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SB-337 Tenancy: political signs.(2011-2012)

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Senate Bill No. 337

An act to add Section 1940.4 to the Civil Code, relating to tenancy.

[ Approved by Governor  September 30, 2011. Filed with Secretary of State  September 30, 2011. ]


SB 337, Kehoe. Tenancy: political signs.
Existing law regulates the terms and conditions of residential tenancies, and prohibits a landlord from interfering with a tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises. Existing law also prohibits the governing documents of a common interest development from prohibiting the posting or displaying of noncommercial signs, posters, flags, or banners on or in an owner’s separate interest, except as specified.
This bill would prohibit a landlord from prohibiting a tenant from posting or displaying political signs relating to an election or legislative vote, the initiative, referendum, or recall process, or issues before a public body for a vote, except under certain circumstances. The bill would require a tenant to comply with the time period established by the local ordinance for the posting and removal of political signs or, in the absence of those provisions, by reasonable time limits, as specified, established by the landlord.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 1940.4 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a landlord shall not prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying political signs relating to any of the following:
(1) An election or legislative vote, including an election of a candidate to public office.
(2) The initiative, referendum, or recall process.
(3) Issues that are before a public commission, public board, or elected local body for a vote.
(b) Political signs may be posted or displayed in the window or on the door of the premises leased by the tenant in a multifamily dwelling, or from the yard, window, door, balcony, or outside wall of the premises leased by a tenant of a single-family dwelling.
(c) A landlord may prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying political signs in the following circumstances:
(1) The political sign is more than six square feet in size.
(2) The posting or displaying would violate a local, state, or federal law.
(3) The posting or displaying would violate a lawful provision in a common interest development governing a document that satisfies the criteria of Section 1353.6.
(d) A tenant shall post and remove political signs in compliance with the time limits set by the ordinance for the jurisdiction where the premises are located. A tenant shall be solely responsible for any violation of a local ordinance. If no local ordinance exists or if the local ordinance does not include a time limit for posting and removing political signs on private property, the landlord may establish a reasonable time period for the posting and removal of political signs. A reasonable time period for this purpose shall begin at least 90 days prior to the date of the election or vote to which the sign relates and end at least 15 days following the date of the election or vote.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any changes in the terms of a tenancy that are made to implement the provisions of this section and are noticed pursuant to Section 827 shall not be deemed to cause a diminution in housing services, and may be enforced in accordance with Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that the enactment of this bill shall not affect in any way other forms of noncommercial expression by a tenant when that expression is not associated with political signs.