Movable signs — agents beware!

TAMS cracks down on road signs as the election looms.

With Prime Minister Kevin Rudd now having set the election for 7 September 2013, political parties and their candidates are moving into campaign overdrive, blitzing the television, the radio, and social media.However, as Mr Simon Sheikh (the Greens’ Senate candidate for the Australian Capital Territory) has just discovered, the Public Unleased Land Act 2013 (ACT), an innocently named and rather obscure piece of freshly minted legislation, is already putting a stick in the spokes of another time honoured form of cluttered political ambush marketing – road side signs.

While regulation of signs on public places should be nothing new, real estate agents should also be aware of the new Public Unleased Land (Movable Signs) Code of Practice 2013 (No.1) and be reminded of the rules governing their day to day open home and display processes so they don’t pay the price! With a focus on political signs, extra city rangers have been on the watch for illegal signs around the Territory with numerous signs being impounded.

As a result of the new legislation the Code contains many of the old rules as well as a few minor new ones.

As a reminder to real estate agents, movable signs must not:

  • exceed particular maximum enveloping dimensions of 900mm x 1200mm
  • require support from any other object
  • be attached to or obstruct infrastructure
  • be placed on roundabouts
  • be placed on median strips
  • be placed on traffic lights or other government infrastructure or property including fences or bridges
  • be placed within 20 metres of traffic lights
  • be placed within 1.2m back from the back of the street kerb
  • be affixed to trees
  • cause danger or restrict pedestrian or bicycle access
  • be made of sheet metal mounted on stakes
  • display words or images likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult
  • if containing directions indicating open home or display home exhibitions be displayed during the hours other than when the exhibition is open for viewing
  • be placed in “Designated Areas” such as the Parliamentary Zone and the main roads including Barton Highway, Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra Avenue, University Avenue, Monaro Highway, Northbourne Avenue, unless approved by the NCA (this list is not exhaustive).

These are just some and not all of the rules relating to movable signs. There are also many more relating to permanent signage and new requirements regarding self adhesive signs. Ask us for a copy of the Code or advice if you are unaware of the requirements effecting real estate agents regarding movable or permanent signage.

While the new legislation and Code does not contain many new rules for real estate agents, during the election the regulations are likely to be closely monitored. There are also increased fines for those who do not follow the rules. The penalty for a company is $1,100!

For Further Information please contact:

Alice Tay — Partner — Corporate & Commercial
(02) 6279 4426
alice.tay@meyervandenberg.com.au

Stephanie Lynch — Partner — Property
(02) 6279 4398
stephanie.lynch@meyervandenberg.com.au