.3 sqm if two boards are joined together. No board can have lettering in excess of 75cm high.  

The new method of enforcement will begin on 1 February 2017 and any advertisement that is not lawful after that date will be liable for a fine. The fine is £120, but if paid with 14 days this is halved to £60.

In the letter Southwark Council say that they receive a number of complaints each year about inappropriately placed estate and letting agent adverts and the council is looking to reduce street clutter, which can be undermined by unlawful advertising.

Further information can be found on the Southwark Council website.

Commenting, ARLA Managing Director David Cox, said:

“Letting agent boards are an important part of the business practices of the industry and clearly allow our members to access new clients and say they are open for business. Where there are issues, councils should be working with agents on a voluntary basis.

“Southwark is a very large local authority area in London and I hope this is not a money making exercise. No warnings will be sent by Southwark Council so it’s important that agents make sure all their existing future advertisements are lawful.”