Is It Legal in Texas for Your Landlord To Remove Political Signs?
It's getting closer to election time, and political signs are all over the place in Central Texas.
Campaign ads can be a sore spot for those who don't agree with them, but the bigger question is where these signs are allowed legally - and who can take them down.
Texas Election Code
Political signs don't get automatic legal protection just because of their nature. Appellate lawyer Chad Ruback tells KXAN that a homeowners association (HOA) can have requirements about how political signs are posted, or how many signs someone can have on their property at the same time.
KXAN reports that under the Texas Election Code, HOAs are not allowed to enforce or adopt any bans or rules against political signs within 90 days before or 10 days after the election. However, that doesn’t mean homeowners can do whatever they want when it comes to putting up signs for their chosen candidate.
HOA vs Rental Properties
When it comes to renting versus owning, the Texas Apartment Association states that rental properties can enforce what is considered “reasonable restrictions" on political signs. These include:
- Signs may only be allowed on property being leased
- Signs that can cause property damage can be restricted
- Offensive signs in a common area or signs that threaten safety and health of others can be prohibited
Unlike homeowners associations, the Texas Election Code doesn’t have any specific regulations on political signs in apartment complexes, which means it's up to the apartment owners to decide what is allowed.
Political Sign Removal
'Reasonable restrictions' basically means if the political sign has obscene language or images, causes property damage of any kind, or is not safe (could fall on someone and cause injury, for example), then both HOAs and apartments will probably take it down if you refuse to remove it yourself.