Is it fair for landlords to put up politcal signs in your yard?
November 6, 2006 10:10 PM   Subscribe

Is it ethical for a property management company to put political signs in front of their rental properties without permission from the tenets who live there?

Over the weekend my landlords (a Chicago based property group who owns several multi-tenant buildings around town) placed about five or six political signs (all for the same candidate) in front of our building.

The building is in the Gold Coast and home to dozens of individuals and families. It is a rental (non-condo, non-owner) building.

I feel it's unfair that the property owners are using "my" (using that term loosely obviously) home and front yard to advance their politics. I pay (a lot!) to live here, not endorse their candidate! (And no, it's not the candidate I have a problem with, it's the principle.)

Is there anything I can do other than calling them up to complain? I would take the signs down myself, but I'm afraid of repercussions if I'm caught. I'd love to learn that this is some how codified in Chicago tenant law, but so far my searches have turned up nil.
posted by wfrgms to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I highly doubt there's much you can do. But if you're too scared to take down the landlord's signs, and if you really object on principle, maybe you can put up signs for the other candidate...balance the scales, so to speak.
posted by milarepa at 10:24 PM on November 6, 2006

Tacky? Yes. You should complain.

But I seriously doubt that it's illegal for the property owner to do that, and if they're set on the idea I don't see that there's anything you can do about it.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:43 PM on November 6, 2006

in a private rental (one family)- i'd say its illegal.

but on the outside of a complex- it may be tacky, but i don't think you have any legal recourse.
posted by Izzmeister at 10:48 PM on November 6, 2006

I'd take them down. If someone gave me guff I'd just play dumb... "Oh I figured some campaign guy just put these up without permission."
posted by shanevsevil at 10:51 PM on November 6, 2006

It's a little late to complain.
posted by caddis at 11:03 PM on November 6, 2006

I'd "post" a "response" ...
posted by krautland at 1:32 AM on November 7, 2006

does your lease state anywhere that you are not allowed to place signs on your property? If not then why not place your candidate's sign right in front of your landlord's?
posted by any major dude at 5:05 AM on November 7, 2006

Perhaps the people at the campaign of the opposing candidate can tell you what are the specific rules regarding campaign signs in your area.
posted by winston at 5:05 AM on November 7, 2006

It's a little late to complain.

You'd be surprised how many people make up their mind on the way to the polling booth.
posted by any major dude at 5:07 AM on November 7, 2006

It depends on where you live. In Ann Arbor, it's illegal. In next-door Ypsilanti, it's not. I have no idea about Chicago. Call city hall.

You can, however, take the signs down with impunity. Plead ignorance.
posted by klangklangston at 8:16 AM on November 7, 2006

First: multi-unit building? They'll never know if you take it down.

Second: multi-unit building? They'll never know if you deface it to insult their candidate.

Third: multi-unit building? They'll never know if you add your own candidate's sign.

Why? Because they're a Chicago property management company. One morning they sent out a guy to put all of those signs up, and then they forgot about it. They don't come by every few days to check on it, any more than they come by every few days to do work on the building -- they make money by doing as little as possible for as many buildings as possible.

Don't complain, just do one of the three things at the beginning of this comment, and do it when your neighbors aren't watching.
posted by davejay at 10:19 AM on November 7, 2006

It may well be codified somewhere, most likely in electoral rather than landlord/tenant legislation.

Interestingly, I was just reading about this issue due to next week's municipal election here in Toronto. There is a section of the Toronto municipal code (pdf) stating that signs must be authorised by the "owner or occupant" of the property. There are similar provisions in the provincial and federal elections acts. I was able to find that info quite easily on the elections sections of the respective governments' Web sites.
posted by loiseau at 1:18 PM on November 7, 2006

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