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Crime Watch: Dealing with Home Solicitors

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by Lin Gold

On our Facebook page, I’ve noted a lot of frustration from neighbors about the flood of solicitors for roofing contractors in the community. I understand the feeling - the day after the recent monster hailstorm, my door bell rang about once an hour, all day long. I work out of my home office, and even though I quit answering the door after the first two, it was a serious interruption of my work day. I decided to review the city ordinances on home solicitation, and share the information with my neighbors.

Home soliciting is allowed, but there are laws in place to limit it, and to protect citizens. Below is a reprint from the May, 2007 edition of Lakewood Life, with details from the City of Dallas ordinance on home solicitation.

THE HOME SOLICITATION ORDINANCE
SEC. 42-18.

Solicitations permitted only during certain hours.
(a) Home solicitations are not allowed as follows:

(1) before 9:00 a.m. or 30 minutes following sunset of any day, Monday through Saturday; or
(2) at any time on a Sunday, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Da

(b) Subsection (a) is not applicable if the visit to the premises was made at the request of the household.
(c) Telephone solicitations are not allowed before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. of any day, Monday through Saturday, or at any time on a Sunday, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day.

SEC. 42-21. Exhibiting card prohibiting solicitors
(a) If you wish for no solicitors to approach your property, you may exhibit in a conspicuous place upon or near the main entrance to the residence, a weatherproof card, not less than three inches by four inches in size, containing the words, “NO SOLICITORS.” The letters shall be not less than two-thirds of an inch in height.
(b) Solicitors have a duty to examine the residence to determine if any “NO SOLICITORS” notice is placed on the property. If notice prohibiting soliciting is exhibited, the solicitor shall immediately depart from the premises without disturbing the occupant.
(c) If the “NO SOLICITORS” card is exhibited in a conspicuous place upon or near the main entrance, no person shall go upon any residential premises for the purposes of engaging in a solicitation transaction.
(d) No person, other than the occupant of the residence, shall remove, deface, or render illegible, a card placed by the occupant pursuant to Subsection (a) above.
(e) Any merchant/solicitor who has been gained entrance to a residence, whether invited or not, shall immediately depart from the premises when requested to leave by the occupant.

SEC. 42-22. Exemption
A person holding a charitable solicitation permit pursuant to the provisions of Article I of this chapter, while engaging in the charitable solicitation authorized, shall be exempted from the provisions of this article. (Ord. 14300)