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No Soliciting signs, HOAs, and leaving brochures

Posted on : 08-16-2008 | By : askinglaw | In : Homeowners Association, Other Legal Topics, Real Estate Law


I am an Avon Independent Sales Rep in Shelton, WA. I have been leaving brochures in driveways. Usually I have no problem, but lately some HOAs have been saying it is illegal and I have to go back and pick up every brochure in the neighborhood from the driveways. There was no posted “No Soliciting” sign. Telephone books get left that way all the time. They have paid ads in them. What are my rights here? What if there is a “No Soliciting” sign, does that mean I cannot drop off a brochure?

Answers (73)

I read a lot of perspectives here but didn’t see any one talk about my issue. The local newspaper seems to all of a sudden think its okay to come into my privately owned neighborhood, with the no soliciting sign at the brick entrance, on its private road (indicated by the color of the street sign) and throw its plastic wrapped advertiser junk all over our driveways and yards. This looks like crap in my well groomed neighborhood. Now, I have to pick them up. Or the trash collector picks them up if they land in the trash spot. Or if no one is home, no one picks them up. One of the reasons I own a condo is that I travel for work. I am certainly not the only “part time resident” in this neighborhood. The last thing I want outside my home is a pile of newspapers that i didn’t request to be delivered, duh! The newspaper told me today that each homeowner would have to call them to get them to stop throwing their trash in our driveways. That’s 176 units. She didnt ask for my name, maybe I’ll make 176 calls. I’d rather just call the police and report littering. That’s the answer I’m looking for online today.

Bottom line! If you do not have a “No Soliciting” sign on your home. Don’t complain! I don’t care if there is one at the enterence to your snooty neighborhood or Not! Lots of folks in the area are usually happy I came! Sorry about u unhappy snobs who think you are better and/or smarter than I am. ;)

I for one am sick of all the litter that I have to pick up on my property from people who cannot understand a simple no solicitors sign. I find the majority of these people are either pushing their religion and trying to make me buy into their beliefs, and of course politicians who seem to think that they are above the law when it comes to them trying to sell me to vote for them. Just a note I never vote for anyone who cannot understand a sign, and I would never change my beliefs for anyone. It just drives a bigger wedge between everyone when you cannot honor a persons beliefs and try to sell your religion as the only one.

Well, Angie, there is nothing snooty about my neighborhood. It’s a condo association, we built the road and bought the street lights, and we pay continually to maintain them. And we keep it clean and safe. We don’t want people throwing paper and plastic on our lawns and driveways. Whereever you live, I’m sure you don’t want people doing the same. The person who drives past our places doesn’t bother to get out of her car, so I doubt she could see a no soliciting sign if there are any individual ones. Smarts has nothing to do with any of it. It’s called consideration.

Whomever says that JW respect the “do not call” list is lying. I have asked at least 10 times that they do not call on me nor leave information. I got home yesterday and yet ANOTHER of those annoying and offensive flyers was crammed in my door.

I do the door to door thing for a living and love it. I come across tons of good decent folk as well as a few people who are having a bad day. B to B, B to C are some of the hardest jobs out there. That said they are also some of the best paying as well.

This is just a warning and keep in mind that not all door to door are trying to sell you. For instance when i get contracts from the census it is more a matter of obtaining information and it is a civic duty. So regardless of what you have posted, what you say etc you are obliged by law for the census. If you refuse to provide information you can spend up to 7 years in a federal prison.

I am going to continue to D2D and B2B because I like it and there are great people out there. I understand people have bad days and hope venting to me helps you, seriously I do. I get compensated well for what I do and I am proud because I am an entrepreneur. I know in 5 years my capital will be fare over the 200K mark. No short cuts exist in commission sales. For instance in telecom, we provided lower rates than what is advertised. I have lowered people bills up to 150.00 per month. It does not hurt to hear us out, if we can help you great. If not just say no.

I just started a carpet cleaning company and I have to worry about just dropping my information on there doorknob I dont even knock I just leave my information in a little bag with my information in it. Not disturbing anyone not knocking not selling anything . If you do not want to read my brochure throw it away just dont understand how small businesses can get there name out there without spending a fortune on ads and other things that Hasnt worked for me. So again what is the harm in just simply hanging something on your doorknob without disturbing anyone.I dont freak out and want to shoot some pizza guy for leaving his brochure I simply throw it away no harm done. Does anyone agree with this?

While, that’s not really fair dude some organizations don’t ring on door bells like the one I work for Georgia, while you may be privileged enough to where you don’t have work a company that demands the soliciting, I’m not and therefore I have no choice I’m diabetic type 1 to precise what would you have me do?

It pays the bills, and I don’t like as much as you do, but someone has to do it. People staring at you all funny looking, I mean feel ocward, don’t make it harder than it is. I don’t want to make any or make anyone feel uneasy in their on homes.

Condo resident who travels, be at ease make the call and if the littering doesn’t come to a stop I’d sue the bastards.

