Consumer Advisory: Entangled by HOA holiday lighting rules? Follow these three tips.

Three tips on holiday lighting in your HOA

DENVER (Dec. 15, 2016) -- It’s that time of the year again, and many homeowners want to express their holiday spirit with decorations galore. But that enthusiasm could be tempered by the community that you live in. The Colorado Division of Real Estate's HOA Information and Resource Center at the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) offers the following tips to help homeowners from getting entangled in their HOAs rules about holiday lights.

“If you live in a common interest community or homeowners’ association (HOA), there may be restrictions on what type of decorations that you can put up, how bright those decorations can appear, when they can be turned on, when they must be turned off, when you can put them up, and when they must be removed from the property,” advised HOA Information and Resource Officer Gary Kujawski. "Also, rules differ regarding lighting exhibited in condominium properties versus single family homes, and on common versus private property within the community.”

  1. To make sure you are in the clear with your festive display, first look to your HOA’s governing documents – the covenants/declarations, and rules and regulations:
    • Are there any restrictions in those documents that set the time period in which the decorations can be put up, and when they must be removed? 
    • Are there rules that set the time of the day that the lights can be illuminated?
    • Are there any safety rules in place having to do with displays, cords, and electrical outlet usage?
    • What rules are in place limiting decorations in common areas of the community or the use of common area electrical outlets?
    • What rules are in place limiting decorations in limited common elements of the community, for instance on a condominium deck?
    • Are there any rules pertaining to what might be considered “offensive” decorations?
    • What rules may cover display noise and other “nuisance” factors?
  2. If you are still unsure on what you can display in your community, contact your board of director members, your community association manager, and your neighbors (just so that you do not get on their bad side with your extravagant “Griswold Christmas display”).
  3. Finally, always consider safety. Displays and cords that can create trip hazards, the overloading of electrical circuit breakers, and any other fire hazards that can affect other community owners in adjoining units or homes.

Remember, HOAs can take enforcement action against an owner who does not follow the rules, and that would surely put a damper on the holiday spirit.                     

For more information about the HOA Resource Center, visit Take 5 to Get Wise by checking out all of DORA's helpful holiday-related consumer advisories
About DORA
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675

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