What are the Legal Rules for putting Flyers on someone's property? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 10-12-2009, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Question What are the Legal Rules for putting Flyers on someone's property?

Hi everyone, below is a post that I made a few days ago, but felt it was a good question and I wanted to bring it to its own thread to benefit everyone. We all want to market our services, but don't want to end up fined and/or with a citation or worse because of it!!

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I have always wondered about the exact legality of door-hanging etc... since I am newer to the business (less than 2 years) I am very motivated and have used the past couple months to come up with a very comprehensive company literature package (flyers, trifolds, business cards...) and I would be willing to go "door to door" in affluent neighborhoods (I don't 'like' cleaning homes, because their ROI is literally 20% of commercial jobs, but it is a good income bridge).

If my understanding is accurate, as long as we don't place anything into their physical mailbox without postage (or is it just by hand in general?) we are legally ok? I have gotten things in my newspaper open box beneath the actual mailbox, and of course things on my home's doorknob and in the screen door...

What is best, and legal? Thanks!!!
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post #2 of Old 10-27-2009, 04:39 PM
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I get flyers dropped off at my doorstep all of the time. I used to drop off flyers on people's doorstep, but it was never effective unless I actually talked to them. If you are a good communicator then you will get the business. The only illegal way of dropping off flyers is in HOA communities that specifically prohibit the practice..........but, If I happen to be doing a job in an expensive neighborhood, I will take the opportunity to knock on a few of the neighbor's doors to ask them if they would be interested in the same service i provided to their neighbor. It is a great way to get in and people have never been offended if i took that approach.

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post #3 of Old 10-27-2009, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
I get flyers dropped off at my doorstep all of the time. I used to drop off flyers on people's doorstep, but it was never effective unless I actually talked to them. If you are a good communicator then you will get the business. The only illegal way of dropping off flyers is in HOA communities that specifically prohibit the practice..........but, If I happen to be doing a job in an expensive neighborhood, I will take the opportunity to knock on a few of the neighbor's doors to ask them if they would be interested in the same service i provided to their neighbor. It is a great way to get in and people have never been offended if i took that approach.
VERY good points, and thanks for responding! I was always curious about this, and assumed a little of what you shared with me.

I do have a question that goes hand in hand with what you said above... which is, aside from face to face or door knocking, would it be wise and potentially successful/profitable to use the same "your neighbor uses my services" technique, with sending out fliers to homes by mail or by foot?

What I mean it... we're not knocking on their door physically, BUT the brochures or post-cards we send them in the mail (WITH the client's permission of course) would specifically let them know we clean for someone in their neighborhood by name and address, who would be happy to refer us? If I can get current clients to agree to let me use their home address, or name and an email or voice-mail number for people to call and check on our services - that would be GOLDEN!!!

Thanks!
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post #4 of Old 09-15-2010, 05:49 AM
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Ugh, I know this is old, but i'll answer it anyway. Every city is different, and you should check their website or call to see if they have any laws against flyer distribution. If you live in a large city, there may be several different smaller cities (you'll know if you live there I suppose), and need to verify each one and check what the city borders are. Covenant areas may have a sign located on their entry points, look for those any time you enter a new area, a large fenced off area is a good indicator. Any door that has a sign that says "no flyers" or "no hand bills" you should not distribute to. However, any sign that says "no solicitation" you can distribute to, as you are not soliciting. It can be a matter of person taste though, as some people don't want to offend anyone and others take their chances. Never ever under any circumstances put a flyer on a mailbox, not in it, or on it, or anything. It is a federal offense. Flyer should go on doors, and not anywhere else. I would suggest, not opening gates, but that's my personal opinion. As well as, never open a screen door to place onto a door. Apartments can be tricky, look for "no trespassing" signs as well as the "no handbills". They like to call the cops first and ask questions second.
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post #5 of Old 12-15-2010, 05:28 AM
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If you're on private property, leave. Don't argue. You have no basis for any argument.

If you're on public property (specifically, a public right of way) (as long as you're not making traffic back up) tell the officer, "It is illegal for you to give that order. If you enforce it, you will lose a lawsuit." If he arrests you, do not resist arrest. Just tell him, "I guess you're just going to have to find out the hard way."


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post #6 of Old 12-15-2010, 05:02 PM
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Don't get caught!
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post #7 of Old 12-16-2010, 08:52 AM
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We have door hangers that we put out every once in a while.
In my experience you HAVE to put them on the doorknob.

I have sent out some of my neighbors high school kids to put them out.
They get lazy and put them in the mailbox, and that is when the post office started calling me! They said as long as this is the only call, they would leave me alone.

