Does Your Complex Allow Political Lawn Signs? Probably Not

For those condo owners who aren’t familiar with association rules, they will gain some more knowledge when they place a political sign in front of their unit.

Most associations prohibit all signs on lawns, including for sale, tag sale, and political signs.

And the Constitution’s First Amendment of Freedom Of Speech does not trump condo laws.

The latest test came in Minnesota when Dianne Black put a presidential sign up in front of her condo.

She was ordered by her board of directors to take it down.

Minnesota secretary of state’s office told the that Black was out of luck.

“When we’re talking freedom of speech … we’re talking about freedom from government interference in speech,” spokesman John Kavanagh told the newspaper. “Black’s case, however, “you’re talking about a private matter.”

“Residents of condominiums, townhouses, single-family dwelling developments and other “common interest communities” sign documents when they buy, agreeing to various bylaws and covenants; many associations outlaw campaign signs. At that point, Kavanagh said, “they essentially give up their free speech under the terms of that agreement.”

A similar case in Orlando ended the same way.

“Orange County residents, Deena and Bob Adelson were stunned when they received a letter from their Phillips Landing Homeowners’ Association telling them their Romney yard sign is prohibited,” reports ClickOrlando.

“What? This is freedom of speech, whatever happened to that?,” asked Deena Adelson.



2 Responses to Does Your Complex Allow Political Lawn Signs? Probably Not

  1. Sandy says:

    Most State & local governments prohibit signs being placed on either the “tree line” or on the highways grassy areas too. It’s not about freedome of speech, it’s more about cleanup and liability. If a sign is placed on the common area and someone trips and injures themselves they sue the association–not the person who placed the sign there. Then there is the matter of clean up. Signs interfere with landscapers doing their work and also someone has to be hired to clean them up and dispose of signs after the election. Most associations also do not allow any other types of “adornments” on common areas–pretty much for the same reasons. So–perhaps to quiet the protesters — allowing folks to place campaign signs in their own windows (on the inside of course)and limit the time for the displays. Also to be considered would be the size of the signs. Otherwise you may see the same campaign signs in the middle of July. You just can’t legislate good housekeeping.

  2. John Daniell says:

    How about

    Flag Display

    The bill requires a rule regulating display of the U. S. flag to be consistent with
    federal law. The rule cannot prohibit display on a unit or on a limited common
    element adjoining a unit of the Connecticut flag, or signs regarding candidates for
    public or association office or ballot questions. The bill allows the association to
    adopt rules governing the time, place, size, number, and manner of those displays.

    On another subject, it would be interesting to see the reaction of Condo
    Associations if CCOC or CAI offered to send a team around to condos to give a
    presentation on current CT Condo laws and owners rights. If boards refuse, there
    are always other local meeting places like libraries where people from several local associations could attend and exchange experiences. Would help recruit CCOC
    members too. The attitude of condo boards to an initiative like this would be very revealing.
    Some publicity about those refusing to allow the presentation would perhaps make
    for more transparency.

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