Estate agents boards

The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulations 2007 is the principal statutory instrument that controls the display of advertisements in England, you can find out more by taking a look at the legislation - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/783/contents/made. The majority of outdoor advertisements put up by estate agents and auctioneers benefit from "deemed consent" under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulations 2007, meaning that they do not require express consent providing that the criteria in the regulations is followed.

The guidance below highlights the applicable criteria.

What signs may be displayed?

Class 3A of the Regulations refers to the display of boards by Estate Agents, Surveyors, Auctioneers and Valuers, advertising that land or premises on which the advertisement is displayed, is for sale or to let.

No more than one advertising board shall be displayed on a property, unless it consists of two different advertisements joined together as one board.  This applies even if the property has two separate frontages.  The first to be displayed shall be taken to be the one permitted.

Size of boards

Residential - the board must not exceed 0.5 square metres in area, or a total of 0.6 square metres for two joined boards.

Agricultural/Industrial/Commercial - the size of the board must not exceed two square metres in area, or 2.3 square metres for two joined boards.

Sale of goods or livestock - the board must not exceed 1.2 square metres in area.

Location of boards

No board advertising a property for sale or to let can be displayed which exceeds 4.6 metres in height above ground level.  The only exception being where the building on which the board is displayed exceeds that level, for example, a flat/office at first floor level or above.

Any board displayed on a building must not stand out more than one metre.

Any board advertising property for sale or to let must be displayed on the property to which it relates.  This is quite specific and in the case of a block of flats would mean 'on the flat' that this is for sale or to let, or in 'any part of the grounds that are enjoyed by that flat'.

In the case of a block of flats with communal grounds or accessed by a service road, the display of a number of boards on the communal area or at the entrance to the access road from a public highway would not be allowed.  One board indicating 'flats for sale' could be displayed with the 'for sale/to let' board on the respective flat or grounds only.

A board positioned on a highway verge advertising an adjacent property would also be illegal, as the board is not displayed on the property advertised.  Such boards also break the highways legislation.  Hampshire County Council can pursue such a breach.

Duration of display of boards

Sale or rental of residential, agricultural or commercial property - any board advertising a property for sale or to let must be removed within 14 days of the completion of the sale or granting of tenancy.

Sale of goods or livestock - the board must be displayed on the land where the goods or livestock are situated or where the sale is to be held. They cannot be displayed indefinitely on land where sales are held at regular intervals. The boards must relate to specific sales.

Only one board may be displayed at any one time and none can be displayed 28 days prior to the first day of the sale.

We receive very few complaints from the display of estate agent boards, but when a complaint is received, we operate a priority system and will only act where major service or safety issues result from the display of boards.

Contact details


Compliance and enforcement team

Telephone: 01256 844844

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