HOA’s and the Holidays
In many ways HOA’s or Home Owner Associations can be great and a positive addition to a neighborhood. There are many horror stories of HOA’s abusing their power and just being plain terrible. However, there are equally as many that are run just fine and are held in high regard. Just like anything else it all comes down to who’s in charge.
What do you do if your HOA does not allow Holiday Decoration?
Most HOA’s probably don’t have a bylaw specifically banning Holiday Decorations. Instead it is more likely a ban on unapproved outside decorations that extends to Holiday Décor. Which is nice if your neighbor collects toilets as lawn ornaments but annoying when you want to celebrate the Holidays. The good news is, while some HOA’s are stricter than others, many will turn a blind eye during the Holidays. If your HOA for some God-Awful reason does not allow any sort of Holiday Decorations outside you have three options. Some options are easier than others and some give you less of a headache but that’s entirely up to you.
Option 1: Don’t move in
Before you close on your home you usually get a copy of the HOA documents containing the rules, bylaws, etc. and should read those over carefully. Typically, you can determine beforehand if you are moving into an overbearing HOA or a nice one. If you’re not sure ask around. Your Real Estate Agent can tell you how these rules compare to other neighborhoods they have encountered. Don’t be afraid to talk to neighbors. Get their thoughts and opinions on the HOA and how they treat the holidays.
Option 2: Get the Rules Changed
If you did move into an HOA that is mean and doesn’t allow Holiday decorations, do something about it! Talk to the HOA President and ask to speak at a meeting. Talk to the neighbors and get their support. A HOA is a Homeowners Association. Therefore, as a homeowner, you have a say in what happens in your neighborhood. Go out there get some support and make a change in your neighborhood so everyone can enjoy the beautiful lights.
Option 3: Do it Anyway
This is my favorite option but also not recommended at all. This is my television don’t try this at home disclaimer. Or do. The last option is put up your decorations anyway and then one of two things will happen. You may put up the lights and nothing happens, the HOA is lax and understanding of the Holidays. On the flip side the HOA fines you and you accept the fine because whatever it’s worth it. You could also try and plead ignorance since it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Not that I am recommending that…