Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants’ Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants’ Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants' Olivia Chow sign off my lawn? (Image: Paul Henman/Flickr)
 
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I rent the upper floor of my semi to a young couple and was dismayed to find an Olivia Chow sign on my front lawn. I’m ardently opposed to her politics, though I’ll spare you the ideological screed. My question: can they use my property to promote their views? If so, how might I persuade them not to, short of stealing the sign in the night?

—NIMFY, Roncesvalles

Every Toronto neighbourhood has lawns crowded with signs from opposing parties, so you’re probably not the only one thinking about a midnight pilfer. But in your case there’s no need. According to city bylaws, the property owner is the king of the castle and decides what goes in the yard. There’s one exception: if you have a lease agreement that gives your renter sole rights to the use of the front lawn. Barring that, you’re in charge. Trashing their sign would be a dictatorial move, however, especially if you plan to advertise your own mayoral choice. A friendlier proposal would be a mutual agreement to leave the lawn uncluttered, politically agnostic and green (though maybe not Green).

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com