1. Karen Becomes The HOA President
I own numerous rentals across a bunch of neighborhoods. I'm not unfamiliar with HOAs or lawsuits. In fact, I've got a company lawyer on retainer. I recently moved to a community and finally bought a home for myself that I intend to stay in for some time. Well, a Karen was just elected to the board, and she disliked me straight away. Why? So it all began when I asked for the following: Firstly, the HOA's financial records, which they have yet to produce after two months. Secondly, that temporary and reasonable accommodation be available after major surgery. Last I requested that her husband refrains from changing his oil in the parking lot. She reacted strongly. I've already received four notices: one for speeding in the parking lot, one for displaying an opposing political sign in my front yard, one for construction noise, and another for damaging property by using a hose to wash my car.
So, my lawyer starts working on the upcoming legal battle. In all the emails my attorney sent to the association and management company, he added me as a BCC recipient. I wish I had just imagined the next part. Karen stupidly responded in full to an email intended only for the property manager. Here is a snippet of what she sent: "I'm going to continue fining him and ruining his life. He is an absolute nightmare and a rich punk kid. Until he submits to me, we will drown him in legal fees and send him the bill. Now that it's personal, I'm determined to convince the punk kid using his parents' money that I am the president and that he must follow my orders."
At 10:30 last night, my attorney called me six times, urging me to check my email. My lawyer sent a cease and desist to the entire board at nine in the morning, along with a copy of the email. The four other board members and their attorneys have been trying to sort things out, and my phone has been blowing up nonstop. I'm excited to see how this plays out.
Story Credit: Reddit/insurancethrowaway123
2. Out Of Spite
I bought a property at a real estate lien auction earlier this month. The property fell under a voluntary HOA with 100% membership, and they were determined to have me join even before I purchased the house. I knew exactly what I needed to do to get them off my back. My lawyer investigated the situation and drafted a proposal he sent to the HOA through a registered email.
He drafted an agreement proposal with the HOA with the following terms: 1. The property owner has unlimited access to any community-owned roads, gates, etc. 2. This does not constitute that the property owner will be an HOA member. 3. The property owner will, at his discretion, pay a sum to the HOA each month to help support the privately owned infrastructure. The sum is not negotiable and legally required; it is merely an acknowledgment that the assets exist and incurs maintenance costs. 4. No HOA requirements will be imposed on the property owner. 5. The homeowner will never be granted voting privileges in the HOA. 6. Any additional efforts to persuade the property owner to sign up will be regarded as harassment. 7: Cashing the attached checks entails accepting these conditions. 8. The HOA will give the property owner any necessary access codes to use for guests, contractors, etc.
They signed for it upon receiving it. On that day, the HOA's harassment stopped. Their attorney replied a week later. I shook my head as I read it. The message read: "The HOA board had met and did not appreciate your rude attitude and did not accept your terms. They do admit that if the matter goes to court, your demand for unrestricted access to your property might have legal merit. I've been told to provide you with the gate access code listed below. Since it would give you unrestricted access to their clubhouse, you won't be given a key fob to the gate. Additionally, they inform you of the following: The HOA owns both the sidewalk and the road and reserves the right to remove any illegally parked vehicles or other items. However, they acknowledge that you will not be held to their community's standards. Community notices might unintentionally be delivered, so they also ask for some leeway regarding harassment."
They also returned the check uncashed. However, I'm not entirely sure how this doesn't signify that they didn't accept my terms. They are giving me everything I ask for and rejecting my donation for the upkeep of the road and gate. I'll give them permission to shoot themselves in the foot out of pure spite.
Story Credit: Reddit/Dunnachius
3. Getting Revenge
My aunt and uncle moved into a neighborhood of newly built single-family homes about 25 years ago. My uncle was told that his community was being taken over by an HOA roughly six months after they had moved in. He ignored his HOA application since he was not interested in joining. Soon after, random neighbors started approaching him with complaints. They complained that his boat and the cars parked in his driveway were against HOA rules. He told the rude people that he wasn't a member, and they would argue that everyone was. One of the main problems was that his backyard dropped down a cliff to level with his basement and front yard while his driveway, garage, and front yard were all on the main level of his house.
Therefore, he could not back his boat around the house and into the backyard. Things escalated quickly. He eventually began receiving threats from the HOA if he didn't move his boat to the backyard. The HOA had built a vinyl fence around his backyard, which also lined a different road. One day, my uncle decided to make a compromise by attempting to tear down a section of his back fence to build a gate for boat parking access.
The HOA reported him to the authorities for property destruction. The officer warned my uncle that the fence needed to be repaired by the end of the day. My uncle repaired the fence and returned his boat to his front driveway. The fines began to pile up—month after month, week after week. The HOA filed a lawsuit against him when the fines reached $10,000.
He filed a counter-suit for harassment and street access to his backyard. The HOA presented the HOA boundary in court, demonstrated that my uncle's house was in the middle of the HOA and described the violations and the report filed over the back fence. My uncle claimed that he never joined the HOA, moved into the neighborhood before the HOA was established, never permitted them to fence in his backyard, provided all relevant mortgage documentation, and provided a blank HOA application with the HOA's security stamp and date.
