- November 7, 2023
- Posted by: CCM
- Category: Uncategorized
The pre-primary debates have already commenced. The caucuses and primaries will be starting in Iowa and New Hampshire just after the new year. A few short months later, Florida voters will descend on the polls to select the candidates for their parties. Florida is a politically divided state and the animosity between parties remains as high as it was in 2020, potentially pitting neighbor against neighbor. This places HOA leadership in a quandary: should an HOA allow its homeowners to display political signs on their property?
Many HOA leaders are torn about this topic, and with good reason:
- By their very nature, political signs divide a community and can make those with different perspectives feel uncomfortable in their own neighborhood.
- Potential homebuyers may be turned off if they visit the community and see signs that they disagree with.
- Having many yard signs (whether political or otherwise) can be an eyesore and detract from the landscaping and architecture of the community.
Nonetheless, many homeowners feel strongly that they want to use their property to share their political views and want to post political signs. They erroneously believe that the First Amendment protects their right to do so. In fact, though, this is not a protected right. The First Amendment prohibits the government from interfering with an individual’s right to free speech; an HOA is a private entity, so it is not bound by restrictions from the First Amendment. Because of this, HOAs can restrict homeowners’ ability to post political signs in their yards if the HOA has restrictions about sign use included in their Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R) document.
There are several options for managing political signs for HOAs to consider:
- Prohibit all political signs throughout the campaign cycle
- Allow up to 1-2 political signs per property
- Allow political signs that do not exceed certain dimension parameters
- Allow signs on a certain part of the property
- Allow signs within one month of the election, but not before and they must come down within a week after the election
- Have no restrictions or prohibitions on sign posting
Whichever policy the HOA adopts, it must enforce it uniformly. If someone reports a violation of the political sign policy, management must quickly respond to ensure that all homeowners are being treated equally regardless of party affiliation.
As an HOA leader, it’s important to remember that you can’t please everybody, especially when it comes to politics and elections. If your board is seeking to add additional restrictions about political signage, ensure your HOA’s legal counsel reviews the new amendments before codifying them.
CCM’s property managers are well-versed in helping HOAs manage their policies about political signage and other sensitive topics. Call us to learn how we can help your leadership team ensure a smooth and effectively-running community.
Consolidated Community Management (CCM) is a full-service property management company specializing in condominium and homeowner association management in Broward and southern Palm Beach Counties. We are committed to working together with community Boards of Directors to develop management plans tailored to the unique requirements of each community and their residents.
CCM provides a quality of service that is unique to our industry and consistently delivers a distinct competitive advantage. Our concentrated, extensive local presence and knowledge of community associations results in lasting partnerships and superior service. We have built our industry reputation on employing the best in the business and assigning only a limited number of properties to each Property Manager Team.
Our team at Consolidated Community Management provides expert property management services at competitive prices. Contact us today by calling (954) 718-9903 or clicking on ccmfla.com.