We often hear from our Desert Ridge residents how they are annoyed by the persistence of solicitors’ unwelcome knocks on the door!

It seems like no matter what they do, they always manage to show up on your front porch. They come with fliers, door hangers, a rehearsed speech and the distinct ability to ignore the polite decline of the products they’re peddling—cleaning supplies, appliances, cosmetics, magazine subscriptions, home-improvement products, coupons for local businesses, services and other unwanted items—sometimes even making you feel trapped in your own home.  As we approach the upcoming holiday season, this propensity is likely to become more of a pronounced nuisance than at any other time of the year.

Unfortunately, large master planned communities like Desert Ridge are particularly easy, frequent targets of commercial, religious and political solicitors; part of the appeal is that population density makes our association an easy environment for them to canvas. Because of this, finding a way to keep solicitors away can be invaluable.

The simplest way to deter solicitors is by posting an approved “No Solicitors” sign in your yard, on your door or in your front window. If you get knocks on the door anyway, you also can ask solicitors for their license, permit or company identification; many don’t have it and will leave. If the solicitor doesn’t leave or keeps coming back, tell them the City of Phoenix has nuisance restrictions and there are legal ramifications for violating them. And if that’s not enough to make them high-tail it off of your property, you can also call the Phoenix Police to enforce the City of Phoenix Solicitation Ordinance.

This ordinance went in to effect on April 1, 2011 and enhances existing rules related to the solicitation and handbill business. Commercial solicitors may go door to door only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from April 1st to September 30th and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from October 1st through March 31st.  Every commercial solicitor over the age of 16 must carry some form of government issued identification that includes a photo, date of birth and physical description. Any solicitor 15 and under, a school ID with a photo or regular government issued identification will work. These ID’s must be displayed to any homeowner upon request.

The most important part of the ordinance is the rules of conduct for solicitors since that has always generated the most concern from residents. Commercial solicitors must obey all signs such as “No Soliciting”, “No Trespassing”, “No Handbills” or anything similar. This means that they are not allowed to enter the property, pass through gates or doors, and not make physical contact with windows or doors on the property. They also may not leave on the driveway or other portion of the premises any handbill or solicitation when it is apparent the property is unoccupied, the previous day’s handbills or solicitations have not been removed or the owner has not given their permission. They also may not falsely claim to have a government issued business or regulatory or tax license.

There are a few exceptions, which include religious organizations, political organizations, and school benefit organizations. It also exempts employees and agents of public utilities in which they need to perform duties required by law or to communicate service interruptions.  For more information on this ordinance you can go to the phoenix.gov website under door-to-door.

While a visit from a solicitor is often annoying, they can sometimes be more than just a nuisance; some might have ulterior motives, such as fraud, canvassing a home to commit a crime or other unseemly behavior. If you believe a solicitor is acting suspiciously or you feel threatened, call Crime Stop at 602.262.6151, so Phoenix Police can be dispatched to investigate and to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

So stay safe, keep your sanity and do your part in discouraging solicitors from trolling our community.

Thanks again to each and every one of you who get involved in making your neighborhood and the City of Phoenix a great place to live, play and work.