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 and other unwanted items—sometimes even making you feel trapped in your own home.

Homeowners associations 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 getting approval from your Architectural Review Committee to post a “No Solicitors” sign 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 community 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 lawn, you can also call the association office, and ask for security personnel to escort the solicitor out of the community.

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 the police immediately and notify our security personnel to help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

So stay safe, keep your sanity and do your part in discouraging solicitors from trolling our community. You’ll soon hear just how sweet an un-rung doorbell sounds.