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Planned community’s HOA takes center stage during holidays

It’s not the Grinch that is seeking to steal Christmas.

It’s the homeowners association.

We impliedly refer to what is commonly termed an HOA on our website at the experienced New Haven real estate law firm of Berdon, Young & Margolis. We spotlight therein “common interest community formation and governance,” which centrally involves the oversight and rule-making authority of HOA boards.

Community residents in planned developments (condo units, townhouses and various other configurations) and their governing HOAs often coexist in somewhat strained fashion.

The lure of a planned neighborhood for many occupants resides in its appointed management’s ability to establish and enforce rules that promote order and stability. HOA bodies regulate communities pursuant to powers vested in them through written covenants, codes and restrictions. Those CCRs typically address matters such as noise, pets, landscaping and a unit’s exterior look.

HOA input is often welcome, but not always. When it is not, tenant discontent frequently owes to a perceived abuse or misapplication of CCR dictates.

Take Christmas lights, for example. Those now feature prominently in one HOA/resident spat that is receiving national attention.

The matter can be quickly summarized. The bottom line: One family put up some holiday decorations on November 1 (reportedly with endorsements from other community residents) and was notified by the HOA promptly thereafter that the display was premature and needed to be removed.

“I don’t think this should be an issue,” said one supportive neighbor.

Yet it obviously is, and goes straight to the point of HOA powers formally conferred through governing regulations.

Occasional disagreements between residents and management bodies in planned communities are inevitable. Questions or concerns regarding them can be addressed to a proven real estate legal team that has a deep well of experience in common interest governance matters.

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