Thanksgiving is a time when friends and family get together to eat, catch up, and have fun. But, if you’re throwing a Thanksgiving party in an HOA, there are a few more preparations you need to make note of.
How to Prepare for a Thanksgiving Party in HOA Communities
Hosting a Thanksgiving party is exciting and rewarding. You get to enjoy the company of your loved ones and cook a feast that everyone can indulge in. And, for a lot of people, it has become a tradition of sorts.
But, if you live in an HOA-run community, preparations aren’t limited to the Thanksgiving meal and house decorations. There are some other things you have to consider when planning a Thanksgiving party in an HOA.
1. Inform the HOA
The first thing you must do is inform your homeowners association of your plan to throw a Thanksgiving party. Homeowners associations typically have rules that all residents have to follow. This includes adhering to certain procedures when hosting an event at your house. There may be some requirements or forms you need to complete, which may ask for the details of the party as well as guest information.
Letting your HOA know ahead of time will save you a great deal of trouble down the line. If you don’t inform your HOA of your plans, you run the risk of the HOA putting a stop to the party midway because you failed to follow proper protocol.
2. Check Your Association’s Rules on Guests
Most homeowners associations, especially condos, have rules pertaining to how many guests residents can have over at any given time. Such rules exist to maintain order in the community.
If your HOA has similar rules, you need to find out before you start sending out invites. This will eliminate any mix-ups or awkward conversations with guests because you have to uninvite them.
Furthermore, if you plan on having guests sleep over, you likely need to let the association know, as well. In fact, make sure you find out whether overnight guests are even allowed.
3. Understand Parking Rules
Hosting a Thanksgiving party isn’t as simple as it seems. Aside from having to do all the cooking, you also need to make room for your guests’ vehicles.
This wouldn’t be a problem if you have a wide driveway that can accommodate multiple cars. But, for most people, guests have to resort to parking on the streets.
If you live in a gated community, there’s a good chance your HOA has existing parking rules in place. If so, you must familiarize yourself with these rules and arrange parking for your guests accordingly. The goal is to not overcrowd the streets so that cars can still safely pass.
Some HOAs have separate parking lots specifically designed for guests. As for communities with public streets, you will likely need to follow local parking ordinances.
Following your community’s parking rules can make a huge difference in ensuring a smooth Thanksgiving party in an HOA. When everyone parks their cars where they should, no one will have to deal with towing headaches.
4. Check Noise Rules
The reason HOAs have noise rules is to prevent nuisance and protect owners’ right to quiet enjoyment. In the same way, a barking dog might wake you at three in the morning, loud parties can disrupt your neighbors’ calm night. Thanksgiving dinners aren’t known to be very rowdy, but they can get quite loud with music blasting from your speakers and drunk guests singing along.
To avoid violating your association’s noise rules, make sure to educate yourself on them. Typically, HOAs will only allow certain noise levels during specific timeframes. For example, your HOA might prohibit loud noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfectly enjoyable Thanksgiving. You can still make a memorable night while adhering to your HOA’s noise rules and respecting your neighbors’ right to quiet enjoyment.
5. Ask Guests to Comply with HOA Rules
It’s not enough for you to simply know about your association’s rules. You have to make sure your guests know them, too!
Your invites should reflect the rules your guests are expected to follow within the community. That includes parking in the right spots and keeping the noise to a minimum. If your HOA requires guests to enter and exit using a particular gate, let them know ahead of time.
Keep in mind that if your guests break any rules in the community, you’ll be the one answering for those violations.
6. Control Alcohol Supply
It’s hard to celebrate Thanksgiving without alcohol, but you should definitely control your guests’ intake. Don’t over-serve alcoholic drinks, as drunk party guests might cause harm to other people in the community or damage HOA property. Drivers should also refrain from drinking as they can cause accidents.
7. Safety First
Safety is of paramount importance when you’re hosting a party, especially a Thanksgiving party. Thanksgiving Day is the one day of the year when most home cooking fires occur, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
To ensure fire safety, always pay attention to what you’re cooking. Check your turkey every now and then, and never leave your pots and pans unattended. If you’re deep-frying a turkey, do it outdoors and away from flammable objects. Don’t let anyone inexperienced handle knives and other sharp cutlery.
Having a fire break out in your home won’t just ruin your Thanksgiving party — it will also create liability for the HOA. For its part, the HOA should make sure its liability insurance is updated. It also helps to put out Thanksgiving safety reminders that residents can follow.
Host a Smooth and Violation-Free Thanksgiving Party
Throwing a Thanksgiving party in an HOA isn’t impossible — it just might take a bit more work. There are rules you have to comply with and protocols you must follow. In the end, though, it’s all for the best. Remember that violating your association’s rules will not only put a damper on the celebration itself but also carries consequences for you as an HOA resident.
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