State law protects political yard signs against HOA covenants

Politics

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — A group of Greenwood-area homeowners are relying on a state law that says a homeowners association covenant can not prohibit a homeowner from displaying political yard signs at this point in the election cycle.

Several residents in the Bradford Place subdivision say they recently received emails from their HOA board asking them to take down political yard signs in accordance with their neighborhood covenant.

“We moved in last week,” said Bradford Place resident Alyssa Tagua. “Put up the sign last week when we moved in and were told that he had to take the sign down because it infringes on the community’s HOA guidelines.”

“Our neighbors got it as well,” Tagua continued. “We were all told that we have to take our signs down.”

A representative for the Bradford Place HOA board said via email that the board only wanted the residents to take down the signs while awaiting approval for the signs.

State Representative Woody Burton says that approval isn’t necessary right now.

“Anybody that owns a property in a homeowners association, or where they have covenants that say they can’t put up signs, they are allowed to put up political signs,” Burton said.

Burton, a Johnson County Republican, authored the 2014 state law that says HOAs can not enact or enforce covenants that would prohibit reasonable political yard signs 30 days before and five days after an election.  

“We said ‘reasonable’ signs because you don’t want somebody putting an 8-foot banner in their front yard, and I understand that,” Burton said.

A Bradford Place HOA board representative said the board still wants residents to seek approval for yard signs.

“Our error in this instance was in asking to remove the sign for that brief period pending response and approval,” the representative stated in an email.

“The statute is very clear,” Burton said. “They can not, in any way, refuse you the opportunity to put up a sign, period.”

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