Before you proceed to purchase that Christmas tree followed by those dangling sparkly ornaments, or put up those glowing bright lights across the balcony and all over the vicinities of your condo space, we suggest you first make sure your condominium documents do not restrict you from doing so. In the midst of purchasing a condo, we sometimes forget that we signed a contract that lists rules and restrictions we agreed to abide by once we took ownership. New condo owners are often surprised to find out that the condo corporation has rules in place that establish what decorations are permitted, where they can be located and for what period of time. Examples such as the outside of the entrance door to the units, the balconies and the exterior windows, verandas and front lawns of townhouse units are just a few of the common areas where owners are restricted from affixing any type of decoration or installation. This can put a strain on those wishing to start a new holiday tradition in light of owning there first place.
And here is the part where most holiday lovers cringe. The rules of some high-rise condominiums may also prohibit the use of real Christmas trees. But before you feel the need to save Christmas, there are logical reasons behind the restrictions imposed. Not only can a dried out Christmas tree pose a fire hazard, but the common elements can be littered with needles as the tree is taken in and especially when taken out of the building.
If you feel the need to put up holiday decorations this year, try asking the following questions:
1. Will the Corporation allow lights and other decorations outside on balconies?
2. Will the Corporation allow lights and decorations on the interior of units but visible from the outside?
3. What about door decorations?
4. How long should the decorations be permitted to stay in place?
In the long run, it’s better to always be safe then sorry!
Posted December 13, 2011.