Like Toadstools After a Rainstorm…

You’ve seen them, I know you have.  They pop up everywhere, as if by magic:  Bandit Signs.  They usually say “WE BUY HOUSES” or something similar, with a phone number — no company name, just the statement and a phone number, maybe a tag line.

Bandit sign, ripped off a vacant on Washington Boulevard in Pigtown.

Bandit sign, ripped off a vacant on Washington Boulevard in Pigtown.

In both Baltimore City and Baltimore County, they’re illegal — my guess is in most municipalities they’re illegal.  At the very least, they’re an eyesore and add additional blight to neighborhoods that can ill afford even more blight.

I would like to invite you to join in my campaign to rid our neighborhoods of these signs.  If you see them in the public right-of way — light poles, street signs, etc. Or if you see them posted to a vacant home — rip them down and throw them into the trash!  Or use them for a creative art project.  (Just don’t trespass on someone else’s property.)

Many thanks to @vees for providing the text of the Baltimore County and City codes regarding signage. You can read the full text here. (Link opens a PDF).

Oh, and if you do happen to do something creative with them — send me a photo and I’ll post them!



  1. Mark

    Sometimes it can be useful to make a call afterwards. Or search the number online and figure out who they are before calling.

    I tore down a bunch in Highlandtown and got in contact with the person. It was actually a very well known, very reputable realtor & redeveloper. Does a good job on his houses. Doesn’t cut corners. Doesn’t hold property. He was just desperate for new stock to buy, rebuild, and sell.

    We (neighborhood association) got in touch with him, explained the signs were illegal, explained why they had a negative effect on the neighborhood, and promised to use our own networks to try to help him (and other developers) gain access to vacant properties for redevelopment.

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