The HOA argued that he was inside its boundaries, so it didn't matter if he didn't submit his application. They didn't fare well in it. The court ruled that the property owned by my uncle was grandfathered as private property and was not a part of the HOA. The HOA was required to immediately remove the fence surrounding my uncle's backyard. My uncle was due $10k in damages for the harassment because the HOA had fined him $10k in fines.
He then truly got revenge. My uncle rebuilt the chain link fence around his yard and added a gate through which he displays all of his toys. To pave the entire 10 feet from his front door to the sidewalk, he moved the boat from the driveway to his front lawn, allowed the grass to go to seed, and then did so. HOA neighbors have continued to complain to him over the years, but they can do anything to him.
Story Credit: Reddit/Lilbitevil
4. Don’t Mess With Us
This happened back when I was in elementary school many years ago. At the time, I was living in Florida. Anyone living in Florida knows how frequently new gated communities spring up. Our neighborhood was already formed before I moved in. My uncle used to own this house. There was a neighborhood watch, but there was no HOA. People began to move into the gated community after it was finished. We didn't live in a bad neighborhood anymore, but we have some oddly colored houses now—lime green and magenta with giant wire lizards all over them. Our house was nothing special, half concrete and half hand brick painted white. When compared with the other houses, it did stand out.
The new gated community was an HOA community, and they believed they had complete control over us. People in our area were soon getting fines for their house colors, "unsightly" cars, unapproved mailboxes, and other minor infractions. My parents got some for my father's boat in the driveway and our overgrown yard.
We had a bougainvillea that grew like crazy, and we had to keep trimming it. We even received a fine for our fence. The old fence had been chain-link, and the new fence was a wooden privacy fence; I'm not sure why we had two different fences. My uncle only fenced in a portion of the house, and my father didn't want to tear it down because it was a pretty good fence. We received "fines" for not satisfying HOA standards and other violations for about four or five months. We spoke to our neighbors, and they also got them. They tried to phone in and complain.
Then everything came crashing down. My mother got a call from her bank, questioning her about the lien that had just appeared in the system. My parents had less than a year left on their mortgage payments, and they always paid extra each month and were never late. My mother was baffled and explained that there should be no lien because there is no reason for one. The gated community filed liens on nearly every house in my community. My mother informed the bank of the situation and contacted a lawyer. At the time, many HOA members faced charges, which was a huge mess with a reasonably large lawsuit against the HOA board.
After the lawsuit, we were able to settle the mortgage. We even held a huge cookout and celebration on one of the roads, where we got to know many new people. Even kids I didn't know existed became new friends of mine. Due to negative publicity, residents left the gated community, and many homes were left empty for an extended period. It was like a ghost town when I left because many houses were still vacant. The last I heard, the community's name had changed, and the homes were filling up. So I guess the lesson is to mind your own business and leave our houses alone.
Story Credit: Reddit/Tough-Cookie24-7
5. Forged Signature
I'll begin by saying that my ex is extremely vindictive. We've been divorced since about 2020. We sold our shared house, and I was not required to pay her alimony since she cheated and was at fault. It's been a complete mess since D-Day. It has been every single stereotype. Sobbing first, followed by "I love you! It was only once! Alright, it's been two years!" Then there was the gaslighting, followed by "I'm going to take you for everything!" Then she packed her belongings and left. I never really got to know my ex during our time together. We had been married for five years and had been together for seven.
And she had affairs with three other men during two of her five years of marriage. According to what I could find out, the final one was a foreign businessman of some kind. It gets worse from here.
She fell pregnant as a result of the final affair. I did not sign the birth certificate because I discovered all of the affairs before the baby was born, mainly owing to a phone call from the first man she had an affair with. Since we lived together and were married in an at-fault state, she lost. We did not contribute equally to our home, and the equity was split 70/30. So when I sold our marital home, I received a substantial cash payout to use as a deposit on a different house closer to my job. It's a step-down, but it's perfect for a divorced man in his 30s like me. My ex visited me once, but I refused to let her in. She started complaining to me that the divorce had financially ruined her. I burst out laughing and said it was karma.
She threatened to sue me for what was rightfully hers. I told her that if she was going to sue me, she should just do it. It'd be the same in court since she has nothing but a fabricated sob story. She was the one who cheated, not me. I'm no angel, but I did nothing wrong to her, and she was the one who destroyed our marriage. She then threatened to tell everyone that I had mistreated her. I warned her that I'd sue her for defamation if she did. Then I advised her of one crucial detail. I recorded our conversation and saved those words to my phone. Her eyes widened, and her jaw hit the floor. Then I wondered why she was there if not to cause trouble. She had a new guy in her life who had knocked her up.
She merely huffed at me and said he's not around often, and she's stuck in a small apartment on his child maintenance until he returns. I know it was childish, but I pretended to play the world's smallest violin. She yelled at me and then got in her car to drive away. I haven't seen her since then. Alright, so my neighborhood has an HOA. However, I was not legally required to join because the former owner of my house was not a member. A real estate lawyer also confirmed that. The HOA had no legal basis to force me to participate, and they were furious. For the first month, the HOA president would show up with forms demanding that I sign them.
