If you’re one of the 62 million Americans living in condo and homeowners associations (HOAs), you don’t get to take a holiday break from condo rules. Humbug, you say? Well…
“A hallmark of a shared ownership community is that you give up some of your rights for the good of the community. If there are restrictions involving holiday decorations, including lights and signage, you’re generally bound by them
Option 1: Nothing may happen if the HOA rules aren’t enforced.
Option 2: You might get a letter asking you to take down your decor.
Option 3: You might get fined for breaking condo rules.
Constructive ways to balance your need to deck the halls with condo rules that ban decorations:
Talk to your neighbors. If it’s your first holiday in your new home, check your association’s rules and regulations to find out what’s really allowed. Chat with the neighbors, too. Condos that ban lights and signage most of the year may be lenient about decorations during the holiday season. “But do understand these rules and regulations are enforceable by boards of corporations that are created contractually,”
Take your holiday case to the board. Call the president and ask if you can speak at the next meeting. Show up with a short written proposal to modify the HOA rules to allow specific kinds of decorations, like lights on balconies or door wreaths.
Check state laws on condo rules. Got no satisfaction from your trip to the condo board? You might be able to appeal to a higher authority. Some states have a large body of home owners association laws that may override HOA rules in certain instances, while other states have few home owners association laws.