Can a Landlord Forbid a Tenant From Posting Signs That Promote a Candidate In An Election Upon a Rental Unit?

The Law Forbids a Landlord From Restricting a Tenant From Placing a Sign That Promotes An Election Candidate Upon the Rental Unit. The Landlord May Forbid a Tenant From Placing Signs Upon Common Areas Within a Rental Complex.

Understanding the Right of a Tenant to Promote An Election Candidate Without Restriction By a Landlord

In Canada, as a free and democratic society, all persons may choose to support a particular candidate in an election; and, with very few exceptions, post signage in promotion of a preferred candidate upon the premises that such persons occupy.  This right expressly includes persons occupying rented premises; and accordingly, a landlord is forbidden from restricting the posting of election signs by a tenant.

The Law

The Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, Chapter 9 prescribes the protection provided to a tenant who wishes to advertise or promote a favoured candidate.  Specifically, the Canada Elections Act states:

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.

Summary Comment

A landlord may restrict election posters or signs to a reasonable size.  Additionally, a tenant holds the right to place a poster or sign only within the rental unit; and accordingly, a landlord may forbid posters or signs from being placed upon areas beyond the rental unit occupied by the tenant.

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