A few weeks ago, we published a blog titled “Condos, HOAs, and Holiday Cheer” in which we discussed the rules that most HOAs have against exterior holiday decorations. While all of that information is still true, we didn’t discuss one mitigating factor — what you can do about it.
Most condo association rules are pretty boilerplate. There are safety issues and property issues that are pretty universal, so they usually only require minor tweaking. That’s why holiday decoration rules are pretty standard and have little variation from place to place.
But this is America, and the people have a say. When the condo association meets (which should happen on a regular schedule), that’s the time to propose changes or amendments to rules that you’d like to see. There are two ways to make this process a whole lot easier: put it in writing and get some allies.
If you put together a document that specifies which rule you’re targeting — say, the one against inflatable snowmen on the balcony — and lists the reasons why you believe that rule should be changed, not only will you be taken more seriously (as opposed to just shouting “More inflatable snowmen!”), you’ll have your request documented and be able to refer to it in the future.
Also, if you talk to your neighbors and get them to rally behind your cause (or at the very least, not oppose it), you’ll have a chorus of voices asking for change instead of just yours. And that can hold a lot more sway with the HOA board.
Some rules will never change no matter what you do. But if you can make a reasoned argument about one specific rule and show how it could and why it should be changed, you might just have an inflatable snowman on your balcony after all.
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