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. Where the holiday season can become complicated is deciding how to balance decorating the outside of homes within your community while still adhering to HOA regulations. 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 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 or they may have very minimal regulations to consider when deciding how to decorate your home this year.
Top Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Season with Decorations While Maintaining HOA Regulations
Understand Which Decorations May Be Offensive to Neighbors
It is important when selecting the decorations that will be outside of your home to consider which might offend your neighbors or community visitors. Generally, it is best to stay away from racial, politically offensive, or negative religious references if they may cause offense to other members residing within the community of the HOA. Associations must protect members from having to see offensive ones and if your decorations are not appropriate, they will likely require you to remove them.
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.
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.
Ask Whether Your HOA Allows Inflatable Decorations on Lawns
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, be sure that you comply with the regulations if any, that your HOA has about lawn decorations.
Be 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.
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 HOAs 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.
Is Your HOA Considering Implementing Holiday Decoration Regulations?
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.
How Elite Management Services Can Help
Elite Management Services (EMS) has many years of experience assisting HOA Associations with their management practices. Our main objective is to introduce cost-effective management practices that improve the quality of life of residents of our communities. Our approach enables us to have a personalized relationship with our clients to ensure the success of their communities. We achieve this by customizing our HOA Management model to fit the community’s unique size and particular requirements. Depending on where your community is located, our experts will be able to customize an HOA Management strategy that is tailored to your community’s individual needs. By deciding to work with an organization such as EMS, you will see a great improvement in your community’s finances and efficiency, which will have a positive impact on the satisfaction of your residents.