Ballard Tenants Vaguely Threatened with Eviction for Posting Black Lives Matter Signs in Windows



An apartment building is not a private home. It should be a neutral space so it is safe for all.

Rules are rules. Why the presumption that this is even debatable?


"You do not have the right to cover someone else's property with your political propaganda." --disgruntled slum lord*

hey, when I rent my locus abodus
those Windows are MINE to see out
of however I wish. if my kid fingerpaints BLM
on said windows, it's ART, not political Speech.

*prehaps not disgruntled
just quite Firmly entrenched
in the current Status Quotient?


"We need to keep the front of the building apolitical, so as not to attract any unwanted attention."

How's that working out for you?


@1 -- whilst your Fealty to
Power never ever wanes
god forbid someone
tag* dsl's lackluster

"You do not have the right to
cover someone else's property
with your political propaganda."


@2: It's ART huh, like a swastika?

What is it about consistency and considering all contributing factors and possibilities that you don't like?


Brb, chalking the public sidewalk in front of the place.


The manager was tying, and failing, to hide his racist views in his "all signs matter" argument.


"Their ideology gives them such a profound sense of moral superiority that they become confused and frustrated when the rules that govern lesser people are applied to them."

You mean the delightedely-Always-Moral trumpf
his Crime Fambly cum his psychopants?
A better example, does not exist.


@4 Every conservative loves idea of a "politics-free" spaces, i.e. spaces that reify the status quo. This trick is older than the nation-state, the rabble have been onto it for centuries now.


So because someone can't accept the whole world doesn't revolve around them they are going to force the landlord to come down on everyone and enforce every nuance of the lease. Talk about privilege.



Do you ever cross uncrowded streets at points not formally designated as lawful pedestrian crosswalks? Rules are rules. Why the presumption that this is even debatable?


I like the idea of free-speech-free spaces because my slumlord's rules supersede the bill of rights, and I wouldn't want to be reminded of politics while walking by single-occupancy low-income housing. We own you, don't you forget it. You have to PAY to express yourself in America uncontested.


ugh, Cornell.

caveat rentor


@4 Yes, we know how you Fascists love to see the peasants prohibited from complaining about their exploitation. Just as you racists consider black folks demanding their rights politics. Funny how you call it just good business when business owners demand the right to force their workers to die of Covid to maintain their bottom line.


Endorsing the status quo through passive complacency is deeply political, you just can't be bothered to be reminded that shit needs to change. And that is the point of campaigning.


@15: That is quite a stretch, but my jaywalking isn't subjecting my neighbors to political messaging in areas where it's not only against the rules, but inappropriate and disrespectful to the common good all tenants in the building.

In other words, follow the golden rule and you'll never go wrong.


"The signs are "currently only in the common stairwell windows," but the landlord wouldn't allow the signs in unit windows or in other common-area widows, either, he said. ".

THIS is the problem. Barring political signs from common areas is one thing, but telling tenants that they can't put signs up in their own windows is quite another. sign in the front doorway or a laundry room etc. gives the impression of speaking for the entire building, while a sign in one's own window does not.


@25 Fascists like you who think that money gives the bourgeoisie the right to oppress the people are why many of us Leftists think the French did better with their revolution, and America needs more Guillotines and less bourgeoisie.


@24 What?

Take three deep breaths and try again man.


The manager, while basically correct, is being a bit unprofessional.

All that has to be said here is a reiteration of the building rules: no signage on common area windows, and anyone found to be doing it risks eviction. They really shouldn't have editorialized on the signs. Stick to the facts.


@23: The landlord can impose largely any rules they want; it's THEIR building. If you want to call the shots, stop wasting your money on weed, avocado toast and a three latte-a-day habit and buy your own place. Then you can put your BLM/Eat the Rich/Sawant '24 posters in every window.


Send Cornell a note
2633 Eastlake Ave E
Suite 307
Seattle, WA 98102

Phone: (206) 329-0085
Fax: (206) 329-4110


It's pretty clear the landlord is trying to get around the eviction moratium via some arbitraily unenforced rule, which is just scummy, and it won't work.


