Many California homeowners are members of homeowners associations. A neighborhood HOA places restrictions on home appearances and activities that might affect the whole neighborhood. Some of the covenants, codes and restrictions that are typically enforced by HOAs pertain to pets, landscaping, outbuildings, children's play structures and paint colors.
Around the holidays, some HOA members may have questions about how HOA rules might affect their right to decorate their homes. While an HOA can restrict or limit decorations on homes, it might be more lenient about decorations during the month of December. However, it is important for a homeowner to reread the CC&Rs or ask neighbors about holiday decorations to avoid a dispute with the HOA.
Some HOAs may have rules regarding home appearance that are not strictly enforced around the holidays. Others may have rules that specifically address the type of holiday decorations that homeowners are allowed to display. HOA rules may be enforced more strictly in some neighborhoods than in others. When an HOA does enforce its rules, it may issue a warning letter or a monetary fine. If a homeowner repeatedly violates the CC&Rs after being warned, the HOA could file a lawsuit against the homeowner.
A homeowner who is involved in an HOA dispute over holiday decorations may want to have representation from an attorney. If the HOA issued steep fines to a homeowner before giving the homeowner sufficient warning, an attorney may help the homeowner to argue that the fines are unreasonable. An attorney may also be able to represent a homeowner who would like to petition for an amendment to HOA rules.