Autumn has officially arrived, and soon after starts the holiday season. Children are getting excited about Halloween, families are making plans for Thanksgiving, and there are a slew of winter festivities ahead. Now is a great time for the HOA to review its holiday policies and send out polite reminders to homeowners. There are several things to keep in mind:
Does the HOA have guidelines for when decorations can be put up and when they must be removed? Are there rules regarding inflatables, lights, lawn ornaments, and other décor? Let homeowners know now so they can plan accordingly. Keep in mind safety, aesthetics, and the enjoyment of all homeowners. Chances are, neighbors don’t want to hear a musical montage that lasts through the night, or have spotlights shining toward their windows, but a ghostly display may be okay for the night of trick-or-treating and create fun for all. Invite homeowner input for creating guidelines.
Are there special exceptions made to where visitors can park during busy holiday weekends? Is the HOA more lenient as long as visitors are respectful of homeowners’ property and community areas? It may be a good idea to encourage residents to let neighbors know ahead of time if they are hosting a holiday get together so added traffic doesn’t come as a surprise.
It’s important for the HOA to pick its battles wisely and keep in mind the best interest of homeowners. Everyone has their own taste and style when it comes to décor. It is worth starting an uproar over a light display that will come down in a few weeks anyway? If homeowners are in the spirit and not causing disruptions or violating clear rules, enjoy the celebration. The HOA may ask that light displays be reviewed by the architectural committee to prevent anything that is over-the-top and will detract from the appeal of the community as a whole.
Consider hosting a community get together where everyone can join in and decorate the clubhouse, spend time socializing with one another, play games, and enjoy holiday treats. Creating a more welcoming and friendly environment can help everyone to get in the spirit and reduce disagreements.
Brush up on community policies and include helpful tips and reminders in upcoming newsletters, email blasts, flyers, and social media notifications. Encourage everyone to have a good time while keeping safety, noise, and respect for others in mind. Kuester can help your HOA with distribution of reminders and reinforcement of policies.