It’s the time of year when neighbors are setting up Halloween decorations. While most of this decor consists of a few pumpkins on doorsteps and scarecrow displays in yards, some residents choose to get more extravagant with their decorations. This may cause some HOA board members to wonder if they can regulate Halloween decorations within the community.
Do HOA board members have the ability to regulate holiday decorations?
The answer to this question depends on if your HOA community has rules in place for regulating holiday decorations. Typically, if there are rules in place, they apply more to the conduct of the holiday decorations rather than the decorations themselves. For example, are the decorations appropriate or offensive to other residents?
If your HOA community does not have rules for holiday decorations in its bylaws, the statutes in your state may prohibit certain holiday decorations. For example, the state of Florida has some statutes regarding the display of religious decorations.
Another exception to holiday decorations where an HOA community may be able to step in is if a property has a large number of decorations to protrude into common areas as the association has the right to govern these areas.
While most HOA communities have language in the bylaws that prohibit residents from displaying decorations on the exterior of their homes, exceptions are typically made during the holidays.
What are some best practices for regulating holiday decorations in HOA communities?
If not already specified, HOA board members and community residents should determine an appropriate time frame to display holiday decorations. For example, the community could agree to allow Halloween decorations to be displayed from October 1st to November 1st. Assigning a timeframe can help serve as a compromise between residents that object to displaying holiday decorations and those that want to do so.
If a resident has an objection to unsightly holiday decor that may not be mentioned in the bylaws (holiday inflatables, for example), the resident should submit a complaint and have it added to the agenda for the next HOA board meeting. Members of the community will then vote to either keep or restrict the use of said holiday decor in the neighborhood.
Regulating Halloween decorations or holiday decorations in general can create a heated discussion for HOA board members and community residents. Our residential property management company at Vesta Property Services has more than 25 years of experience in partnering with Florida HOA communities and can help to provide an agreed upon solution that will satisfy both sides of the table.
Contact us at Vesta Property Services to learn more about the value that we can bring to your Florida HOA community.