Crackdown on estate agents fly boarding continues

Bentley and Bond are the latest estate agents to be taken to court by Hackney Council for fly boarding (also called hoax boarding) offences. The company which is based at 97 Lauriston Road, Hackney E9 was fined £3,015, plus £1000 costs at Thames Magistrates Court on Friday 18 April 2008.

Offences related to six "Let by", one ”Aquired”, three "For Sale” and two “Sold” signs being erecting, on properties in Hackney when there were no instructions from the owners to do so. The company Bentley & Bond pleaded guilty to all offences.

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Corporate Director for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration at Hackney Council said: “Estate agents in Hackney should now be aware that fly boarding is not tolerated in this borough. The action taken by our Trading Standards officers followed a large volume of complaints from residents, housing associations and businesses about estate agencies plastering streets with their advertising boards for months on end. It is a serious offence, which can result in a maximun fine of £5000 per sign.”

Hackney Trading Standards took its first fly boarding case to court last November. Sovereign Estates Ltd Estate Agency, based at 223 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD was fined £1,600, plus £1,500 costs at Thames Magistrates Court on 30th November 2007. They had put a ‘Sold’ and ‘To Let’ sign on a property on Milborne Street, London E9, without being asked to by the owner.

In February of this year, two East London estate agents pleaded guilty to fly boarding offences and were given substantial fines at Thames Magistrates Court. Keatons Estate Agents was fined £19,200 and ordered to pay costs of £1,573 for putting 5 ‘Sold’ and 4 ‘To Let’ signs on properties in 7 different streets in Hackney, when there were no instructions from the owners to do so.

Robert Alan Homes, which has an office on Victoria Park Road, London E8 was also fined £7,500 for 5 fly boarding offences and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Fly-boarding offences are covered by section 13 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.

For further information contact Hackney Trading Standards on 020 8356 4929.