Now that summer has come to an end, board members should be looking ahead to the holiday season. Many Condominium Corporations do not have in place the rules that specifically deal with holiday decorations. Judging by the merchandise available in the stores, holiday decorating is becoming more prolific.
While the Christmas season seems to generate the most lavish displays, Halloween is quickly becoming a major decorating event. As the outside entrance door to the units, the balconies and exterior windows and the verandahs and front lawns of townhouse units generally form part of the common elements of the condominium, it is important for the corporation to have rules in place that govern holiday decorations. If there are no rules, considerable friction can arise if owners are asked to remove holiday decorations that they have purchased and installed.
The following are examples of the types of provisions that can be dealt with in the rules: Establish what kind of decorations is prohibited, how many are permitted and where they can be located. Require that all outdoor lighting must be CSA approved lighting that is specifically designated for outdoor use. Specify the period during which holiday decorations can be put up and the date by which they are to be taken down. The placing of wreaths and other decorations on the outside of unit doors in high-rise buildings is a topic that often generates considerable controversy. Many owners were accustomed to having these decorations displayed on the door to their houses and want to bring this tradition to their condominium unit. Unfortunately though, these wreaths are frequently made with materials that would very quickly fill the condominium corridor with toxic gases and block the escape route in the event of a fire. Because of these safety concerns there are valid reasons for prohibiting such decorations. As many owners are not aware of this, it is important that the board communicates this information to the owners.