Political Sign Liberation Day!

June 18th is political sign liberation day!

That means that as of June 18th, no local government entity or community association can prohibit signs inside or outside of your own home. But, there are some rules. Read on for more info. 

 

Condo, Planned Community, HOA

The Arizona Law: Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33. Property § 33-1808 (C) states that for the seventy-one days before an election and three days after an election, including a primary, anyone is legally allowed to display political signs regardless of living in a condominium, planned community, or any homeowners association controlled residence. 

Yes, state law overrules HOA community documents and CC&Rs that may state otherwise.   

The key is property ownership. If you own your front yard, you can display signs.

If your HOA owns your front yard (e.g. common area), the HOA can determine what may or may not be displayed there.

If you own your home, you also own the right to display signs in your window and the HOA has no rights to restrict it more than any applicable city, town or county ordinance restricts it.

Do know that:

  • A community association can regulate the size and number of signs, as long as the restrictions are no more restrictive than any applicable city, town or county ordinance that regulates the size and number of political signs on residential property.
  • Placement may also only be restricted for safety (hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision, violates ADA requirements).
  • HOAs cannot create regulations restricting the size of signs to less than nine-square feet, cannot create regulations restricting the number of signs, and cannot create restrictions that signs be professionally manufactured but can only enforce existing applicable city, town or county restriction ordinance.

 

Rental Properties

Arizona law does not address rental properties regarding political signs (or flags).

For a single-family residential property (house or condo), this is determined by whether the lease includes the lawn as being part of the property being rented. If the written lease includes the front lawn and is silent on placing signs on the lawn, technically, the renter can place signs. The lease rules if it contains specific language restricting signs on the outside of the property.

All leases include rental of the inside of the property, giving renters the freedom to place signs in the windows, especially if the lease is silent about signs in windows. The lease rules if it contains specific language restricting signs in the windows.

  • The best rule of thumb is to read the lease and talk to the landlord first.
  • Few renters have the capacity to fight their landlord in a legal battle or withstand a negative relationship with their landlord.  
  • Deciding how far you're willing to push the landlord to secure your rights to freedom of speech should be considered from the beginning.

 

Canvassing

Arizona law is clear that canvassing for a candidate or cause is not soliciting and protects the freedom of speech right to engage in political activity - even if the community, HOA, or CC&R documents state otherwise.

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33. Property § 33-1808 (G)

The state law restrictions are:

  1. No canvassing between sunset and sunrise.
  2. Identification tags for each participant and prominent display of candidate or ballot initiative being supported or opposed.
  3. If the community restricts general public entrance (gated), the community can restrict canvassing activity. (Though a member of the community would have the right to canvass within their own community, and can likely bring ‘friends.’)

Deedra Abboud for U.S. Senate