They should have replaced the signs with something neutral and apolitical, like a giant 40 foot tall banner saying "RESIGN, TRUMP!" or "RELEASE THE KRAKEN ON THE SPD!"

That would have been a reasonable compromise.


@36. You must cleanse your palate with sewage, such is the foulness of your vile word vomit.


Don't rent from Cornell, they will ALWAYS cheat you out of your deposit no matter how clean and good condition you leave your dwelling, it's a matter of their internal policy.


Boy, slow day at the news desk, eh Richie boy?


"I strongly believe that we should be allowed to put up signs regardless of the lease. Many buildings have the same policy, but it is not enforced especially during such a revolution..."

This person does not know how leases, or being an adult, works. A lease is a lease. Don't like the terms? Don't sign it, or go advocate for more renter-friendly lease requirements in your jurisdiction. Also, it's not a "revolution" for some people, who simply might not agree with the goals of your cause. They have rights as well.

This is why college should be free or at least less expensive...most kids need more time to figure out how to function in the real world.



You illustrate my point, as the reality is a decent police officer won't bother with a harmless infraction such as jay-walking, provided noone is put at risk. And a decent landlord won't make a stink about a benign and harmless show of solidarity with an oppressed minority.


Sounds like management is just lazy. If you don’t like the signs then take them down.


I'm going to spend this coming weekend reviewing all of the contracts I currently am party to and picking one thing in each that I will just decide I don't like and stop doing. I had no idea this was OK to do. Imagine my embarrassment, learning this wisdom at such an advanced age.


@44 - The article notes that he did take them down and, like Tribbles, even more replaced them.


If the lease says no signs then tell your tenants posting signs violates the rules. If you tell your tenants black lives matter signs are political propaganda on par with swastikas and ISIS flags you're just going to end up with more signs and more unwanted attention. This landlord isn't very bright.


@47, I agree. There’s a lot of stupid to go around here.


Former condo owner here - most HOA laws would prevent this as well, In fact, HOAs can dictate things like only allowing white curtains or other color/design restrictions etc. for any area that the public can see. So you can OWN a unit but still be subject to restrictions related to your own windows. You can't even put a "For Sale" sign on the window when a unit is for sale in some complexes.


This is also a mundane issue of not wanting to have to pay maintenance staff to remove anything taped all over windows. Ask yourself how many election signs litter your neighborhood after an election. Think of the people that have to clean that shit up because you know that the people putting up are not likely to.

To add to my HOA comment above, we couldn't even put a "lost my keys please keep an eye out" sign near our mailboxes. No signs. Period - of any nature. Very common restriction.


So, if the landlord puts up a "For Rent" sign in one of those windows are they violating the terms of their own contract?


I used to live over by that building. Time for someone to paint up a Black Lives Matter van and park it out front.


@52 Why are all you Fascist CHUDs so bitter and hateful? Oh, right, you know you couldn't compete in a society where who your daddy is and being born white isn't an automatic jump-start to success. In fact, you sound like the sort of complete loser who has to see others suffering for you to be happy with what you have.


@26 - legally, you are correct. By saying what is "wrong" here, I'm making a distinction between the space leased to the tenant and that space not leased to a particular tenant (like the stairwell) in terms of statements made by the tenants and how they might be seen by others on the property.

Agree that this would be a technical violation of many leases, but look at the comments from the housing attorney in the story - I think he's right that it would be pretty tough to get a court to find this was a material breach & let you evict someone. I suppose a NAMBLA recruiting poster or something else that encouraged illegal activity would be different.


We rent in a condo building. We checked our lease and NOWHERE in the lease did it say anything about not being able to hang up anything on our balcony or in our windows or even on our front door. We bought and hung up a 3'x5' BLACK LIVES MATTER flag on our balcony. We had the flag up for 3 weeks.

