Did you know that your signs must comply with all municipal sign bylaws?

MLS® Rules & Regulations, MLS® Rules & Regulations, Section 10 – Advertising 10.03 Signs giving notice of sale, rent, lease, development, exchange or open house… may only be erected on locations that  conform with Municipal and Provincial  sign legislation, all applicable laws,  regulations, codes and bylaws.…

You must abide by the sign bylaws of the municipality/region in which your listed property is located:You must abide by the sign bylaws of the municipality/region in which your listed property is located:

Burlington – By-law No. 034-2007  (Click on “Download Original  By-law” – see especially page 19)

Grimsby – By-law No. 97-45

Haldimand – By-law No. 1064/10 (references throughout  the document)

Hamilton – By-Law No. 10-197  (see especially page 27)

Why is it important?

Open house/directional sign bylaws exist to ensure that sight lines for drivers and pedestrians are unobstructed and, in some cases, so that signs are not left to clutter boulevards, medians, etc.

If your signs do not comply with municipal sign bylaws, they may be seen as causing a visual distraction, adding to what may be perceived as unsightly clutter, and as lacking professionalism.


  1. Municipalities have fines for removing and storing signs that don’t comply with their bylaws.
  2. A complaint may be filed with RAHB’s Professional Standards Committee.

If you see a sign that doesn’t comply with municipal bylaws, you can:

  • Contact the owner of the sign and remind him or her of the sign bylaw for that municipality
  • Contact the municipality in which the sign is  located and let them deal with it as a non- compliant sign
  • Take a time- and date-stamped photo clearly showing the location of the sign and forward it  to the RAHB Professional Standards Committee (c/o Angela at the RAHB office –  along with a letter of complaint that cites the bylaw that is being breached.

Note: RAHB cannot enforce the municipality’s sign bylaw; it can only enforce its rule requiring compliance with the bylaw. 

Be aware that bylaws differ from municipality to municipality, so what is non-compliant in Burlington, for example, may be compliant in Grimsby or Hamilton or Haldimand. If you see a sign that doesn’t comply with municipal bylaws, you should NEVER remove the sign – members may never interfere with another member’s sign.