Shimmering lights, inflatable mascots, and decorative ornaments in and outside of your homes – it’s one of the most exciting times of the year for homeowners. Decorating the exterior of your home is a fun way to get creative for the holidays within your community. But when it comes to the 10-foot tall inflatable Santa Claus or the extravagant lights that may be a little too bright, some communities may limit or prohibit the use of holiday decorations.
If you are paying dues to your homeowners association (HOA), you may be restricted to certain things, such as having pets or painting your house a specific color. However temporary things, like holiday decorations, are a controversial topic every year. While people should be able to freely express their decorative skills through their home, surrounding neighbors should also feel comfortable and enjoy the decorations that are in their shared space. Holiday decorations can be banned or limited by your HOA for reasons like religious issues, people leaving decorations up for too long, or even simply the fact that they look tacky.
We at Association Specialty Group are here to help you understand how to handle holiday decorations with your HOA.
Review HOA Guidelines
Somewhere within that fine print that you signed before you purchased your home most likely states the guidelines for installing and setting up holiday decorations. Each HOA is different, so it is important to read and review the dos and don’ts for this holiday season. Speak with your neighbors about these guidelines to make sure that everyone is on the same page about your planned holiday accessories. Certain noise making decorations, bright lights, or anything may be offensive may be something that you don’t want to purchase this year.
Along with a detailed list of things you can and cannot have, your HOA policies may enforce a specific time frame in which you can have your decorations up. For example, you may be limited to having your decorations up from November 15th until January 1st. This is to ensure that homeowners do not have Christmas decorations hanging through May. Although some HOA’s may not enforce these rules, failure to comply can result in a warning or a fine, so better be safe than sorry and check out that guideline.
Respect Your Neighbors
If you are given permission by your HOA to decorate your home, keep your neighbors in mind. If you have decorations that may hinder their ability to partake in their everyday activities, such as flashing lights that keep them from sleeping, speak to your neighbors first. Speaking to your neighbors first can help you avoid bothering or offending them, and potentially encourage them to decorate their homes as well! Having happy neighbors will help you avoid complaints made to your HOA, allowing you to participate in fun decorative activities every year.
Keep it Simple
Sometimes, less can be more. Keeping your holiday decorations classic and to a minimum may be the best way to make everyone happy. More times than not, your HOA will not have a problem with a few hanging lights and a wreath on the door. Placing simple decorations is an effective way to still spread holiday cheer while keeping the neighborhood safe and content.
Take it to the Board
If your HOA has a strict set of rules that prohibit the use of holiday decorations, consider taking your request or complaint to the HOA board members. You can speak to the president alone, or present yourself to the entire board as to why you believe a change needs to be made. Consider thoroughly planning your proposal — a well-written document or presentation that is backed up and supported by friends and neighbors can go a long way. Sometimes, the board is willing to make exceptions or amendments to allow people to participate in decorating for the holidays.
Get The Help You Need With ASG
Association Specialty Group is always seeking solutions for our clients. We understand the roadblocks and challenges that come along with Homeowner Associations, so we want to help you. With any questions in reference to your holiday decorations this year, do not hesitate to contact us here or call us at 954-458-5557.