Homeowners typically love to show their holiday spirit; so limiting holiday decorations is not a viable option for any board. Instead, focus on how to encourage your community to celebrate the holiday season in a tasteful and reasonable way.
For most, the holiday season is a time of cheer and goodwill; however, concerns about discrimination and safety hazards must be considered. Also, keep in mind that you cannot regulate someone’s taste, but you can attempt to adhere to a certain aesthetic.
Here are four tips for ensuring that everyone in the community enjoys the holiday season:
- Avoid discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act by remembering that decorations should not appear to favor one religion over another. Use general decorations in common areas. Be mindful that certain color schemes are often associated with certain religions. To avoid any misunderstanding, avoid color themes or labeling.
- Regulations about noise-emitting decorations, bright or flashing lights, the size of inflatable or 3-D décor, whether inflatables are properly anchored to the ground, etc., should be considered to avoid neighbor complaints and safety hazards.
- Advise homeowners of reasonable hours to turn on and turn off holiday lights and any noise-making displays. By respecting neighbors, members can maintain harmony and keep the holiday spirit alive!
- Adopt a reasonable timeline for decorations to be displayed and removed. Provide friendly reminders to all homeowners when the date to remove decorations approaches.
By taking a proactive approach for the upcoming holiday season, the board can ensure that community standards are maintained, members are well-informed, and the association is prepared to handle any questions that may arise regarding holiday decorations in the HOA.