Guidelines for Holiday Decorations in Coops and Condos

Now that the season is upon us, it is a good time to review how your building handles holiday decorations. First things first: does your building actually have a policy for holiday decorations?  Check your proprietary lease, bylaws, or house rules for regulations on resident displays.  It may not be clearly spelled out so look under safety issues ,or even for guidelines on religious displays. If you don’t have a policy, consider adopting one this year.  If you do have one, now is the time to make sure it is sufficient. Here is a handy checklist for drafting or reviewing your policy:

  • Decorations should be in good taste

Impress upon residents that modest and classy is the way to go.  Better yet, lead the way with the building’s decorations and get them up early.  Residents can then follow your lead.  Simple and understated is best.

  • Set commonsense guidelines

Everything from when decorations can go up and what time of the day lights can be turned on, to when lights get turned off and when displays should come down are all important rules to communicate with residents.

  • Careful in common areas

If your building chooses to decorate in a common area (e.g. lobby, entryways), be particularly mindful of different religious affiliations.  Try to keep it simple, but inclusive.

  • Keep the discussions friendly

The holidays can be a wonderful time in your building, but they can also be a source of great stress for many.  Keep a friendly atmosphere and address anyone’s concern immediately.

A few simple steps by the board now can save a lot of headaches later.  And then everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays.

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