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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I came home to find an Estate Agent's 'To Let' board tied to my gatepost with metal wires yesterday evening and lots of enquiries from my neighbours.  I hate the things and wouldn't even have one if I was intending to let or sell my property.  The estate agent is totally relaxed about it and says that it is an error and that it will be removed in a couple of days.  I think it probably was an error, but I am livid about how slow and unappologetic the agent is and had I gone away for the Easter holidays that sign would have sat outside my house for two weeks providing free advertising.  Has anyone else experienced this?

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Which agent is it? We had the Sam happen next door a couple of weeks back.

Martyn Gerrard

They just blame the company which puts them up but don't seem to realise or care how badly it reflects on them

I've not heard of them acting unprofessionally before. Could be it was an accident. Do you have any wire cutters or a wire cutter element on a pair of pliers?

Martyn Gerrard (or at least the company who works for them) have form.

This graced Seymour Road for weeks. I phoned and I didn't find them particularly apologetic or in a hurry to take it down even though it was not legal, reflected badly on them and the school for whom they were advertising and makes the practice of using EA signs as sponsorship for school fairs harder to justify. (More ranting on Flickr if you click the photo)

Haven't had quite the same experience, but estate agents make a feast of nailing their signposts on my front garden wall each time a flat in the house is for sale or to let (or has been let)... without asking me, which is illegal because it's my wall, and without ever bothering to collect and dispose of the sign afterwards, even when I ask them to. I'm left with a gradually damaged brickwork on the wall and having to eventually dismantle their sign and take it to the dump. Does get annoying, I do understand your frustration.

I had a similar issue with a sign for the upstairs flat that tore my gatepost out of the wall. I threw my toys out of the pram, so they moved it to the other gatepost and ruined that too. more toys were thrown, and they sent a team round who replaced both gateposts with new, and rehung the gate. Dare i say it, it was a really nice job!

it's worth persevering, and don't be shy about removing it if it is put up illegally, especially if it's on your property. take photos first detailing the damage, and then chase them and chase them.

Take the sign down, bring it down to their office, and say politely: you left this on my house, and I thought you might like it back. Then leave.

Perhaps the lawyers on this site would kindly correct errrors in my decades-old recollection of the legal position. But in the distant days when I worked as a lawyer, as I recall this was known as an "involuntary bailment". And while you cannot damage a sign (someone else's belongings) left on your land, you could remove it from your fence/gate and send the Estate Agents an invoice for the reasonable costs of looking after it. - e.g. in a garden shed. 

If like Isabelle's house, an estate agent has actually damaged your property, a Small Claim may be possible.

Dane66's approach seems the most sensible. Asking the Estate Agent to remove the sign immediately and to stop using the property without permission. Personally I'd make it clear that if they do not, an invoice will arrive. And a photo will appear on the local community website.

Perhaps an online virtual "Board of Shame" would be an effective deterrent?

Sounds like the correct way to deal with it, but I can't be bothered fighting back or making a scene, I just do the way that least upsets me... which is leave a 'for sale' sign on out of respect for my neighbours trying to sell their home, but take it down the moment it's sold or if more join in. Then it's easier to take it to the recycling centre just round the corner than to the estate agents. As for the damaged wall, they've all chipped it here and there and I can't blame anyone in particular, I'll just fix it in time...

Still, I wonder how an agency would feel if I returned the sign by nailing it on their shop wall???

I should have taken a photo first, but it had been a long day so i was rather peeved and impatient.  A friend had a metal cutter so I cut it down and stamped a few times on the sign.  I guess the wood could serve as nice kindling and the board fit in the bin, but it is not the point.  My newly painted gate post is now scratched and I don't relish having to invest in a new tin of paint and doing the job all over.  I saw one of their signs and posts dumped in the passage last weekend so maybe they had done the same to another house.

Well there is no way I will pay them for their board.  It cannot be that valuable given their lack of haste in collecting it and fixing it with metal fixings seems pretty voluntary to me.  My house number is clearly marked.

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