Eric Glazer, Esq.
December 2, 2013
that Thanksgiving is over, there's a race to get those Christmas
decorations up. It's
no longer too early to start.
Twinkle the lights, plug-in the blow-ups, put up the
signs, sprinkle the lawn with fake snow, place reindeer in the
driveway and most of all, get in the holiday spirit.
Your house looks great!
Just one thing…….you've gone too far and your Board
says it all has to come down.
of religious expression you say?
Well, the law
regarding religious displays in your condominium is clear.
It was passed a few years ago to combat boards who wanted
owners to 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
actually display. That's
all it allows. A
unit owner in a condo still does not have a right to put a big
picture of Santa and his elves on their front door, only a small
religious symbol on the door frame or mantle.
more rights than HOA owners have though.
At the moment, there is no law under the HOA statute that
gives owners in an HOA the same right to display religious
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.
your take? Should
there be restrictions on displaying religious symbols in your
condo or HOA? Should
exceptions be made during certain holidays?
Can the exceptions wind up swallowing the rule?
Any horror stories out there of owners being told to take
down Santa or Rudolph? Did
you? Are Scrooges
alive and well in our Florida community associations or is the
usual bickering put on hold during the holiday season?