Tenant’s Limited Right to Post Political Signs

With the election season upon us, landlords should be aware of a California law granting residential tenants a limited right to display or post political signs.

Under Civil Code section 1940.4, tenants have a limited right to post or display political signs related to (1) an election or legislative vote, including an election of a candidate to public office, (2) the initiative, referendum or recall process, or (3) issues before a public commission, public board or elected body for a vote. [Civil Code § 1940.4(a)]

A tenant may display or post political signs in the window or on the door of premises leased by the tenant in a multifamily dwelling, or from the yard, window, door, balcony or outside wall of premises leased by the tenant in a single-family dwelling. [Civil Code § 1940.4(b)]

Landlords may prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying political signs when: (a) the political sign is more than six square feet in size; (b) the displaying or posting would violate local, state or federal law; or (c) the posting or displaying would violate a lawful provision in a common interest development governing a document. [Civil Code § 1940.4(c)]

Tenants must post and remove political signs in compliance with time limits set local governing ordinances and are solely responsible for any violations. [Civil Code § 1940.4(d)] If no local ordinance exists or if the ordinance does not contain time limits for posting or removing political signs on private property, the landlord may establish a reasonable time period. For this purpose, a reasonable time period shall begin at least 90 days prior to the date of the election or vote to which the sign relates and end at least 15 days following the election or vote date. [Civil Code § 1940.4(d)]

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any changes in tenancy terms made to implement Civil Code § 1940.4 and noticed pursuant to Civil Code § 827 (notice of change of terms of tenancy) are not be deemed to cause a diminution in housing services and may be enforced in accordance with Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure (eviction proceedings). [Civil Code § 1940.4(e)]

For further information, please contact Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP at (949) 748-3600; website: www.rwclegal.com. 

The law firm of Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. 

© 2016 Ruzicka, Wallace & Coughlin, LLP.

June 23, 2016 | Landlord-Tenant Law |