After which she threatened to sue me in court. When that failed, she tried more devious methods. She began pestering me by searching for any transgressions she could potentially report to the city. An inspector visited multiple times and discovered nothing wrong. In fact, while grilling, I offered one of them a burger, which they gladly accepted. Did I mention that the HOA despises barbecues and unapproved parties? And I enjoy grilling when the weather permits. My neighbors appreciate it since I welcome them over. I had the cops called on me a few times for noise complaints due to me playing music with my friends on a Saturday afternoon.
I once caught the HOA president trespassing and peering into my windows. I contacted the police, and yet she denied ever doing it. So I created a plan. I bought some cameras. She hasn't done anything wrong since. Nonetheless, I received numerous passive-aggressive letters stating that my cameras were not an approved addition to my home. I began receiving fines in the mail a few months ago. When I got in touch with the HOA, a representative said they had it on record that I had joined and demanded full payment. They couldn't do that, I informed them. After that, they scanned and emailed the forms, which were signed. My heart stopped as I turned to look. It was not my signature. I immediately recognized it as my ex's writing.
She was familiar with the style of my signature. But at best, it was a sloppy imitation. I immediately contacted a lawyer regarding the fake signature. Even so, the HOA insisted on going to court, and it took seven months for that to happen. In the meantime, they constantly threatened to place a lien on my home since the unpaid fines were piling up. The HOA president was very arrogant when we appeared in court. But my attorney pointed out that the signature on the various forms wasn't precisely the same as mine and was very inconsistent. I had never let the HOA president into my home, nor had I ever asked for the paperwork. I found the woman's response to be unbelievable. The HOA president actually slammed her hand down on the desk and insisted that it remained enforceable.
When questioned about the origin of the fake signature, the woman admitted that after my ex-wife called the HOA, they sent her the paperwork, which she then signed and returned via mail. She later admitted that she had mistakenly believed I had signed them. The judge then questioned how my decision to join her HOA would be influenced by a woman I was no longer married to and who had never even shared my current home with me. She grew quiet, and I could see the "Oh, shoot" expression on her face as she appeared to have finally put the puzzle pieces together in her mind. Then, my attorney rebutted the HOA's claim, arguing that it was improper of them to act as they did. I counter-sued the HOA for the psychological damage done by the harassment I had experienced since moving in.
Which, incidentally, I had plenty of evidence for. I used the roughly $10,000 I won to pay off my mortgage. The HOA president's reign was overthrown. She also received a sizable fine. She always looks at me like I'm the devil when I run into her outside. All of my legal expenses had to be covered by the HOA itself. I then wanted to go after my ex for forging my signature on those documents, but I am unable to do so because it seems that she left the country to be with her partner not long after she did so. I can tell from the last few posts she made on her Facebook before she vanished that she is somewhere in Europe. Since she hasn't yet returned to the US, I am powerless to take action against her. Luckily, the HOA is no longer sending me letters. The new president has vowed to maintain harmony moving forward. However, I still don't think this was much of a victory for me. Everything felt like a colossal waste, aside from the $10,000 payout.
Story Credit: Reddit/SpurredOneLastTime
6. An Easy Solution
So, here's a quick backstory. I don't live in an HOA (thank the heavens), but I have dealt with them. I studied environmental engineering in college and graduated with a degree in water treatment systems. But that's not usually my day job. Nonetheless, a friend who works for one of the neighboring cities recently asked if I wouldn't mind conducting water pollution tests in a waterfowl preservation area. There had been some strange die-off events, and the city attempted to determine the pollution's source. I was permitted to conduct my tests anywhere along this waterfowl area (within reason) and would be working under a special contract from the city. I won't go into detail about how the tests are conducted. Still, I began collecting soil and water samples from potential sources along the perimeter of the waterfowl preserve.
This revealed that the water contained significant levels of nitrates and phosphates, which I assumed were impacting the birds. Now, I had to track down the origin. I toured the river's length, passing various housing developments, a few apartments, and an occasional settling pond. These were disqualified as sources after several weeks and a flurry of tests. But as I went up the river, I grew more alarmed. The concentrations got stronger as you went up. So much so that even coming in contact with the water posed a risk to humans. We're talking pollution of the "super fund" variety. I could hear some splashing and the sounds of children playing in the water as I waded up to this area.
Not good at all. As I round the corner, I am met with a small dock leading into the water and a group of four to five children alternately jumping off of it into the water. The hazardous, highly polluted water. I went up to a woman who was watching them. I don't remember the conversation, but I told her I was from the city. I said that the kids were not allowed to swim in the river because of some information that had been discovered. The woman tried her best to argue the point before I told her she could explain herself to the Marshal after I called him to barricade the area. She grabbed the children and rushed off. The Marshal did show up, discovered that the dock hadn't been constructed following the proper code standards, and condemned it.
