Picture this: a haunting lawn figure of bones looming 12 feet above you, with eerie eyes seeming to follow wherever you go. Sound familiar? Whether you’ve seen posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, you’ve probably heard of Home Depot’s massive Halloween skeleton décor that has gone viral online, putting people in a frenzy to sell it out every restock. Despite its hefty price tag, you may have thought about purchasing it. But, would your HOA even allow it?
The answer is: it depends! Ultimately, your association’s governing documents will determine if you can adopt your new 12-foot friend. Consult the deed restrictions for your specific community – probably under a section dedicated to landscaping or decorations. However, in addition to the HOA governing documents, make sure to refer to state laws and city ordinances, as they take precedence over association rules.
Your CC&Rs may have restrictions regarding holiday decoration size, anchoring, noise, lighting, timelines, etc. These regulations may prohibit distracting or disturbing noises and lights, place size and height restrictions, and limit decorations to operate during reasonable hours and within a certain time period relevant to the holiday only. Also, architectural control powers may have regulations for anchoring or securing certain decorations to the ground. Offensive decorations may also be prohibited.
Let’s talk specifications: the larger-than-life skeleton is approximately 12 by 6 feet with LCD eyes, includes a timer function, and anchors to the ground. So, does the skeleton pass general governing documents restrictions? Maybe. While there are no loud, disruptive sounds, the lights aren’t disturbingly bright, the base is able to be properly secured to the ground, and there’s a timer function, your biggest obstacle is probably its gigantic stature, if your documents have size restrictions. Additionally, if it’s offensive is subject to interpretation, but there are no violent or vulgar features on the skeleton.
While your governing documents may technically allow the skeleton, it’s important to remember to avoid infringing on common areas or neighboring lots. Make sure to limit the skeleton, or any decorations for that matter, to your own private property. You can also be courteous to your neighbors by giving them a heads up. Above all, just be considerate of your community and prioritize the safety of the neighborhood.
When determining if your HOA’s deed restrictions allow for the spooky structure, ambiguous guidelines might rule in your favor. Since many CC&Rs were written long before the viral 12-foot lawn decoration existed, as long as you follow the written restrictions in your HOA’s governing documents, you should be good to go with showcasing your massive skeleton friend.
Another thing to keep in mind is to be aware of the consequences for any violations for decorations out of compliance. You don’t want the already expensive décor to rack up a higher price tag! When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to ask. By communicating your plans with the HOA board, everyone can be on the same page.
Ultimately, ask yourself these questions before putting up any holiday decorations:
- Is it offensive?
- Is it inconsiderate?
- Is it up and removed within the proper timeline?
- Is it violating any guidelines?
We hope this article has helped you navigate if your HOA will allow the 12-foot skeleton. Have more questions about holiday decorations? Check out our knowledge base and review your community’s governing documents.