YOUR BOARD REALLY STOP YOU FROM PUTTING UP YOUR CHRISTMAS OR
HANUKAH DECORATIONS IN YOUR CONDO OR HOA?
Eric Glazer, Esq.
December 3, 2012
of peace, love and joyous occasions fill our thoughts.
Our communities unite and happiness is proclaimed
throughout the land. Unless
of course you have a Board that doesn't feel as warm and fuzzy
about your holiday decorations as you do.
If that's the situation you find yourself in, just
substitute the above words of peace, love and joy with lawsuits,
fines and sabotage. Fights
over religious displays are often the most contentious and
nastiest of all the fights that occur at any of our
a few years ago, the law was unclear in
regarding some religious displays and you even had some Boards
actually demanding that owners remove mezuzahs and crosses from
their front door, because these Boards claimed that they wanted
all doors in the community to look uniform.
Then………….based on a law that first went into
effect in Illinois, the Florida Legislature passed a condo law
that states: An association may not refuse the request of a unit owner for a
reasonable accommodation for the attachment on the mantel or
frame of the door of the unit owner of a religious object not to
exceed 3 inches wide, 6 inches high, and 1.5 inches deep.
you look at the law
carefully, it allows you to display a religious symbol on the
frame or mantle of the door only; not on the actual door itself.
Obviously, it also limits the size of what you can
be clear, a unit owner in a condo still don't have a right to
put a big picture of Santa and his elves on their front
door……………….but can put up a small religious symbol
on the door frame. Yes,
where we value religious freedom and free speech there is no
right to stick Santa, Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman on the door
to your condo unit. The statute only gives you a limited right
to display your religious beliefs.
not every Board cares one way or the other about what you put on
your door and how big it is.
Regardless, if you exceed the 6x3x1 and a half inch size
limits………you can be asked to remove your display.
the moment, there is no law under the HOA statute that gives
owners in an HOA the same right to display religious symbols as
owners of condo units. It's
amazing but true.
living in an HOA need to look at their own declaration of
covenants and rules and regulations to find out what they can
and cannot do in their own community as far as holiday
decorations go. Be
prepared to fill out forms and potentially appear before an
architectural review committee.
If you get your forms in quickly, you may get a hearing
and be entitled to put up your Christmas display.
Next year in 2013.