Are to let boards a good thing?

Considered an eyesore by many, Lincoln council has been given permission to ban To Let boards by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The government agency has granted permission for a limited ban, covering specific streets only, in a move that is seen as a positive step for some.

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The areas covered by the ban are largely student accommodation, where some residents have complained to the council about the boards being unsightly. The council completed a consultation, albeit a small one, with a significant percentage of those participating calling for the boards to be banned.

Specific areas affected

Especially in student areas, there is a higher incidence of To Let boards at certain times of the year, which leads to the perceived problem. The Lincoln council consultation received 134 responses, and of those 85 were in favour of the ban. Following the result, plans will progress to the executive committee of the council before they can be implemented in April.

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Frustrations began growing with residents when boards were being left up for long periods of time and began to dominate the local landscape, which is generally considered to be one of the most striking cityscapes in the country. Similar challenges will be faced by letting agents Cheltenham, Bath, and York-based, and other beautiful cities that rely on tourism.

Respect for neighbours

Many agents, like Me and You Estate Agents, do what they can to respect local neighbourhoods and use various methods to advertise their properties, not just relying on boards.

For more information on the ban, and to see which streets will be covered, visit Lincoln Council’s website. The Planning Manager notes that over recent years there has been a rise in complaints relating to the volume of To Let boards, and admits that some were in place for months, bordering on all year round, which affects the look of the streets. They should be temporary signage and not a permanent feature.

He welcomes the government’s support for the ban and says that he does not believe there will be a negative effect on the rental market in Lincoln given the number of people that now search for property online.

The proposal goes before the Executive Committee on 8 April and will need approval there to come into force.

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