Campaigning in Multi-Unit Buildings: What Landlords Need to Know

It’s election season, and some of our members have been asking about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to people door-knocking, distributing flyers, or other election activities in their buildings.

Regardless of your rules about soliciting in the building, you must not prevent candidates or representative of candidates (who have proper identification or documentation) from canvassing or sharing their election materials. Additionally, landlords are not permitted to prevent tenants from displaying election signs.

The full text of the Elections Act reads:

Canvassing, etc., in residential areas

  •  (1) No person who is in control of an apartment building, condominium building or other multiple-residence building or a gated community may prevent a candidate or his or her representative from
    • (a) in the case of an apartment building, condominium building or gated community, canvassing, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., at the doors to the apartments, units or houses, as the case may be; or
    • (b) in the case of a multiple-residence building, campaigning, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., in a common area in the multiple residence.

      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a person who is in control of a multiple residence building whose residents’ physical or emotional well-being may be harmed as a result of permitting canvassing or campaigning referred to in that subsection.

Campaigning in public places

  •  (1) No person who is in control of a building, land, street or any other place, any part of which is open without charge to members of the public, whether on a continuous, periodic or occasional basis — including any commercial, business, cultural, historical, educational, religious, governmental, entertainment or recreational place — may prevent a candidate or his or her representative from campaigning in or on that part when it is open without charge to members of the public.
  • Exception: (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a place if campaigning in or on it would be incompatible with the function and purpose of the place or inconsistent with public safety.

Election advertising posters

  •  (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.