As the holiday season brings joy and warmth to the rainy winter days, many people express this festive spirit by decorating their homes. For property owners and tenants alike, holiday decorations can be a wonderful way to celebrate and spread cheer. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between festive enthusiasm and respecting property guidelines. Some holiday decorations may not be permitted in the terms of a lease or could even be a safety hazard. 

If you’re excited to decorate for the holiday season, consider these guidelines for property owners and tenants to ensure your decorations are safe, respectful, and cheerful.

Understanding Property Rules and Regulations

Before embarking on holiday decorating, property owners and tenants must familiarize themselves with any rules and regulations regarding decorations. HOA associations, city regulations, and lease agreements can all lay out specific requirements when decorating a building or interior. These guidelines may vary from one rental property to another, but common ones include:

  • Restrictions on the types of decorations allowed.
  • Rules about the placement of decorations (interior vs. exterior).
  • Restrictions on the use of lights and other electrical decorations.
  • A designated time frame for displaying holiday decorations.

Tenants should read their lease agreements carefully to understand any restrictions. Before major holidays, landlords may want to send out a reminder to tenants listing their specific regulations for each property. This creates a clear communication channel so tenants aren’t surprised by a notice asking them to take down decor that violates their lease. Landlords can also post a public announcement about decorating regulations in a common area in multi-unit rentals. 

Safety First

Damage to the property itself isn’t the only concern when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Over 1,000 people are injured yearly while setting up or taking down holiday decorations. If you plan to decorate your roof, trees, or other areas that could cause a fall, carefully observe all safety precautions throughout the decorating process. In addition, the winter season dramatically increases the chance of slipping and falling. You should ensure your decorations don’t impede your ability to clear a safe path from the door to the sidewalk and don’t create tripping hazards.

Respect Cultural Sensitivities

Holiday decorations often reflect specific cultural and religious traditions. It’s essential to be mindful of cultural sensitivities and respect the diverse beliefs and practices of neighbors and the community. For property owners and tenants, this means considering the religious and cultural diversity of the neighborhood when planning decorations. In addition, remaining open to dialogues with neighbors about their holiday practices and sensitivities ensures that everyone can have a festive and comfortable holiday season.

Tenants and property owners alike should consider decorations that foster a sense of inclusivity and togetherness. Inclusive decorations may include:

  • Neutral themes: Opt for decor that is more secular and less tied to specific religious symbols.
  • Multi-colored lights: Use diverse colors in your lighting to symbolize unity and inclusivity.
  • Community events: Participate in or host community decorating events that bring neighbors together, regardless of their beliefs.

Exterior Decorations

Exterior holiday decorations, such as lights and lawn ornaments, can create a festive atmosphere for the entire neighborhood. However, they can also come with additional requirements compared to indoor decor. For one thing, exterior lights can use up a lot of electricity. For owners and renters alike, LED lights significantly reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs. Also ensure that exterior decorations are appropriate for all ages.

Indoor Decorations

Interior holiday decorations can transform the living space into a cozy and festive environment. While they may not come with the risk of falling off a roof, indoor decorations also have some specific considerations to keep in mind:

  • Fire safety: Take precautions to prevent fire hazards when using candles or other open flames in decorations. Property owners should ensure that an adequate number of fire extinguishers are accessible and that smoke detectors are regularly maintained.
  • Child and pet safety: Ensure that decorations, such as small ornaments or low-hanging objects, do not pose a danger to children or pets.
  • Fragile items: If you’re renting, consider the potential for damage and breakage when decorating. Avoid hanging heavy decorations that might damage walls if they fall.

Environmental Considerations

Mindful holiday decorating includes environmental considerations. Property owners and tenants can make choices that reduce the environmental impact of their decorations:

  • Reusable decorations: Invest in quality decorations that can be reused year after year.
  • Recyclable materials: Choose decorations made from recyclable materials and eco-friendly options.
  • Minimalism: Embrace a minimalist approach to holiday decorating to reduce waste and excess consumption.

Communication and Compromise

Effective communication is critical to navigating holiday decorating. If disagreements or concerns arise, consider:

  • Open dialogues: Engage in honest and respectful conversations about holiday decorating with neighbors or tenants.
  • Joint planning: Collaborate on decorating plans and ideas to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.
  • Decorating committee: Form a decorating committee within a rental community to allow all tenants to provide input.
  • Compromise: Be willing to compromise on certain decorations or aspects of the display to accommodate others’ preferences.

Post-Holiday Cleanup

Once the holiday season is over, removing decorations promptly is vital. Holiday decorations that linger for weeks or months after the day they celebrate can make your property look neglected, reducing your curb appeal and perceived value. It can also cause complaints among neighbors. 

Property owners and tenants should take down outdoor decorations in a timely manner, and store indoor decorations properly to prevent damage and make future use easier.

Navigate the Holidays With Excitement and Care

Holiday decorating can bring joy and warmth to rental properties, but it’s essential to do so with respect, consideration, and adherence to property rules and guidelines. Whether you’re a property owner or a tenant, thoughtful and inclusive decorating can create a festive atmosphere that everyone can enjoy while respecting diverse beliefs and preferences. By following these guidelines, property owners and tenants can contribute to a harmonious and celebratory holiday season in their communities. And if you’re a self-managing owner looking to give yourself the gift of free time and relaxation during the holidays, Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is here to help. If you’re ready to hear more about what our management package has to offer, we’d love to chat any time.