Sorry Lisa Wiggins looking for a new hobby, until the can you bare one or two more of those dreadful fliers, please.

Did anyone even truly answer this question or is it just off handed angry opinions.

Schneider v. State – 308 U.S. 147 (1939) was (as indicated) in 1939. Do you think we would still be able to post “No Soliciting” signs if it weren’t still legal? After doing a cursory reading of the cited decision, it seems to me that this case refers to people who stand on public sidewalks. The court seemed to indicate that the property rights of a person were not overridden by this decision. Seems to me that “No Soliciting” means “Leave Me Alone”. Best to honor that person’s wishes. They obviously took the time to put the sign there.

Funny to read people basically stating their opinion with zero regard to the consistent rulings by the United States Supreme Court that have affirmed the right to solicit door to door as protected under the 1st amendment. In several cases the 1st circuit court of appeals, the 6 circuit court of appeals and the 4th circuit have all ruled even the ban on solicitation after a certain hour is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The signs at the front of the development have ZERO weight of law.

In regard to door to door distribution of latitude, flyers etc. the United States Supreme Court ruled in Lovell Vs. City of Griffin, Ga that you can NOT ban the distribution door to door of ANY kind of literature or handbills.

What you think is irrelevant, we have a constitution in this country and Supreme Court Rulings are the final authoritative review of the matter. Don’t like freedom ? Move to North Korea. Some of you crybaby bitch liberals will fit right in.

oops Apples lousy spell checker got me again.
Should have read :literature flyers etc.

Actually, the Court decided “that the city ordinance was unconstitutionally overbroad. Because the ordinance restricted not merely the time, place, or manner of the materials distributed, the Court believed that it was in violation of the First Amendment, and, by extension, the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed that the federal constitutional guarantees would be binding on individual states.”
Reading that, one wonders whether a city or an HOA could limit “time place or manner” of the distribution in some “reasonable” way?

So I work with a small business. I do sales for them. It’s hard work and it’s great work. I don’t particularly like bugging people, but I do like helping people. What I sell doesn’t particularly matter but I enjoy helping people. It’s something I think every person that has done sales has. That good feeling. That being said though. Sales is what runs this country. To everyone that has said something cross about sales people, how about this. Drop every service you have right now. If you hate us coming to your door trying to give you something better or cheaper because we honestly just want you to have a better service and a better life then fine. Drop every single service you have that involves a sales person. Which is everything. Go live in the woods and live off the land. Preferably away from people seeing as you can’t be a simple human being and be nice. How would you feel if a person came to your job everyday and told you how much of a waste of life you are? All for doing your job. Not just one person either. How about 30? Every day. For the entirety of your employment. In all actuality, us sales people are the most honest and nicest people. You know why? It’s so stupid obvious. If we weren’t nice you wouldn’t get anything from us and if we lied about the awesome service we are trying to give you to make your life better you would just cancel and we wouldn’t get paid which in turn we wouldn’t eat. doing this job I’ve discovered one truth about the people who are jerks. It’s simple. They all have lived that are so disappointingly pathetic they feel it necessary to be immediately rude to the person smiling at there door. And karma does come around, just so you know. Case in point. About a year ago I went by this guy’s house as I do. He was incredibly rude to me in such a way I did not expect. So I left. Recently I saw this man again. At his job at a fast food place. I got to see him get reeled by a customer for something simple. Not something to get upset about but still the verbal assault was entertaining to watch. I spoke to him afterward. Seeing as he recognized me. I made sure to comment about what goes around comes around one way or the other. So if you are feeling the urge to verbally assault the people who come to your door looking to do something nice for you. Instead go drop every service you have and go live in the woods. Or you can scream profanity at us as we walk away and you can look forward to whatever karmic retribution coming your way. All for simply being unable to have what would have been a pleasant conversation with someone trying to help you.

Interesting comments. It’s one thing if you got a knock or a door bell ring once in a while, but to have numerous different salespeople ringing your door bell or knocking on the door or both every other day of the week, it gets frustrating. Especially when you work out of your home (you need to focus and have limited time to get it all done in the first place) But with the constant ding dong, knock, knock, knock. Hello we are not selling anything, just need a few minutes of your time. I got so frustrated and interrupted so many times, I finally printed up a sign and put in the long window beside the door bell. I even put tape over our door bell. I have a indoor pet who barks every time she hears someone in the yard or at the front door. And I have 2 children under the age of 3 that take naps and get woken up. I to have a job to do and I am trying to make a living out of my home. I don’t need to stop several times per day for something I do not have the money for in the first place. My dog is barking, my children are up and crying, because a salesman is at my door again. The sign has helped over the years tremendously. I occasionally get a salesman that can not read, obviously, and when I open the door with my dog barking and yelping and my kids crying out, I point to the sign and I say, since you can not read, I will read it for you. NO Soliciting of ANY KIND, meaning I do not want to buy anything and I do not want to go to any of your churches, I am already a member of at our church. Please do not disturb me again, I have small kids, a dog, a job, time is ticking, while I had to stop and tell you this, because you can not read, I’m loosing money. Please do not go to anyone’s door who had a NO Soliciting sign. When my oldest son had to sell things for his school, I never went to anyone’s door, nor did he. I bought some things and our relatives bought a few things. I did not ask anyone from my (then job) to purchase anything from his school either. Just last week 4 people were arrested for supposedly trying to sell vacuum cleaners. Come to find out they were scoping a section of homes in a subdivision and they were caught for breaking into the homes stealing from the homes. The very homes they had went to and tried to sell vacuum cleaners too the week before. You can not trust people. It’s very dangerous to open your door to anyone these days, unless you are (like some people mentioned on this site and other sites) holding a loaded gun and prepared to use it, if necessary. I keep one close at all times. You have to protect yourself and your family.

