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NY Condo Association Insurance: Setting Decorating Guidelines

NY Condo Association Insurance: Setting Decorating Guidelines NY Condo Association Insurance Setting Decorating Guidelines

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it might be time for condo associations to review their holiday decorating guidelines. While some guidance is necessary to prevent community safety and fire hazards, it is important to find a balance between beneficial to the community and being a holiday humbug. Here are a few tips borrowed from HOAleader.com, a resource for community association management and members, to help condo association boards maintain their holiday spirit and community standards.

Be reasonable- One of the key elements of successful association management is to maintain an atmosphere of practicality and fairness. If your association is considering, or already has holiday decorating regulations in place it is important to afford homeowners as much freedom as safely and efficiently possible. The goal should not simply be to regulate but to better the community through those guidelines. For example, if your goal is to make sure holiday lighting is safe and tactful, an outright ban is probably going a little over the top. A more direct solution to the lighting dilemma is to restrict the timing and size of holiday lighting displays. For example door decorations might be prohibited in every month except December. Allowing this exception to the typical rule does not mean that an association cannot restrict the type of door adornments. An association may choose to restrict door decorations to a simple wreath during the month of December.

Regulate the extremes – According to experts, moderation is the primary goal of regulation.  Some of the most effective holiday decorating policies attempt to temper the overzealous displays of holiday spirit with guidelines which will alleviate tension between community members. An association might wish to set holiday decorating time constraints which require that decorations be put up and taken down in a specific time frame. Commonly, condo associations will allow decorations to surface 30 days prior and as long as two weeks after a holiday.  Many policies often include restrictions on the scope of the display for example specifying the footage and location of decorative lighting.

Reserve your rights- It might be hard to identify just what “over-the-top” means until it surfaces, that is what makes reserving the association’s rights to enforce and regulate holiday displays and decorations so essential. Condo associations should remind homeowners that under the association rules it is fully within the rights of the association to review all decoration for approval or disapproval. By establishing these rights in the association membership agreement homeowners will have a harder time challenging an association’s decision to issue a citation for exorbitant holiday decorations.

Pick your battles- While maintaining the aesthetic integrity of your community is important, when it comes to holiday cheer and celebration there is often room for lenience. While it is important to penalize repeat offenders and to maintain a unbiased standards for the community, sometimes goodwill and community spirit are more important than the letter of the law.

New York condominium associations have extensive risk exposure, facing both property and liability challenges which can greatly affect the well-being of a community. That’s why it is so important to find comprehensive NY condo association insurance designed with specifically to meet all of those unique niche exposures.  At A.J. Benet, we do more than hand you a generic commercial insurance program. Our specialists will meet with you face to face, walk through your premises and listen to your concerns before crafting a one of a kind program designed with the community and the association members in mind. Give us a call today at (888) 639-4560 to learn more about finding the right NY condo association insurance program.

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