Estate and letting agents in Falmouth are to get a "shot across their bows" as the town council looks to take enforcement action over signs which are left in gardens for months after a property has been occupied.

Chair of the council's finance and general purposes committee, Candy Atherton, said: "Some go up for six months and then go from 'to let' to 'let' for the next six months. It does make the town look untidy and doesn't give a sense of community, it gives a sense of transience.

"A number of residents in the Smithick ward have raised it as an issue and it's an issue that came up in the neighbourhood plan so it seems appropriate that we send a message to estate agents and letting agents that we might be inclined to use our enforcement officer.

"We are telling them that it's not good that they should flout the law and we want to tidy the town up in any way we can."

Falmouth Town Council's environmental education and enforcement officer, Mike Lynch, will be told to monitor the situation regarding agents' signs remaining in place for months after a property has been let. Ahead of that, the council is to write to all the letting and estate agents in the town asking them to adhere to the law and remove all unnecessary signs. "This is just a shot across the bows of all the estate agents and letting agents," said Ms Atherton.

Councillor Anna Gillett added: "It is disrespectful to the people living in the property - having to let signs outside your house is not nice."