Signs or NO Signs(in an HOA Community) That is the Question

Real Estate Agent with ERA, Wilkinson Real Estate Charlotte 183201

Image result for political signs in yards

As 2020 unfolds...and as the flowers start blooming...we will be in another election luck would have it- there are rules whether those yard signs can go up or must stay down...

Looking ahead to November, HOA companies typically help shed some light on a hot topic in the HOA community. Now is the time when political signs start popping up in the yards and windows of many homeowners. If you own a home in a community association such as an HOA, this could be a source of contention between you and your association. It is certainly a touchy subject in parts of the HOA world today.

That is because many homeowners and condo associations have placed restrictions on the placement of signs on private property, including political signs. For many neighborhoods, it is typically covered in the giverning documents, or CCR's...but what happens when that too is vague? Could your community really bar/ban you from placing a Johnnny for Senate sign in the yard? How bout at a condo or Townhome Community? Can they really stop you?

The answer is … maybe. The United States Supreme Court has decided that a sign is a form of expression that is protected by the First Amendment. The problem is that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment pertains to a government entity’s attempts to limit free speech. Because a community association is based upon contractual agreements among its owners, it constitutes a private entity, and therefore is not necessarily subjected to this clause. To complicate things further, state laws affecting this issue vary by location. You will want to reference each state's laws and even so much as chceking with local ordinances. Most HOA Companies will be able to help you with that also.

For me personally; I feel that there are enough signs just about on every street corner in a town/city come September & October that I would rather opt out of the outward announcement of whom I endorse(trust me, most people that know me- KNOW ALREADY).  Sometimes though; I feel we forget that with each cycle of elections most of us(myself included) tend to act like political pundits and that sometimes- neighbors may not want all of that in their face- literally 24/7, so it is imporatnt to work with your Community Board & members accordingly-Lastly,  it is always important to be cognisant of the community you live in- especially if you live in really close quarters. 

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Jim Smith
The Property Management Company - Round Rock, TX

Texas law prohibits HOA's to enforce any rules against political signs in yards for 90 days prior to the election through 10 days afterwords.  Unfortunately, Many HOA's do prohibit "For Lease" signs, putting a constraint on the private property rights of the owner needing to lease out their house.

Mar 12, 2020 06:51 AM #1
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Melissa Polce

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