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AGENTS BEWARE!

We have recently heard of a situation where an Agent was fined for having a To-Let Board in a Conservation Area.

Whilst this of itself is not unusual the circumstances are. The area had only been very recently designated as a Conservation Area and whilst the local authority had written to some agents in the area they had not written to all and in their own evidence not the agent prosecuted! The agent had erected a board in the area but when contacted by the local authority immediately took steps to remove the same and removed it within 24 hours. The agency has no prior convictions. Notwithstanding this action the local authority still prosecuted and the agency received a small fine.

The real issue here was the huge amount of time which members of the management team had to spend dealing with a matter which was dealt with promptly by the agency who held their hands up straight away, admitted the mistake and dealt with it. It is vital that you make sure you are up to date on details of Conservation Areas and the like which in some areas, particularly in towns are changing frequently. The moral is if in doubt check with your local authority planning office or risk prosecution and the time and expense involved!

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