My HOA says I cannot put For Sale sign on inside of my unit facing street. Can they do this? Freedom of speech?

Asked by Cdobrez, Chicago, IL Sun Sep 30, 2012

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Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Tue Oct 2, 2012
Unfortunatelly, homeowners associations are free to stipulates on their rules and regulations practically everything, as long as they don't violate state and federal fair housing laws, regarding age, race or handicap access.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone
2 votes
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
No one ever finds a property to buy based on walking by and seeing a sign in the least not since the Internet came along. Buyers who are serious about buying use a R E agent. I would not worry about it.
2 votes
Rentals ., Agent, chicago, IL
Sat Oct 6, 2012
Do bylaws say anything about the hardship ? if you prove hardship you can rent in non-rental buildings or deviate from the bylaws if you follow certain procedure. just an idea
1 vote
Sarah Ziehr, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
The truth of the matter is, a sign doesn't mean much in today's digital world. You've got to market your property online.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Sep 30, 2012
Yes, they can do this. The Constitution does not give you the right to put signage in your window; it states that Congress cannot stop you from doing so.

Your HOA is a voluntary association that you joined by buying a unit there, and whenever you join a group of any kind, you agree to abide by their rules - which are always a narrowing of your otherwise legal rights.

The reason HOAs don't like "For Sale" signs is because they can clutter the place. If you've got 140 units, people move every seven years, that's potentially 20 signs a year, maybe five or ten at a time, it looks like the place is having a fire sale.

What your HOA should strongly consider doing is getting one sign that reads, "Unit For Sale - Contact Your Broker" and putting it out whenever there's a unit for sale.

All the best,
1 vote
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Mon Nov 12, 2012
The Condo Bylaws are the LAW in your building.
0 votes
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Sun Oct 7, 2012
Of course you as a resident would not want signs in windows, on lawn, projected on clouds Bat-signal like. Be sure to post on line though, i.e.Trulia, Zillow,, etc. You will get all the notice you need to sell. Open House directional signs should be OK.
0 votes
Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Oct 4, 2012
Some people say this is the Lord's punishment for choosing to live in a dwelling governed by an HOA.
Choosing to have more government is like choosing to to have an extra mother-in-law.

Best to purchase a device to infiltrate neighboring air space and project hologram touting your condo.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Oct 2, 2012
These are really attractive communities. Behind those coiffured walls designed to keep out the riff-raff with electronic or manned access gates. Very often these communities of opulent monotony wish to protect themselves from adapting to change by creating a published living standard which you were to have read and most certainly signed when you took up residence.

The documents can keep you from posting 'Welcome Home Soldier!' You can be sure there will be community volunteer agar to enforce the rules with the very money you sent to them. "We can't make exceptions!" they parrot. Some communities profit 'Soccer Mom Clubs' because if you watch kids other than your own....well, that could be prohibited.

One esteemed association ran into the wrong resident when they tried to impose a maximum occupancy rule. A 3 bedroom house should only have max, four people. The six children of this family, the association thought, were NOT protected by the Equal Housing Laws of this country. They were clearly WRONG, but how long have they gotten away with it? How many families did they intimidate?

Such communities of like mined folk, do not look kindly on those wearing strips in their reticulated kingdom.

Sounds as if the best solution for your specific problem is to get a real estate professional on the job. They have other resources for marketing a home in addition to a possible sign.
0 votes
Ivan Sagel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Oct 2, 2012
THey can do this. Some towns like Oak Park don't even allow signs.
0 votes
Joe Schiller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
freedom of speech..that's a 1st.. the bylaws are the rules you agreed to.
0 votes
Violetta Pol…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
They can do pretty much anything as long as it’s in the by laws, even tell you that all your blinds and window treatments have to be green facing the street. Don't laugh, people were running out of that community - association single handedly dropped average market price by 20% by implementing such rules.
0 votes
Wendy Calvert, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
Freedom of speech is not necessarily an absolute and may be impacted or curtailed by the terms of the by-laws and other contractual agreements you have voluntarily entered into. I am not able to provide my professional judgement without reviewing the documents, circumstances etc. That said, I always encourage condo owners to review their by-laws and the other documents associated with their condo and condo association.

Questions to ponder: Has someone else been allowed to hang a sign in the past? Is there any room for negotiation or compromise?

Ultimately, is it worth the stress of a fight over a method that may not even get you the results you are looking for? I agree with my fellow brokers that interviewing a few agents, you may find that there are alternatives that may be more suitable to your circumstances.

Wendy Calvert, J.D.
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0 votes
Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
This is common is the bylaws of alot of associations in my area. As the others have told you, review the bylaws.
0 votes
Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
Read your bylaws. If it is in there - they can. Sometimes you can appeal to the HOA board, but usually they will not do or they have to do for all. Signs are their favorite thing to hate. Get on the internet sites and get a realtor - that will do more than the sign.
0 votes
Jose Hernand…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
If it's in the by-laws you must follow the rules. Also, I must agree with Sarah, technology has taken over and the sign might do very little. Interview a few agents.

Jose Hernandez
0 votes
Diana Willia…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
Request a copy of the. By laws read them and see if there is anything in the bylaws regarding this . If not challenge it.
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
If its in the by laws, you have to follow the rules.
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Sun Sep 30, 2012
The Rules and Regs are the determinig factor. Have seen this done around here but several complexes are very strict and do not allow ANY signs inside or outside.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
YES they can, if you are living in a building with an Association, at move in you must have been given
the association docs with all their rules and regulations, assuming that you are the owner of the unit.
And yes they can have certain rules of what you can or cannot do when advertising your unit....

They can say no signs outside, they can say no signs in the windows and they can say only a certain size of signs and only outside, they can say no lock boxes to allow easier access for showings of the
unit to other Realtors etc. etc.

It really depends on what their docs of rules say!

And there are often rules of the cities and towns themselves with restrictions to signs where and
how large....

Double check the association rules on sale signs or for rent signs...

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties, 30 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 ---- or Check out my website at htttp://
get to know me better and learn about my experience, expertise, services available and letters of recommendation of former clients..... Also you can sign up on my site to search for properties in my expanded service area. HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes
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