When I'm going to put out door hangers I do it myself now. Doing them myself I get way less out, but I have a GREATER return, much greater. I will put out 25 flyers and land almost half that day. I like to get about 4 out of 10 estimates to weed out the shoppers and complainers for next year.

I have sent the goof troop out and had them put out in excess of 500 and I get a few shoppers and Calls from HOA's asking me how the funk I got through the gate etc. I usually turn the negative into a positive and clean the caller anyway LOL.

But, now all we do is direct mail to our client list and a small amount to cold addresses. Works much better imo

Folks that live behind the iron gate usually respond better to direct mail or when I build momentum off of a neighbor. And those are the clients we want.

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post #8 of Old 07-19-2011, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pressure Cleaning View Post
Don't get caught!
LOL, I agree! We don't solicit anymore, since our Tampa Roof Cleaning Company is very firmly established. The latest rage we see is throwing flyers in peoples yards in a bag with a rock in it
I agree with Thomas, when I put out flyers in the past, I left them right on the door
I like to actually call my past roof cleaning customers vs direct mail them though.
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post #9 of Old 07-19-2011, 01:35 PM
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Thats my biggest ROI throwing posts cards in a bag with a river rock in it.We had done 10,000 or so this year with 1 bad complaint.
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post #10 of Old 07-20-2011, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greencleaning View Post
If you're on private property, leave. Don't argue. You have no basis for any argument.

If you're on public property (specifically, a public right of way) (as long as you're not making traffic back up) tell the officer, "It is illegal for you to give that order. If you enforce it, you will lose a lawsuit." If he arrests you, do not resist arrest. Just tell him, "I guess you're just going to have to find out the hard way."

As long as you are willing to be arrested, possibly be convicted and have about 10 grand to start a law suit that may be a solution.

Make sure it is a public site, most parking malls are not.

Make sure you have been returning to that public site and removing all the flyers left behind.

Otherwise your first big hurdle will be in showing that your flyers don't meet the legal definition of litter.

An arrest would not be made for giving an order which *might* be illegal but for something an officer "would have reasonable grounds to believe..."
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post #11 of Old 07-21-2011, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roof Cleaning by A&E View Post
Thats my biggest ROI throwing posts cards in a bag with a river rock in it.We had done 10,000 or so this year with 1 bad complaint.
Are you serious? You actually do this and it gets you jobs? The reason I ask is, I asked opinions on another forum about an idea I had for distributing flyers or postcards and someone stated that your rock method was being used in their neighborhood. My idea involved something useful attached with the flyer. But not a rock. That's not to say rocks aren't useful. We all know they are.
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post #12 of Old 07-21-2011, 06:44 PM
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Yes it works!
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post #13 of Old 07-31-2011, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
I get flyers dropped off at my doorstep all of the time. I used to drop off flyers on people's doorstep, but it was never effective unless I actually talked to them. If you are a good communicator then you will get the business. The only illegal way of dropping off flyers is in HOA communities that specifically prohibit the practice..........but, If I happen to be doing a job in an expensive neighborhood, I will take the opportunity to knock on a few of the neighbor's doors to ask them if they would be interested in the same service i provided to their neighbor. It is a great way to get in and people have never been offended if i took that approach.

Exactly! It is a very good idea!

Cleaning Is What i DO!
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post #14 of Old 07-26-2013, 11:54 AM
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Article 1 Chapter 15 of the Utah Constitution:

There shall be no Law passed to abridge or restrain freedom of speech or the press.

Flyers are communication through media giving us constitutional rights of freedom of the press



U.S. Supreme Court

The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.
Miller v. US, 230 F 486 at 489

An unconstitutional "law " is not a law; it confers no rights, imposes no duties, and affords no protection.
Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 178 (1886)

All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void. Chief Justice John Marshall
Marbury v. Madison, 5 US (1Cranch) 137, 174, 176 (1803)

When any court violates the clean and unambiguous language of the Constitution, a fraud is perpetuated, and no one is bound to obey it.
State v. Sutton, 63 Min 147, 65 NW 262, 30 LRA630, AM ST 459

"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."
Miranda vs Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 p. 491

It doesn't look like our constitutional right of freedom of the press is going away any time soon.



FREEDOM OF THE PRESS DEFINITION

The freedom of communication and expression through media and/or published material

Flyers are communication and expression through published media material.



TRASH DEFINITION

Unwanted or undesired waste material.

Flyers are not trash by legal definition and to mislead and claim they are holds no water to the law.



HANDBILL DEFINITION

A single page leaflet advertising events, services or other activities. Flyers are typically used by
individuals or business' to promote their product or services.
They are a form of mass marketing or small scale community communication.

Flyers are a legal form of community communication handbills by definition



LITTER DEFINITION

Litter consists of waste products

Flyer are not waste products or litter by legal definition and to claim or mislead holds no water to the law.



