More Tips about Political Signs in HOAs and Condos as Elections Draw Nearer.
This week, we’ll be providing additional insights on the best way to handle political signs on your resident’s windows, lawns and other places.
For example, there’s a California owner who is currently at loggerheads with his HOA because of the signs he placed across his window protesting this administration’s immigration policies, while welcoming neighbors of all backgrounds.
The second of the two signs states in three languages, “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” This particular sign is quite common and has been spotted in different yards across the country.
HOAs and condos actually have the right to forbid commercial signs, but according to this California owner, the free speech protection mandates them to permit political speech, especially in view of the upcoming elections like the November midterms. How right is this assertion?
According to Susan Hawks McClintic, a co-managing shareholder at Epsten Grinnell & Howell, San Diego, California law provides that the owner whose argument is that a HOA cannot restrict him from putting up political signs, would probably win if the case ever goes to court.
In her words, “Under our law, I’m not even sure that restriction is enforceable. Our law is very specific on noncommercial speech in terms of posters, flags, and so on. Even prior to the law being passed, our firm had taken the position that if someone had a sign in their interest [i.e., in their unit], there wasn’t much you could do.”
McClintic is actually talking about the “Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.” She explains further that “I consider a political sign a noncommercial sign, which a community association can’t prohibit on a separate interest under the Davis-Stirling act,” and that. “Noncommercial signs on separate interests may be prohibited only for the protection of public health or safety or if the posting violates local, state, or federal law.”
California and Nevada laws place certain restrictions on the use of political signage, but Illinois and Florida are quite different.