Sidestepping Solicitors in Your Homeowners Association

Feb 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM / by HOA Manager

red no soliciting sign on white doorDo you find yourself annoyed by the persistence of solicitors' unwelcome knocks on your door? It seems like no matter what they are selling or promoting they always manage to show up on your porch. They come with fliers, door hangers, a rehearsed speech and the distinct ability to ignore the polite decline of the products they are peddling to every person they can reach in your homeowners association - cleaning supplies, appliances, cosmetics, magazine subscriptions, home improvement products, coupons for local businesses and other unwanted items - sometimes even making you feel trapped in your own home.

Unfortunately, a homeowners association is a particularly easy, frequent target of commercial, religious and political solicitors. Part of the appeal is that population density makes your homeowners association an easy environment for them to canvas.

It's rather like the importing of children on Halloween -- well lit, houses closer together, nice sidewalks and lawns kept up and the perception that as a member of a homeowners association, you have more disposable income to spend on their offerings. Because of this, finding a way to keep solicitors away can be invaluable.

"No Solicitation" Sign

The simplest way to deter solicitors is by posting a "No Solicitation"” sign in your yard, on your door or in your front window. Many homeowners associations post "No Solicitation" signs at the entrance to the HOA.

As for License, Permit or Identification

If you or your association does have a sign posted and you get knocks on the door anyway, you  can ask solicitors for their license, permit or company identification; you'll discover that many do not have it and will leave.

Notify Security Personnel or Management

If the solicitor does not leave or keeps coming back, you can tell them that your homeowners association has nuisance restrictions and there are legal ramifications for violating them. And if that is not enough to make them hightail it off your lawn, you can also call the HOA management and ask for security personnel to escort the solicitor out of the community.

Contact the Authorities

While a visit from a solicitor is often annoying, they can sometimes be more than just a nuisance; some might have ulterior motives, such as fraud, canvassing a home to commit a crime or other unseemly behavior.

If you believe a solicitor is acting suspiciously or you feel threatened, call the police immediately and notify management to help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation. You might also want to consider starting a neighborhood watch program in your area.

Stay safe, keep your sanity and do your part in discouraging solicitors from trolling your community. You will soon hear just how sweet an un-rung doorbell sounds.

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Topics: Living in an HOA, HOA Management