Updated: Surrey Open House signs – what’s allowed, what’s not

Are you frustrated by the Open House signs that have been allowed to stay up while your signs have been removed by the City of Surrey? More than a few members contacted the Board to complain about this issue.

The Board’s Government Relations (GR) committee and Professional Standards department contacted the City in November 2017 to find out what’s going on.

After several months of trying to reach the City for clarification, Brian Rock, Director and GR Chair; Dennis Wilson, Manager, Professional Standards; Paul Cowhig, Advisor, Professional Standards and Debbie Jay, Coordinator, Communications, met with Jas Rehal, Manager, Public Safety Operations on February 13 to discuss real estate signage issues.

Here’s what we learned:

The City’s Sign By-law 1999, No. 13656 states that no real estate signage is permitted on City property at any time; however they make an exception for Open House signage only. Here are some key points from our discussion with their staff.

  • Open House signs (e. g. directional signs, A-frame) are only permitted on the day of an Open House, 2 hours prior to the commencement of the Open House;
  • Open House signs that are still up after the conclusion of an Open House may be picked up by City staff the next morning. That means, if you have back to back Open House sessions on a weekend, you must remove your signs at the end of the first day and set them up again the following day;
  • No signs are permitted on the City right-of-ways, poles and in locations that pose a public safety risk (that includes directional signs at intersections);
  • If City staff pick up an inappropriate real estate sign, they may call your managing broker and fine you if you are the owner of the sign;
  • Real estate signs which advertise a real estate agent only and not a property that is for sale, lease or rent, are not permitted;
  • “Sold” signs on private properties may be displayed for up to 30 days;
  • If you see inappropriate real estate signage, you can call 604-591-4370, email bylawcomplaint@surrey.ca or use the free Surrey Request App on your mobile phone to file an anonymous report. Find all information on all of the City’s apps here. The City will not disclose the identity of the individuals who file a report on signage.
  • If you have any questions about the City’s policy on real estate signage, contact Jas Rehal, Manager, Public Safety Operations at 604-591-4370.

Note: The REALTOR® Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice states that, “The Business of a REALTOR® shall be conducted in strict accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements.” (Article 18: Compliance with Statutory Requirements). Each municipality has a Sign By-law with specific requirements for real estate signage. We’ve included links to them on our Rules, Standards & Resources page on REALTOR Link®. If you notice a link that is broken or outdated, please email communications@fvreb.bc.ca.


  • The City of Surrey has updated their online brochure on real estate signage. Find it here.
  • As of March 2019, Jas Rehal is no longer with the City. Terry Sampietro, Compliance Manager, is now responsible for the enforcement of sign violations.