This forced the HOA that had constructed it to demolish it within a week. If they didn't, the city would have done it, and they would still have to foot the bill. The issue of pollution was still there. Then, strange things began to happen. All pollution disappeared as soon as I passed this HOA subdivision. I knew who the culprit was. Figuring out what they were doing was the next challenge. I began visiting the HOA's properties and speaking with residents with the Marshal's assistance. We asked a few straightforward questions, such as "Do you know if they're fertilizing the grass," "When do they do this," and "Do you know the type of fertilizer they use."
I was merely gathering proof. Do you recall the woman from earlier? We found out she was the HOA president. It wasn't until she reported the Marshal and me as strange "men" wandering around her neighborhood that I learned this. She called them about four times a day before the officers bluntly warned her, "We're charging you if you keep calling; they work with the city." That didn't stop her from driving behind us and taking pictures of us with her phone. We eventually talked to an elderly gentleman. This made the case fall apart. The HOA president had fined people for not having perfectly green grass. We were experiencing a drought at the time, so this is no surprise. She took matters into her own hands after the city fined several people in the subdivision for watering their lawns.
She'd attempted to hire a landscaper to fertilize the lawns, but he'd supposedly refused because of various EPA regulations. The homeowner gentleman wasn't sure what the lady did next, but a few days later, some guys showed up with a large farm-type trailer of liquid and started spraying every single foot of grass under the HOA's control. Even down to the water's edge. I took a few soil samples from around his property and samples from the communal area that connected the grassy area next to the river, with the owner's permission. It did take about a week to receive the comprehensive results, but I had my answer. This lady had contract workers or someone spraying agricultural fertilizer on her lawn.
This fertilizer is heavily regulated by the EPA and requires a special license even to acquire, let alone use. I presented all of my evidence to my city contact. I explained how severe the damage was and how I was legally mandated to report the HOA to the state regulating body for blatant violations. My contact accepted the papers, thanked me, and paid me for my assistance, adding that I would have to testify in court if this went to trial. The trial was supposed to occur in March 2020, but that date was never reached. In a plea agreement with the state, the HOA president agreed to pay for the environmental cleanup of the river and make reparations to the state. The cleanup (which is still ongoing) is anticipated to cost more than a million dollars, and the fines alone exceeded close to a quarter of a million dollars.
While the HOA itself was facing dissolution by the state due to numerous instances of negligence and poor management, I suspect that some of the accusations against the HOA president may have had something to do with it. I have no idea how they came into contact with that fertilizer. But do you want to hear the sad news? Simply contacting the city or the state would have provided the HOA with a list of acceptable fertilizers, preventing the contamination of the nearby water and their liability for an environmental catastrophe. The website for the city and state has the number right there. The HOA simply wasn't interested in checking.
Story Credit: Reddit/kibufox
7. The Little Guy Wins
This story is set in Kawartha Lakes, one of Ontario's worst municipalities to live in. It is full of poverty, addiction, a proudly ignorant culture, and partisan voters who repeatedly vote against their best interests. Additionally, the city council is stealing from their tax base to offer the unqualified employees they hired free educational opportunities. They are meeting in secret behind the public's back. In one instance, they spent $140,000 fighting a lawsuit brought against them after they blocked an access road for a brand-new business because some city council members ran rival businesses. They received a $70,000 fine, spent another $70,000 of taxpayer money on an appeal, and ultimately lost.
That's the entire backstory. Basically, the city is run by uneducated rubes and populated by the most uninterested citizens I have ever met. For more than 50 years, my grandfather was the original property owner on an unassumed road. For those who don't know, this means that even though the city owned the road, they were only obligated to provide limited services to one property owner and were not responsible for any additional upkeep, grooming, etc. By the way, we later discovered forgeries asserting that a single owner represented the entire road. This basically meant they would conduct two gradings annually, even though they only provided one. Some city people moved up the street about 20 years ago and decided to establish an HOA. It was a complete nightmare right off the bat.
They did not incorporate, did not obtain insurance, and believed they could extort money from residents for virtually nothing by forging signatures on official city documents. About ten years ago, my father refused to pay them until the two chuckleheads in charge showed him how they spent the money. This got things going. The "president" and "treasurer" decided to sue for the money "owed" rather than give a fair accounting of the neighborhood funds. We went to court, and it turned out that you can't just claim to be the leader of a nonexistent association. You also can't take money from the residents and use it to buy cookware or hire their unqualified, uninsured friends to do roadwork.
It turns out that in a small claims court, perjury is not tolerated. They had to learn the hard way. I found instances of perjury and general dishonesty in their court documents. They created false documents and were exposed for it. They were given several opportunities to settle in court, but they rejected each one instead, choosing to self-destruct in the most irrational and obstinate manner possible. They brought no evidence to the court, depending instead on the phrase "it's not rocket science," and they somehow assumed the judge would accept it as evidence or as lending credibility to their claims. He didn't do it. The HOA lost and now owes us money.
