Condo Cannot Enforce Rules on Land it Doesn’t Own

J.J. from Michigan writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Our condo association rules state “No Signs of any kind with the exception of one For Sale sign”. With that being said, since all of our roads are county roads and not private roads, can the association stop me from putting political signs in the county road right of way in our subdivision? This is property that is not owned by any association member but the county right of way that is owned by the county road commission. Thank you! I need a quick answer.

Mister Condo replies:

J.J., quite simply the condo can only enforce rules on land that it owns. If you are certain that they don’t own the land you wish to plant signs on then they cannot enforce their rules on that land. However, the land owner of the land in question may have their own rules about what the public can and cannot do on that land. Have you checked with the county road commission? Violating your condo rules can get you a warning or a fine. Violating municipal rules could get you arrested. Better to be safe than sorry. Find out who owns the land and what the rules are for posting political signs before you take any other action.  All the best!

2 thoughts on “Condo Cannot Enforce Rules on Land it Doesn’t Own

  1. I’m not sure I agree with the general concept that a “Condo cannot enforce rules on land that it does not own.” Most HOAs don’t own individual houses or lots, yet they most certainly can enforce architectural standards, for example. A Condo does not own unit interiors, generally, yet they can enforce pet restrictions or rules against running a business from the home. I agree that municipal or county rules about posting signage may be even more strict, but I’m not sure a judge would agree that a Condo not be able to enforce aesthetic standards (including a ban on political signs) on public rights of way within their community. I think you’d be surprised how much deference a court will grant an association, especially if the rule is based on specific language in the Declaration or Bylaws.

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