As the fall and winter holiday seasons roll in once more, it’s only normal that residents in your neighborhood will begin to decorate. And while these decorations can be a heartwarming display of community unity, they can also cause quite a few problems for your neighborhood in terms of violating community standards.
Given that some decorations also are tied to spiritual beliefs, though, where does your HOA draw the line, if at all?
Gassen, your expert providers of property management services, is here to help with ideas for your HOA to consider when it comes to seasonal decor.
Check Your HOA Management’s Rulebook
Chances are your board predecessors have left some sort of precedent when it comes to holiday decorations and dealing with potentially problematic displays. Decorating for the holidays isn’t anything new after all.
Refreshing you and your board members on your current decor rules before the holiday season gets into full swing can help you decide if you need to make any changes and inform your residents of the rules.
Create New Regulations (If Needed)
If you have no decor regulations or if your board sees the need to put into play new decoration rules to give your HOA a more orderly appearance, protect the health of visitors, or make it easier for your residents, create new rules sooner rather than later.
But what’s okay to regulate? Here are some ideas of what guidelines you might want to set for your community.
Check with your local fire department on fire safety codes, regulations, and recommendations for safe holiday decorating.
Include in your decor rulebook how residents need to plan their decorations safely, like not overloading their electrical sockets, not blocking exits, trimming back trees and dry brush before setting up electrical equipment, using nonflammable decorations, etc.
A rule stating that there should be no offensive decorations encourages residents to think before they display.
In general, community members should avoid displaying negative religious references and politically or racially offensive signs or material.
Decoration Colors, Especially for Holiday Lights
Does your community maintain a uniform look throughout the neighborhood? Consider if you’d like that continuity to remain with decorations or if your residents would prefer having display options.
For example, you can regulate holiday light colors, styles, and if residents can keep lights up year long or only seasonally.
For the benefit of all your residents and visitors, it’s a good idea to have a noise regulation to go along with decorations.
Provide a cut-off time at night where residents have to turn off all sound displays or require that loud decorations only be played on the celebrated day of the holiday.
Decide how long residents can keep their holiday decorations on display and if there are any elements that can remain up year long, like lights that are difficult to put up and take back down.
Ensure Residents Know the Regulations
Once your board has determined what regulations are best for your community, make sure all of your residents know those rules, especially if you made changes, and keep them easily accessible for everyone.
Send out a community newsletter before the holidays as a refresher and keep the rules posted on your community’s online portal for all residents to access whenever they need to.
Gassen: Here to Help Your HOA Make Sound Decisions
Running an HOA can get tricky. Gassen is here to make it easier!
With our five-star property management services and our expertise in accounting property management and online property management, we make living in an HOA the harmonious experience it was always meant to be.
Send our Eden Prairie office a message today or give us a call at 952-922-5575!