The HOA was immediately dissolved, but it would not be an interesting story if it ended there. But you're not here for a "good guys win" story; you're looking for satisfaction. So, prepare to have your mind blown. One of the two old men who thought they were in charge of the HOA couldn't accept defeat. Our driveway lights began to go out, and in the middle of the night, someone was blocking the culvert and washing out the road in front of my father's house. Minor vandalism was occurring almost every night.
So I returned home late one night to find this 70-year-old man thrashing around in the April temperature swamp, having fallen in after blocking the culvert. He became entangled in an underwater branch and was unable to free himself. We had to drag him out because he was so drunk and hypothermic that he couldn't move. We then contacted the authorities. He was yelled at, no more driveway lights went missing, and the officers let him keep the trash can lid he was using to block the culvert. The moral of this story is to not listen to an HOA. They may appear official, but I'm willing to bet that most HOAs are up to something shady that will reflect poorly on them in court if you find yourself at odds with them.
Story Credit: Reddit/thisonetimereddit
8. Car Lover
I've been dealing with this for three months, and it has finally reached a tipping point. To provide some context, I own a towing company and currently rent a home within an HOA. This, however, was not disclosed to me upon signing the lease. My wife and I could finally afford our dream home in 2020 before the lockdown hit. We were offered a $250 reduction on rent if we signed a two-year lease which we did. The house includes a three-car garage and additional driveway parking for two other cars. Since my tow truck is classified as an emergency vehicle by the state, I keep it parked in the driveway or on the street in front of my house. My tow truck is not just a commercial vehicle, so it does not go against HOA policies to have it in the neighborhood.
Three of us lived in a home, and we were all crazy about cars, so we obviously owned many of them. We don't keep all our vehicles at home, but we have six cars there. With the tow truck added to this number, we always had to park two vehicles on the street. Most of the imported cars have expensive wide-body kits, which are essential for the value of the vehicle and its aesthetic. Suddenly the HOA, which we had no idea existed, started intervening after nine months of us living there. They started fining the tow truck parked on the street and leaving notices that it couldn't be parked there. It was no problem. I just moved it into the driveway. I paid the HOA their $150 fine after the landlord sent me their contract to read.
I figured getting along with them was the best course of action. Since I had to move my tow truck into the driveway, I had to start parking my RX7 on the street. I kept my two classic cars and my project car in the garage. There was also a BMW and a Nissan, which the other two people living with me owned. The following day, I got yet another slap in the face from the HOA. I got fines on the Silvia and the RX7, parked near our driveway. Many other neighbors were parking their cars in the street and not receiving any tickets from the HOA. I immediately call the leader of the HOA to find out what is happening. He informs me that our "junk" is devaluing the community.
He explains that it cannot be parked in the street by citing a rule in the HOA guidelines about vehicles in disarray. I couldn't help but laugh. The man I'm talking to drives an early 2000s Cadillac valued at about 10k. He tells me he will have the vehicles towed if I park them in the street. I tell him that he needs to review his own manual and look at the cars he's talking about since none of them are in disarray. He calls for a tow truck ten days after the first ticket. My tow truck is listed as an emergency vehicle since my company works for the county police and the township.
I got a call from the company that sent out a tow truck to impound my vehicles while I wasn't home. They called me to let me know since we know each other, and I often give the company some work when we are holding over a 90-minute ETA, so the customers don't get upset. He explains that he has a contract with the HOA and is obligated to tow my cars. However, he doesn't own a truck that can tow these lowered cars without damaging them. So he asks me to come home and remove the bumpers to fit on his truck. I told him I would not be doing that and would hate to find another towing truck to send overflow work to while we see how the law feels about potential damages to the car during impounding.
He makes the wise decision not to tow my cars. This all happened in October 2020. My towing friend has called me many times since then to tell me that the HOA is pressuring him to tow the vehicle. He explains that the only company in the area that can tow my cars is my own. Then it finally happens. The HOA leader calls my company to impound my cars. So, I sent three of my employees to pick up my cars and drive them to the shop, where I have kept them for the past month. Since it was summer, my wife started driving the Impala often. We went to the small claims court on Friday to sue the HOA for towing costs, which was about $250 per vehicle, and for storage which was $62 per day. There was also an additional $3000 for the inconvenience of not having daily transportation.
There was also the $1500 in lawyer fees. The judge asked for photos of the cars from the HOA leader. The judge states that the cars don't seem to be in any disarray and that they look quite nice. I thanked the judge and pointed out the man's Cadillac parked in the photo. The judge gives a broad smile as he confesses something. He tells me that he is also a big fan of cars and that each of the two cars which have been impounded is valued at $50k and that the Cadillac is actually the eyesore of the community.
The judge then rejects the HOA's arguments and specifically instructs the man not to tow any vehicles from the neighborhood without receiving confirmation from a third party that they are broken down or abandoned. As the streets are not private streets but rather belong to the township, the judge continues by declaring that the HOA is in violation of the township ordinance. The judge then begins jabbing at something, which I assume is a calculator. The judge finally speaks after about a minute and a half of complete silence: "Okay, as stated before, the claim for the HOA has been dismissed. As for the countersuit, I will rule in favor in the amount of $10,100 and $65.50 in court costs to the HOA." The jerk went completely insane.
