What Are the Penalties for Removing a Real Estate Sign?

By Daniel Westlake
Real estate signs are often posted in front of new houses that are for sale.

Real Estate image by Stephen VanHorn from Fotolia.com

Real estate signs are used to advertise a property that is for sale, by giving all the necessary information about the realtor and how to contact her if you are interested in the property. These signs are often made out of expensive materials and are meant to be posted only on the property that is for sale. There are specific laws that govern real estate signs in most states.

Trespassing

People who come onto private property, which is the house which is for sale and remove the real estate sign, could be charged with trespassing and ticketed or fined. Removing the sign costs the real estate agent and those selling the home a possible sale from interested prospective home buyers who are wandering by the property. While something like this may be difficult to prove in court, if caught removing a real estate sign from in front of house, trespassing is one of the penalties that can be used against someone.

Vandalism

Removing the sign can be thought of as vandalism to the property or to the sign itself, especially if the sign is damaged in any way. Many of these signs are made out of thick pieces of plastic, foam core or even pieces of metal and can cost $40 to $50 apiece, which comes at the expense of the real estate company and the home owners. If these signs are damaged in any way when they are illegally removed, then vandalism penalties may be incurred, in which people may be forced to pay fines or replace the signs at cost.

Public Property Removal

There are some instances where real estate signs can be removed without any penalty whatsoever. If the real estate sign is on public property, it can not only be removed, but can cause the real estate company who put it there to be fined. Real estate signs that are put on private property that are not part of the property they are selling can also be removed by the owner of the property they are posted on and a complaint can be filed about it, possibly getting the real estate company or agents in trouble.

About the Author

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.

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