UTAH LITTER LAW REFERS TO HANDBILLS

Utah Code Title 76 Chapter 10 Section 2701 subsection (3)

A person distributing commercial handbills, leaflets, or other advertising shall take whatever measures
are reasonably necessary to keep the material from littering public or private property.

To keep the flyer material from littering flyers are stapled to a cardboard paper weight to keep them from

blowing in the wind and some flyers are hand delivered, taped securely to a structure and/or property.

To claim or willfully mislead about the flyers will not hold water to the law.



SOLICITATION DEFINITION

Urgently asking: It is the action or instance of petitioning; proposal.
Solicitation is done on a phone or in person, asking someone for their time trying to sell something.

With a "No Solicitation" sign on your door you will still receive LEGAL door hangers, flyers and handbills.

IT IS NOT SOLICITATION BY DEFINITION TO PASS OUT FLYERS.



SOLICITATION LEGAL TERMS

Request or appeal either oral or written to obtain, seek or plead for funds, property or any thing of value.

Flyers are not a request or appeal to plead for funds or property or any thing of value.

IT IS NOT SOLICITATION DEFINED BY LEGAL TERMS TO PASS OUT FLYERS



CANVASSING

Systematic initiation of direct contact with a target group of individuals commonly used during political campaigns.
A campaign team will knock on doors of private residences within a particular geographic location,
engaging in face-to-face interaction with voters, canvassing may also be preformed by telephone.

Canvassing is very close to solicitation asking someone for there time flyers are not canvassing.



ADVERTISING

A form of communication intended to persuade an audience to purchase or take some action upon
products, ideas or services.

Flyers are communication through media to take action upon products, ideas or services.

Flyers are not litter, waste, trash, and they are not solicitation of any kind.

Any other claim or willful misleading information will not hold water to the law or in court.

CASE CLOSED.
HARASSMENT


First Amendment
The First Amendment covers the distribution of political, social and promotional flyers. This means flyers can be distributed on public streets, sidewalks, door to door and public gathering places as long as traffic isn't affected. Businesses and stores must also allow leaflets and flyers as long as they're handed out in parking lots or sidewalks. If you want to hand out flyers in a store, you must gain approval from store management.


Mr Kelly at: flyerdistributors.com
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post #15 of Old 02-24-2014, 11:43 AM
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If your going to use this method, I would recommend buying door hangers vs the regular flyer. Its worked for us in the past.
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post #16 of Old 03-11-2014, 01:59 AM
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I used flyers that I printed myself for 15 years. We never worried if it was legal or not. It made me lots of money. Every now and then someone would call and complain. It's part of business. I'm starting a new kind of business in March 2015 (1 year from now) and a big part of my marketing will be flyers. Most people say flyers don't work which I think is great... more money for me to make. I don't mind talking about it now that I'm out of the cleaning business. The only type of advertising I ever did for cleaning was flyers and it paid off very well! As a matter of fact my worst day in business was in 2006 when we passed out 750 flyers and got 35 calls to come out and bid. If you wonder why that is bad.... you try taking 35 calls for bids, all the normal calls, managing all the girls cleaning, setting up the bids and all the other crap that was going on that day. It actually almost ran me out of business. Too much growth too fast is a baaaad thing.
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post #17 of Old 06-25-2014, 04:14 PM
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What would be some advise for doing door hanger marketing? I'm a new floor cleaning business in a competitive area and need to find creative ways to get the word out about my business. I read that door flyers are great but any tips on knowing where to start, knowing what neighborhoods are better than others, is there a better time of day to do this, etc.
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post #18 of Old 07-14-2014, 01:25 AM
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We only do door hangers on apartments not homes. If there is a "no solicitation" sign on the door, we of course don't leave a card.
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post #19 of Old 02-13-2018, 01:53 PM
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Maybe a reply from a homeowner would help here. I came across this site while searching for county codes on the distribution of flyers and handbills in residential communities. We live in a moderately affluent neighborhood and have been receiving more and more things stuck on our doorknob, in our door, and on our doorstep. Posting a sign saying "No flyers, handbills, or solicitors" did nothing to stem the tide. The goon squads that prowl our neighborhood do not take the time to walk up individual driveways. Instead, they tromp from house to house through bushes and beds. I will not do business with any concern that advertises in this manner. It may be a cheap form of advertising that is attractive to new start-ups. But I would rather have a business with an established track record, so why advertise that you're not that that business? When I need any kind of service, I check NextDoor.com for our neighborhood for recommendations, ask neighbors and friends and check the internet for customer reviews of local businesses. If you're in business, maybe making it easier for people who need your well-reviewed product or service to find you would be better than alienating thousands of others who don't want to have to clean up your mess.
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