Holidays can become complicated when deciding how to balance decorating the outside of homes within your community while still adhering to HOA regulations. Put up holiday decorations in HOA communities the right way by following a few simple tips.
In this article:
Managing Holiday Decorations in HOA
The end of the year is a very fun time for residents within communities across the United States. Residents are inclined to make their homes look festive both inside and out. Living in an HOA community, though, means having to follow a set of rules. These rules can also extend to holiday decorations in HOA communities. If you are considering decorating your home and your community has an HOA, review the information below:
Do I Have to Follow HOA Regulations About Holiday Decorations?
It is important to distinguish between residents that are not a part of an HOA community and those that are. Residents that are not subject to the associated regulations have a First Amendment Free Speech right to decorate their property how they choose. Many residents, even if they are paying association dues, are unsure whether they have to follow regulations about holiday decorations.
The general rule of thumb is that HOA residents cannot put up HOA Christmas decorations as they please. If you are residing in a community where you are required to pay association dues, then you are likely going to have to follow some form of regulations about what kinds of holiday decorations you can utilize. However, it is a common misconception that every single HOA has rules about it. Some HOAs may not have rules about holiday decorations. Meanwhile, others may only have very minimal regulations to consider.
Follow HOA Holiday Decoration Rules During the Festive Season With These Tips
1. Understand Which Decorations May Be Offensive to Neighbors
When selecting which outdoor decorations to put up, it is important to consider your neighbors. Some decorations may be considered offensive to neighbors of visitors.
Generally, it is best to stay away from racial, politically offensive, or negative religious references. These are the most common types of decorations that can cause offense to others. Associations must protect members from such offensive sights. Therefore, if your decorations fall under these inappropriate types, your HOA rules on Christmas decors likely prohibits them.
2. Consider Light Color Variations & How They Might Violate HOA Regulations
Some HOAs want to have a uniform look within the community so that it looks more appealing to residents and visitors alike. Some examples can be only allowing white Christmas lights or only designating the edge of the roof to put lights. Be sure to consider what your HOAs regulations are related to Christmas lights so that you do not have to take them down during the holiday season.
3. Think Twice About Noisy Decorations
It is natural to want to celebrate with festive cheer during the holiday season. That same enthusiasm can reflect in holiday decorations in HOA communities as well. It could be in the form of a singing Santa Clause or literal jingle bells. Your HOA, though, likely has rules about excessive noise in the community.
When considering which decorations to put up, it might be better to stay away from noisy ones. If your neighbors deem them too loud, your HOA may ask you to remove them. Alternatively, you can always ask your HOA whether putting up such decorations is allowed. Noisy decorations may be fine as long as they only make noise during certain hours. After all, your neighbors likely don’t want to wake up to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in the middle of the night.
4. Assess How Long Decorations Should Be Allowed to Be Up
Many residents get very excited about the holidays and want to get their decorations up as soon as possible. Each year, the Christmas decorations seem to be going up even earlier in November. HOAs may have an issue with putting up holiday exterior decorations earlier than Thanksgiving or keeping them after the first week of January. Make sure to have a clear understanding of what your HOA expects to avoid unnecessary issues with the timing of when your holiday decorations are visible on the outside of your property.
5. Ask Whether Your HOA Allows Inflatable Decorations on Lawns
Holiday decorations in HOA communities can be limited, depending on your association. Some HOAs only allow Christmas lights on the roof and a wreath on the door. Others allow inflatable decorations on lawns and Santa’s sleigh with reindeer on the roof. When planning how you are going to decorate your home, make sure to comply with the regulations (if any) that your HOA has about lawn decorations.
6. Make Sure to Understand How Your HOA Deals With Decoration Violations
One area that many residents are not aware of is how an HOA deals with violations related to holiday decorations. The largest disputes end up occurring from poor understanding and communication about HOA guidelines. Each year, review HOA regulations and any potential changes that may have occurred to avoid having issues with your holiday decorations.
6. Verify Your HOAs Fire Safety Policy
Many times, HOAs regulate holiday decorations by how long your plants are or how full your trees are. It is wise to have your trees, hedges, and vines trimmed before putting out holiday decorations this year. Also, it is useful to revise your HOA’s policy about fire safety to make sure that none of your holiday decorations will be in violation. This is particularly true if your community is located in an area that has a large risk of wildfires.
Consider an HOA Decoration Policy
Many HOAs seek to limit the many holiday decorations that are available to their residents. At times, it can be useful to speak with an external expert to assist in either ideal procedures for enforcing existing HOA holiday decoration regulations or how to implement new HOA decoration regulations. By using an external management company, HOAs can simplify their rules, which makes a substantial difference in providing transparency to residents and clarifying enforcement procedures.
If you need an HOA management company to help you create and implement rules, don’t hesitate to contact Elite Management Services today.
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