He launched an attack on communism. And how the judge was the cause of the country's problems and was involved in election fraud and every illogical theory you could imagine. After giving him two warnings, the judge finally found him in contempt and invited him to spend the weekend on the county's dime. He will be at home tonight since the judge will release him at six o'clock. The cars are back where they belong, and I am looking forward to his hand waving and smiling when he gets home this evening.
Story Credit: Reddit/whipssolo
9. Fighting Off The HOA
Despite not being part of an HOA, the area where I live is still considered a "neighborhood region" by the city. Every month, anyone who wants to gathers with the neighborhood relations officer from our local police department and typically our district's city council representative. As you might expect, a few of our members would ideally like to start an HOA board. Recently, we had a scheduled meeting, and one of my "lovely" neighbors showed up with a visitor dressed somewhat formally. She mentioned that she wanted time to speak after the routine tasks. She stands up, introduces the man, and asks us to listen as he discusses the advantages of creating in our neighborhood.
I'm seated in the front row as usual, and despite my best efforts to control my laughter, I couldn't help but yell, "That's a terrible idea." " Excuse me," she says, giving me a startled look. I quickly stood up and lost it, "Most of us struggle month to month, and we will have to pay a few hundred more to some lawyer for what might sound good but guess what?" I inhaled deeply. "Did you forget your trash can out past 11 pm the night before, or 7 am the day of pick up? You get a fine. Is your lawn higher than two inches for more than 24 hours? You get a fine. Your house isn't painted the prescribed paint colors? You get a fine and a notice to fix it within 14 days. You're not allowed to feed the stray cats." I look to a neighbor known for helping the strays, "You leave out protective boxes in winter, so the stray cats don't freeze? You get a fine per box."
I ignored the neighbor as she kept trying to interrupt. "Working on your car in your driveway? A fine per day that you're working on it. And if you fall behind on your fines, they'll lien on your house. They'll even kick you out, rebuild it or tear your house down so they can build a more modern one. They'll try to push all of us out to "elevate" the neighborhood and make themselves rich by stealing our properties. I'll never sign anything like this." The entire room turned their angry gazes toward her. It goes without saying that her plan failed. The man in the suit kept trying to make his points, but I had a comeback for each one.
Story Credit: Reddit/thearticulategrunt
10. The Landlord
My upstairs tenant has been renting for about two years, and I've been complaining about them since I bought my condo. She received a notice of hearing in March of this year, allowing her to present her case. Based on the results, they may fine the owner, her landlord. I've filed three reports thus far, two of which include security footage proving she's a nuisance, and I've also had police officers visit.
To avoid any potential conflict with the tenant, the manager advised me not to go to the hearing. The manager previously warned me that the hearing does not guarantee a fine and shouldn't be an expectation. His tone changed when I told him about the report, and he added that this might be helpful. The hearing will determine the result, but I believe my supporting evidence is better than hers.
Since I want to avoid coming across as overly defensive or reactive in front of the committee, I actually prefer not to go to the hearing. Anyway, I thought it was strange that her landlord wouldn't have tried to give her any kind of warning himself after she got the first warning last year and the hearing notice most recently. I last spoke with him almost two years ago, when the previous tenant moved out, and he replaced the carpeting. I haven't contacted him since because his last words were that there was "nothing else" he could do.
Story Credit: Reddit/Dsg1695
11. Evil And Incompetent
My great grandfather purchased 3,000 acres in Florida in the 1800s. It has been in the family and a working farm ever since. After my father passed, the land was divided between my brother, sister, and me. My brother and sister sold their portions to a development company. At the same time, I purchased a neighboring 850 acres. After the development company built up the area with single-family homes, they transferred control to a new HOA. It was at this time that unstamped letters began appearing in my mailbox. The first was an introduction of the new HOA and included about a 20-page handbook with so many rules and regulations. Since my family land predates the HOA by well over 120 years, I am not obliged to join any such group. So I ignore the letters and start marking them “return to sender”.
Now, this alerts my postal carrier, who questions who put unstamped mail in the mailbox. He took those letters and went to have a conversion with the HOA about the use of the mailbox. One more thing: I wasn’t using the farm fully, but instead I had at the time about a dozen rescue animals as well as three-quarter horses. I arrived home one day to a strange sight. There was a pair of cars at the entrance of my driveway, blocking my access. My driveway is almost 1/4 mile long, though, so I parked and walked. At my house I found my wife arguing with three people (two men and a woman) who are demanding to be allowed their rights to search my property inside and out. After a quick briefing, I inform my trespassers of their violations.
I then give them 10 minutes to get off my property and move their cars before I tow and impound them. These self-righteous individuals were not budging. So I walk to one of my barns and start up something inside. I back out with an older model Holmes tow truck and start backing down the driveway. These three ran to get into their cars and were gone before I got to the end of the driveway. Now this would be nice if it ended there, but then it would not be much of a story. It got so much worse. I then started receiving fines. Yes, in the mail and unstamped! I actually had to get the local postmaster involved. I even got a fine for calling the postmaster on them. (Eventually, the HOA had to pay a $10,000 fine for unauthorized use of the USPS system).
