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The holidays will be here before you know it. Are the communities you manage ready? Now is a great time to review association rules around lights and decorations and make any necessary revisions. It’s also a good idea to share these rules with residents through your newsletter or community bulletins, as no one wants to hear they’re breaking the rules after they’ve taken the time to decorate. When reviewing your rules, here are some key things to think about.

Timing

Many HOAs try to limit rules around holiday decorations in order to keep residents happy and feeling festive. If there’s one rule worth implementing around decorations, it would be around timing. Many HOAs have rules around when lights can go up and when they need to be taken down. Typically, HOAs allows lights to go up 30 days before Christmas and must come down two weeks after. This ensures no one has icicle lights still glowing in June.

Another thing to think about is whether or not to implement rules around the time of day/night lights can be illuminated. Do you want to prevent phone calls from cranky neighbors complaining about light pollution keeping them up? Consider requesting dark hours from midnight until 6 am, especially for blinking lights or bright LED lights.

Large Decorations

It’s not uncommon for HOAs to have rules in place for larger decorations, such as inflatable decorations (think large Santa’s and snowmen) or items mounted on the roof. Again, you can take the stance of allowing residents to decorate as they see fit, as long as they don’t do anything offensive or dangerous. It might be a good idea to request that anything mounted on the roof go through an Architecture Change Request (ACR) process to ensure everything is mounted and installed safely and correctly.

Noise

Do you have rules in place around decorations and/or exhibits that make noise? This one might be worth considering, as excessive noise, especially at odd hours could become a nuisance for neighbors.

Common Areas

It’s best to keep decorating common areas in the hands of the management company and/or HOA. This ensures decorations are done safely and don’t get out of hand. More importantly, make sure you’re keeping all residents happy by keeping common area decorations neutral and ensuring there’s very little religious symbolism.

Do you have a tool in place that makes it easy to alert residents about community rules regarding decorations? If not, download our free software checklist to discover how community management software can make your life easier!