Im a firefighter and also have young children. One Is under a year.

If I have a long night at work(during a 24 hour shift), I want to come home and take a nap. I do not want to have to get up once an hour to answer my door for some retard that cant read my “No Soliciting” sign that also states the definition of Soliciting.

“ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone.”

If you are peddling free information, You are still asking me to listen to it or read it. You are obtaining my time. If you are peddling consultations, you are trying to obtain an appointment and again, my time.

What is so hard in following someone’s posted signage? To me, Its blatant disrespect towards the homeowner and if you think I’m going to buy anything from anyone who has just disrespected me, you have lost your mind.

I now answer my door with my AR in hand(on safe and pointed away from anyone of course) and tell them to leave and then I call the police. 3 times now charges have been pressed on “offenders” for trespass, and harassment.

I will always get up and answer my door as all my neighbors know what I do for a living, and I am likely going to get a knock or doorbell if any of them have an emergency at home.

Your right to free speech is in tact until it comes to my private property and my posted, written wishes.

I don’t care about your business, I don’t care about your products. I don’t care how nice you are, or what you are trying to do with your life. when you come to my door at 8PM and wake my 8 month old up with multiple door rings in 3 seconds causing my dogs to go berserk and bark for a minute, You have already lost whatever you were trying to gain with me. I also will never in a billion years use your business. I will then go out of my way to avoid dealing with your business, even if you offer the best deal.

If a new, small business wants to advertise, There’s this new thing that just came out called the Internet. People post their business on it, and when other people search for their specific services or products, they find you. Crazy eh?

Look everyone! D2D sales is a two way street. It is inevitable that D2D people are going to knock on your door. Likewise, it is inevitable that some households are going to be nasty to D2D salespeople. However, It is a matter of mindset, opinion, and mood that determines the ambiance of the D2D trade. And I ask, should a D2D salesman be afraid of an angry resident? By no means no! Contrariwise, should a resident be intimidated by a pushy D2D salesman? By no means no! Mutual respect between the two parties, regardless of laws or signs, must exist for our intentions to be important. Although we are a fast paced society that is increasing our interactions with computers while decreasing our face-to-face relationships, one thing must never be forgotten when dealing with people and that is the Golden Rule. And though a D2D sales person might not be an immediate neighbor, they are still an American Citizen whom you should value, treat kindly and accept politely just for the sake that they are a human-being. Conversely, to all you unscrupulous D2D salesman giving earnest D2D sales peoples a bad reputation… Please follow the Golden Rule, don’t foam at the mouth when giving your pitch, and always honor the fact that you’re adhering to the homeowner’s wishes when you set foot onto their property. Like I said, it is a two way street and, in today’s society where everyone is so easily ticked and insensitive to people, we can all benefit by making an effort to implement common courtesy in our daily lives. If we did this there would be no need for laws or inappropriate and hateful opinions expressed in an internet blog. Everybody love everybody! Get help if you can’t! Peace!

Well Lisa Wiggins,why don’t you read one of those annoying, offensive flyers one of these days. Perhaps it will save your life at armageddon.

Yes, you can leave brochures in people’s driveways or front door, as long as it’s not on or in the mailbox. Soliciting involves knocking on the door and talking to people to try to convince them to buy something. Leaving a brochure or flyer is called canvassing, and it’s not the same thing as solicitation. With canvassing, the home owner has the option to contact you for more information, or to throw the brochure away.

This is an old but interesting post, so I wanted to post the following:
To all the homeowners who don’t approve of or frown upon door2door soliciting, would you kindly answer this dilemma:
At some point before you lived in your preferred neighborhood, you had to solicit the services of a Realtor so that you coul buy your nice home. And your Realtor had to use the services of another Realtor – who had the listing you were interested in purchasing – so that you could accomplish your goal of buying your current home. However, the listing agent had to prospect – at some point- in your neighborhood in order to get the listing that you eventually bought and now enjoy so much. So it is only fair to say that without the original listing agent’s door knocking or other form of prospecting in your neighborhood, buying your home would have been virtually impossible. So I ask you, respectfully, what would you recommend that professionals like myself do in order to earn your future business in the event you decide to sell your home?

Your humble servant, Realtor

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