Cape Town clears signage rules with estate agents

A meeting was held between the City of Cape Town and various stakeholders in the property industry regarding the use of advertising signboards, particularly by interns, and the new advertising tariffs charged by the Council.

After much discussion, the Council has agreed to allow interns the use of stickers, which allows them to place their own sign boards pointing to show houses on weekends. The intern's principal will register and sign for boards on behalf of his interns. It is interesting to note, says Annette Evans, regional general manager for the Institute of Estate Agents Western Cape, that the cost of advertising in this way is less than those who pay for stickers to pay to advertise on lampposts or roadside signage, which is around R70 per permit.

Agents must remember that there are strict rules pertaining to signage for show houses, and a special application must be made if the signs are to be bigger than the standard size, said Evans. If signs are found not to have permits or are not the size they are meant to be, agents will be fined up to R2 500 per sign (the fine is to cover costs of removal and disposal of signs).

Each agent is allowed three flags, bunting and balloons against the boundary walls, and they are allotted six directional sign boards to help viewers find the show house. The standard size applies across the whole of the Western Cape, and no deviations will be allowed, said Evans.

One of the problems that has recurred is that of agents placing boards leading to nowhere, and these will be removed. Agents are also not permitted to place 'show house cancelled' boards up in front of properties, nor are they allowed to put show boards out during the week, said Evans.

If any agent transgresses the rules with regards to boards, where a case of fraud or the like is opened, the agent could lose his Fidelity Fund Certificate and will be disqualified as a member of the Institute.

The Institute will be issuing guidelines from the City of Cape Town in due course, so that agents will be kept abreast of costs and requirements.

Agents should be aware that they do pay a reduced rate if they are already registered on the City's books, it is only newly registered agents who pay the full price, she said.

"It has to be remembered that the City's objective in standardising the use of advertising signage is to keep streets clear of unnecessary clutter on pavements and signposts, and in the interests of keeping things fair for all," said Evans.

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