Election signs on rental property

Monday, August 31, 2015

In the latest issue of FRPO Facts, the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario provides a summary of landlord rights and responsibilities pertaining to election signs on rental properties.

With campaigning for the 2015 federal election underway, here are some key insights:

1.The Residential Tenancies Act is silent on the matter of tenants having the right to place election signs in their units or on the property.

2. However, the federal Canada Elections Act does address the issue of signs in rental homes. While landlords cannot prohibit tenants from displaying election signs, housing providers can set “reasonable” restrictions (example: it would be reasonable to prohibit signs from being dangerously affixed to balconies):
Canada Elections Act

Election advertising posters
322. (1) No landlord or person acting on their behalf may prohibit a tenant from displaying election advertising posters on the premises to which the lease relates and no condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner of a condominium unit from displaying election advertising posters on the premises of his or her unit.

Permitted restrictions 
(2) Despite subsection (1), a landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent referred to in that subsection may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on the premises and may prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are found.

3. Municipal governments often have by-laws on the placement of elections signs, including when they must be removed.

4. The rental industry lease supplied by FRPO includes a clause (I.) that prohibits signs placed or posted anywhere in the property by the tenant. Signs placed on balconies pose a danger should they fall, so prohibitions on balcony/external signs should be enforced.

Election signs – other considerations

1. FRPO advises landlords to communicate their policies on election signs, informing tenants of any restrictions on sign placement before it becomes a major issue.

2. FRPO reminds landlords that they have the authority to prohibit election signs on lawns & fences. The Canada Elections Act allows landlords to prohibit the placement of candidates’ election signs on common areas of the rental property.

For more information, contact: Mike Chopowick, Vice President Government & Industry Relations, 416-385-1100 x21

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