The Direction, which was granted on 10 January 2018, comes into force on 19 February 2018
GOVERNMENT GIVES GREEN LIGHT FOR COUNCIL TO CONTINUE FIGHTING LETTING BOARD PLAGUE
♦ Up Date 29 January 2018 ♦
On Monday 29 January 2018, Nottingham City Council issued the following press release, which up-dates the information given further down this page of the website.
UNSIGHTLY LETTING BOARD CONTROLS SET TO CONTINUE IN NOTTINGHAM NEIGHBOURHOODS
The Government has extended powers allowing the City Council to control the use of letting boards outside residential properties in parts of Nottingham for another five years.
The council was first granted powers, known as a ‘Regulation 7 Direction’, in 2012 after complaints from local residents. The powers remove the right for people to freely put up ‘To-Let’ boards in selected areas of Nottingham and allow the council to serve notices for the removal of boards, which do not follow strict criteria or have council consent. ‘For Sale’ boards and lettings on other forms of premises, such as commercial properties, are not included.
The over-use of ‘To Let’ boards can become unattractive eyesores and give many streets a cluttered appearance creating a poor impression of the area. This is particularly an issue in neighbourhoods containing lots of private rental properties, mostly catering for the student market. Letting boards can also attract burglars, which can lead to a rise in crime and cause safety concerns.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage said “The overuse of ‘To Let’ boards can have a negative impact on the character and appearance of Nottingham’s residential areas and the subsequent safety and well-being of local residents.
“We’re pleased that the Government has renewed our control of letting boards for a further five years. This will not only help us to create cleaner and safer neighbourhoods, which both residents and students can feel proud of, but also help rebalance our communities by making them more attractive places to live for potential family buyers and renters.”
Since powers were introduced back in 2012, 561 non-compliant boards were reported to the council. After notices were served or action taken, the council had great success in removing the unauthorised boards.
Last year the City Council carried out eight successful prosecutions against companies and individuals with a history of failing to comply with the direction in previous years.
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From September 2012 Nottingham City Council had permission from Government to operate a regulation which permitted control of letting boards in parts of the city where they had proliferated and caused concerns about the appearance of the area, and increased the risk of burglary and other crime.
Permission to renew the controls expired in October 2017. In the summer of 2017, the Council submitted a request for the regulations to be renewed. The Council has now heard (January 2018) that Government has given the green light for renewal of the regulations, and, once a formal Notice has been posted in newspapers, it will again be possible to control letting boards for the next five years, and enforcement action against those landlords or agents who contravene the regulations will be taken again.
The success of the controls was highlighted in an article on 30 July 2017 when Jon Pritchard, Deputy Digital News Editor of the Nottingham Post, wrote:
'Let Us Continue to Fight Letting Board Problem' Council Says
Nottingham City Council has called on the Government to extend powers allowing them to control letting boards outside homes in the city.
In 2012, the council was granted powers to control letting boards and residents had complained about them being displayed for long periods of time.
In some streets, the council says, the problem was so bad it appeared that every house was up for rent.
The powers for the council to serve notices for the removal of these boards was granted for five years in October 2012, and Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, is calling on the Government to extend these powers for a further five years.
Since 2012, 561 non-compliant boards were reported to the council, and following notices being served by its planning enforcement team, all have been removed.
Residents have reported significant visual and environmental improvements in the last five years, as well as claiming crime has reduced, as properties with letting boards were seen as a target for burglars.
Councillor for Dunkirk and Lenton, Dave Trimble, a ward which has a very large student population said: “This has been the best thing to happen in my ward. The streets have become much tidier and the environment has become better for both permanent residents and students.”
Visit Nottingham City Council Granted Control Over Letting Boards, New Design Guidance for Letting Boards Published and the Spring 2009 edition of the NAG magazine for information about the fight to control 'Nottingham's Forest of Letting Boards' and the regulations which came into place in 2012.