Fast forward about six months, and my wife notices that there is a lien on the house and property. This is where I contacted a property rights attorney, who immediately filed with the local government. It took a couple of months, but the lien was dismissed when the originator failed to show up to a hearing. But it does not end here! Oh no, it does not. I received a large packet that came in certified mail, detailing all the fines I have incurred since the HOA came into existence. And they demanded immediate payment. Included in this was a $500 fine for not signing the handbook, a $1,000 fine for not allowing board members access to search my property, and a $10,000 fine for repayment of the fine the HOA had to pay for the HOA breaking the federal maul law.
And the list goes on and on. My attorney laughed and sent a cease and desist letter as well as a demand that all further correspondence must be direct to her office. That lasted about six months, until my wife again noticed a new lien on the property. What the heck, I thought? So back to my attorney and more laughing. Turns out the HOA put a lien on the land I purchased, which is still separate from the family land. And so we repeat the steps above. During this time, my wife was in the hospital for the delivery of our second child and everyone was there to support her. Seizing their opportunity, the HOA trespassed again and started searching through my property, including its barns, garage, and outbuildings. They even tried towing several vehicles that I had on the land that were “not licensed”.
Yeah, they are for farm use. Picture a rusty old pickup used to haul hay and feed. An old car with no doors we use to check out the field and search for animals. In this instance, they were caught in the act by the local sheriff’s deputy, who was just doing a drive-by. I chose not to press charges. However, this still infuriated the HOA and another large packet arrived with more fines on top of all the previous fines. Another trip to my attorney and more laughing. This time, she contacts the county clerk’s office and manages to stop another lien that was in the process of being posted. This time in order to post the lien, the HOA would need to show up at a hearing and explain. Yep, they did not show and the lien vanished.
Story Credit: Reddit/Dragonrider1964
12. Some People Are Out To Get You
Back when I was 18, I was helping my cousin, who is white, and his newlywed wife, who is Black, move into their new home that has an HOA. I was carrying boxes into the house and I was covered in sweat. As I was enjoying some rest with a bottle of water, one of the HOA members came up to me to introduce himself. We exchanged pleasantries and then he asked, “How long have you and your husband been married?” I told him to please wait and brought in the actual married couple to meet the HOA member. They came out and the man’s face dropped. He then faked a phone call from the HOA and left. We didn’t know anything was wrong at the time. Not even a week after they moved in, I get a call on my cell phone from my cousin. He said that officers were raiding his house for possible substances.
I know my cousin. He has the record of a boy scout. Every time he gets a prescription for pain medication, he either shreds the note or dumps the unused pills in the toilet due to fear of addiction. The officers found nothing and left, though they did apologize. The very next day, his wife was stopped by officers in her own driveway. They said that she was suspected of selling her body! This, even though she was wearing a pantsuit from her job as a cardiologist. They called her hospital to confirm her whereabouts and she was let go. They came back the day after that, after someone claimed that his wife was breaking into their own home. How can someone break into their home through the front door and with their OWN keys?
After a month, the HOA came up to them claiming that they are a nuisance and attempted to put a lien on the house for so many calls to the authorities. Luckily, my cousin’s brother is a lawyer and fought against the lien in court. At court, the HOA member that met the couple on Day One was revealed to be the one that sent the officers after them so they can be kicked out of the neighborhood. The whole story came out then. As it turns out, that person testified that he didn’t want “their kind” in his perfect neighborhood. Everyone in that room was dumbstruck. The HOA lawyer immediately dropped the case and apologized to my cousin and his wife. That HOA member was kicked out of the neighborhood for his views. Apparently, he also called the authorities on every black and brown person that even passed by his house. Since then, they moved out of the neighborhood after my cousin’s wife got a better job offer in her field.
Story Credit: Reddit/SerenaUsagi
13. Starting All Over
My wife and I bought a house in an HOA back in May of 2020. We bought it from family and were told the HOA is very relaxed. Basically, you pay your dues and submit the proper documentation when doing major changes to the house and landscaping, and that’s it. We received the rules and regulations when we bought the house and it was very generic.
Nothing in it mentioned security cameras and motion lights. Well, this past Monday my father-in-law and I finally installed two security cameras with lights. We had to run new electric lines due to the house not coming with a doorbell. Tuesday afternoon, we received a warning about modifications to the house without prior approval. We already had four motion sensor lights up months prior to installing the camera.
I figured they just wanted a statement or something similar to explain why we put up the new system. I submit the statement and don’t hear anything back for a couple of days. The response I finally got was that the cameras needed to be removed, paperwork submitted, and then they can be re-installed. After spending six hours running wire and installing the system, I’m not pulling it down. I will not be changing anything until I get a response to my submission. If it wasn’t mentioned in the rules and regulations, I figure they really don’t have a leg to stand on in general.
