The arrival of Thanksgiving marks the (un)official start of the holiday season throughout the United States. It is a time that brings decorating of communities, gatherings with loved ones, and reflection on the past year. As the holidays arrive, there are things your Association can do to ensure a peaceful and harmonious holiday season. Below are four tips that can assist your Association in successfully navigation the holiday season:
- Review Rules and Use restrictions (and remind residents of them!)- Many community associations have established holiday rules relating to holiday decorations, parties, parking for gatherings, etc. It is a good practice for Boards to review these rules prior to the holiday season and remind the residents regularly of any rules that are applicable to the holidays. Through newsletters, blast emails, and your associations website, Boards can remind their residents of regulations in an effort to prevent violations of the governing documents. These could include reminders such as:
- clubhouse occupancy limitations.
- Parking regulations throughout the community.
- Noise and nuisance restrictions.
- Timing of when decorations are allowed as many community's regulations as possible of when decorations can be installed and when they must be removed by.
- Prioritize Safety- Safety within a community association should always be a top priority. It is important to emphasize holiday safety. Boards should also regularly remind homeowners of things they can do to assist with safety within the Association. These could include items such as:
- Christmas tree safety- If you setup your trees indoors, keep them away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, etc. Make sure to water your trees regularly.
- Use professionals- when setting up decorations in areas such as roofs, trees, etc., it is encouraged to hired license and insurance professionals to keep mishaps from happening. Professionals can also assist in assuring electrical systems are not overloaded and installation is done correctly.
- Follow installation specifications-Many Christmas decorations come with installation specifications. Make sure and follow the specifications and use correct fasteners to assure no damage is done to the roof line or other property.
- Inspect lights and other electrical hardware prior to installation to assure there is no frayed spots in the cord or broke bulbs. Additionally, prior to installation, it is encouraged to speak with a licensed electrician to make sure your Association is limiting risks for electrical issues.
- Set up holiday events- One of the biggest benefits during the holidays is it can help build a sense of community. Below are things we have found successful to bring your community together during the holidays:
- Community decorating- set up a community workday for decorating your community for thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's. This allows members to get to know each other and their community
- Give back- the holidays are a great time to give back to the larger communities. Things such as toy drives, canned good drives, or other contributions to charities can go a long way in building community.
- Holiday socials- Set up holiday socials so members can get to know their fellow neighbors!
- Prepare for the next year- As the New Year approaches, it is a good time for boards to look reflect on the past year and plan for the new year by considering:
- Develop an annual plan for the next year- this would include tasks and goals for the next year
- Create a calendar- this assists boards in scheduling their meetings for the year and managing deadlights.
- Set goals on what you want to accomplish next year and incorporate them into your calendar and annual plan
- Emergency planning- confirm your association has a proper disaster plan in place and review any plans you currently have in place to assure everyone knows their roles.
- Set up audit- we strongly encourage our community associations complete a year audit by an independent CPA. As the year end approaches, it is encouraged you to set up the audit so it can be completed in a timely manner.
We at Priestley Management Company hope you have a wonderful holiday season! If your Association has questions about navigating the holiday season, feel free to reach out to us HERE.
About Priestley Management Company
Since 1990, Priestley Management Company has been a leader in community Association throughout the Carolinas. Our mission is to provide superior customer service while preserving, protecting and enhancing the value of our customer's asset. To learn more about the services we provide visit our website at www.priestleymanagement.com