A Tampa Bay HOA fines a homeowner for putting up Christmas lights up too early. Is it the letter of the bylaws or the spirit of the bylaws?
If you’ve ever been to Westchase during the holidays, you have seen some beautifully decorated houses. The lights and displays are really awesome and capture the spirit of the season. A few weeks ago the Moffa family hired a company to put up Christmas lights. The home owner, Michael Moffa, said “that was their only availability, and I can’t climb up on the roof myself.”
Not much after, Moffa received a letter in the mail from the Westchase HOA. It stated that they are in violation of HOA rules that decorations can’t be put up until Thanksgiving day. If the violation isn’t corrected, they could be fined 100 dollars a day, up to $1,000. “Right before Christmas, who could be a grinch to hand this out?” Moffa said about the HOA notice.
According to the Westchase Community Association attorney, Jonathan Ellis, a neighbor complained about the Moffa’s Christmas lights so the association had to investigate. “One of the things they’re preventing is from the person that has the holiday lights up all year-round or things along those lines,” said Ellis. “If there’s enough the community that wants to change I believe generally the Community Association of Westchase will listen to the residents and will make changes.”
Michael Moffa offered to keep the Christmas lights off until Thanksgiving but said the HOA hasn’t been receptive.
So who do you side with? The home owner who put up the Christmas lights before Thanksgiving or the Westchase HOA?
[SOURCE News Channel 8]
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