With the holidays approaching, nothing may stop you from unpacking those brilliant Christmas lights and festive decorations you have been saving. Except for your Homeowners Association (HOA), that is. Depending on the specific rules outlined by your community’s covenant, an HOA may have power over when and how you decorate this season.
Receiving an HOA violation could dampen your holiday spirit. To avoid ruffling any feathers, there are a few actions you may consider.
Review your community and local guidelines
Referring to the community guidelines could save you from facing fines and other penalties. Look out for any sections related to holiday decorations. If the covenant does not specifically address displays or decorations, the board might apply general rules regarding exterior appearances. Given certain powers, they could also introduce new rules.
In some communities, the HOA also specifies when homeowners can start putting up decorations and when to remove them. Moreover, they could ask you to remove paraphernalia that is in violation of local ordinances. For example, excessive use of artificial lights could be considered light pollution.
Consider your neighbors’ input
Your neighbors may love Christmas, but they may not appreciate continuous loud music, overly bright lights or decors that block their view. By obtaining feedback from your neighbors, you may anticipate potential issues and adjust accordingly.
Though you should be free to express yourself, it is still important to maintain a harmonious relationship with your neighbors. They may be less likely to lodge a complaint if you take care not to put up decorations that might cause harm, disturbance or offense.
Balancing festivity and compliance are key
Living in a community with an HOA means you agree to follow its rules. In most cases, the HOA dictates the desired aesthetic of the community, including the changes made to the exterior of a property. With a little due diligence and careful consideration, making your home festive and HOA-compliant is possible.