Then Bob the fat fuck fascist (who used to live here only half the year but now lives in the building year round, with his wife Shirley) knocked on our door and said "it's against the rules to have anything hanging from the balcony." Bob owns his unit. This is a 12 unit building. The building owner (who ignores all of the people who own their units in this building and treats the HOA funds like they belong to him - especially if something needs to be repaired - "owns" 3 units in the building (whose name they are in, not sure) and there is 1 unit left open as the "show unit" (which the underpaid, never does any work "handyman" of the building has stripped of everything usable to make repairs in the other units, including ours). There are 3 other unit owners (in addition to Bob) and one of the owners (our closest neighbor) said "I love your sign!" and no one else said anything. The other 3 units (in addition to us) are rented. So 4 owned, 3 rented, 1 that's been empty the entire time we've lived here, and 3 "owned" by the building owner. (It's all a bit shady as we have discovered that in order to rent any units in a condo building there has to be over 50% of the units owned - and we're pretty sure that does not include the guy who built the building "owning" 3 of the units (technically 4 as one of the rental units is "owned" by him).

Long story short, we contacted the company from whom we lease (since the building owner is never here and does not deal with renters) and they told us we had to take it down as it violated the HOA terms. Then the leasing company continued to contact us (like 7 different times) explaining how they had to have people remove other things, like sports team flags and generic flags with flowers and even signs celebrating graduating seniors etc. etc. etc. (okay we get it, you don't want this to be seen as you being a BIGOT by asking us to remove the Black Lives Matter flag).

I was super pissed, but we removed the flag and I gave it to a local group that is doing Black Lives Matter actions/protests here where I live. I totally resent not being able to participate (as a disabled, home bound person, hanging the flag was my way to participate) and I am super pissed that Bob the fat fuck fascist gets to think he "wins." I was reminded by a friend, though, that Bob the fat fuck fascist cannot hang any of his pro-Trump propaganda from his balcony, as Bob the fat fuck fascist has to follow the same HOA rules. So there is that.


"Bob the fat fuck fascist
has to follow the same
HOA rules. So
there is that."


I prefer the suburbs where a neighbor's
got a GIANT trumpf flag and
a star-spangled banner.

I LOVE seeing that shit because here's a guy who's behind a guy who's so far Behind the 8-ball he's invading USA cities to keep his ass outta Jail and he's Proud af of an Idiot -- HIS Idiot. And not the least afraid to shout it.

I think that right there's
the shit that makes us
fucking GREAT.

Swastikas? Confederate flags?
those I have a little harder time
with but is it up to Me?


@57: Plants and flowers never have such issues and are great for building more meaningful relationships with your neighbors. I bet you and Bob will be sharing orchid tips in no time.


"So; Bob the
fat fuck fascist
made you his bitch....

explains a lot."

explains our troll


Okay. Long as signs/Art're NOT supporting Terrorism
they can all stay. Besides, it'll help the masses
pick out the Fashies when shit hits fan.

Hello. Say, we was wondering:
is that YOUR
KKK sign,
hood and


This is not rocket science. The lease terms are reportedly clear. The management company employee was tone deaf in his over-explanation that was offensive. Best that he said no signs period, per the lease, and not argue the cause. Also please note that it is likely that Cornell is a manager and not owner of the building, as this is what they do I believe - work for a fee for other owners who lack interest, time or expertise in building management.

The weak arguments and indignation by those who think that the cause matters in this simple aesthetic building issue is why they are and will likely remain renters. Those who understand that agreements legally entered into deserve to be respected, who can read, and who respect each other succeed in life. Those who claim to be victims because they suddenly need to jump on a bandwagon along with others (Black Lives mattered a year ago didn't they - where were your signs then?), are sloppy thinkers.

I am not an attorney and won't argue with the attorney who weighed in here. But I do seem to recall that the ban on evictions has to do with non-payment of rent. A violation of a lease despite warnings, on non-rent issues would seem to be a valid and enforceable reason.

There are plenty of ways to express one's beliefs that don't break agreements with others, and intrude on the expectations that follow tenants have to be in an unadorned building. Wear a button, put stickers on your car, or bike if you lack a car, hang out with signs over I-5 overpasses, or on the darn street. Honor your agreements dammit. You signed it. No debate warranted here. You will be the first to complain if the landlord breaks their lease terms or otherwise violates the laws around their work, and indignantly trash them. I am so glad I am not a landlord and if I was, I would try to own places that price out the sort of people who can't read or respect what they have read and signed.