Story Credit: Reddit/Bearded_Trucker
14. The Letter Of The Law
This was in the mid-90s, when I owned a condo in Las Vegas. I bought it new and lived in it. I do not recall how long I had lived there when I received a letter from the HOA asking me for my address. I just ignored it. A few weeks or so later, I received an infuriating package. It was a letter stating I had been fined $100 for not “returning” that other letter.
I went down to the office to visit the HOA president. And said exactly this to him: “The only way I will pay this fine is through judgment. Because I want to see you explain to a judge how you sending a letter to my address to verify my address and then fining me because you did not receive a response is going to fly with a judge”. The reaction was priceless.
He thought for a minute, then conversed with the other person there, then said to her “Could we have misplaced his letter? Ok, no fine”. He just was completely unwilling to admit he was in the wrong, but he obviously didn’t want to go to court, either.
Story Credit: Reddit/JonPokerclan
15. Live And Learn
I’m a man, and I’m 41 years old now. As a bachelor of 25, I grew tired of living in a low-rent apartment surrounded by less than lawful individuals and decided that a mortgage at the time would be only a little more per month than rent and would make a great investment. This turned out to be an enormous mistake. Oh, to go back in time and give myself a talk. What I learned was that living in an HOA only makes you a glorified renter, and at the end of the day you basically own nothing. The condo I purchased was very nice. Three-bedroom, two-bath, vaulted ceilings, thick walls. I was pretty impressed with myself. Unfortunately, the HOA was not well managed. The board was nothing more than puppets for the management company who might as well have been the landlord.
It was a large HOA. 26 buildings with 12 units each. I learned in comparison to friends that this was a good thing as it meant assessment fees were more spread out. When I moved in, I didn’t know about assessment fees and I was barely educated on the HOA fee. One of the selling points was the low HOA fee, which was only $80 a month. Or so I thought. I later found out the developer, who was still finishing the last four buildings, supplemented the fee to keep it low so he could sell more units. The nightmare didn’t end there. I also didn’t know that my HOA was a sub-HOA, which means it was an HOA inside an HOA. So I had to pay the master HOA another $25.00 a month to do nothing at all, literally nothing.
The sub-HOA did all the internal maintenance and the city itself took care of the communal areas like the public roads. Meanwhile, my subHOA board was full of out-of-state Southern Californians in a snow-heavy state. My first year there, they budgeted $2,000 dollars for snow removal and $45,000 for beautification—new wood chips and remodeling the clubhouse. Meanwhile, the snow removal fee alone came to $35,000. At the HOA meeting to vote on how to pay the $35,000 snow fee, they banned anyone from talking about how we got into that mess and anyone who did was detained for disorderly conduct. Eventually, they voted on a snow assessment fee. The amount was eye-popping. It came to $350 for each unit.
Later, I learned the plow company was owned by the management company owner’s relative. That plow guy came out if there was a barely visible frost on the ground and charged us $100 per “push”—every time he backed up and drove forward. Eventually, the HOA board was replaced and they replaced the management company with a new company. Somehow, this was worse. The new company liked to play with the pool keys and charge you to turn them back on. They always tried to claim your card was read at the pool during an unauthorized time, or that the card you were using was a fake that they didn’t issue. Then the bottom dropped out. The 2008 recession hit without them selling the last of the units. At that point, the developer backed out of supplementing the fees and the fee jumped to $65, and then $100 the next year.
Probably even higher later, but I moved out. The developer screwed up and didn’t have room to give the last building or so their two parking spots. So now the HOA wanted to revoke everyone’s second spot. Problem was, the second spot was on my mortgage and by-laws provided for a second spot. The HOA dropped the revoked spot idea but I do not know how they eventually solved it. Lastly, I overpaid my HOA every month for dues, placing me several hundred over as insurance against the next assessment fee. So I paid a little amount for the HOA to install a screen on my dryer vent to keep the birds out, against my credit. I also paid for several upgrades inside to sell the place. Unfortunately, when I tried to sell, the recession was at its worst.
I sold at a loss to get out of there and buy a house. The final straw hit me hard. The last insult of this HOA was to claim I never paid for the screen on my dryer vent and that I owed a few hundred in back HOA fees. If I didn’t pay, they would place a lien on me, which would mess with the condo I sold and the house I was buying. I paid the ransom and walked away from that dumpster fire. The good news is the house I bought has no HOA and has tripled in value. I do know the master HOA was eventually sued by all the sub-HOAs and dissolved because they did nothing but rent an office down the street. I’ve also run into people who still own in my old sub-HOA and yes, the fee is now much higher.
Story Credit: Reddit/Lilbitevil
16. For The Greater Good
I used to think our HOA is pretty good. The fees aren’t that high for houses (less than $30 per month) and a little higher for the condos. The pool is pretty decent and not that far away.
But then the infamous day came. We decided to put solar panels on our house. When HOA told me that we were not allowed to do that, we naturally asked why.
They said it would ruin the “aesthetic” of the neighborhood. Well, guess what? The solar panel company told us that that was an illegal reason.
They actually have a department that has to argue with HOAs all the time. Even so, it took two months before we finally got the OK to put the solar panels in.
Story Credit: Reddit/MomCat859
17. Easy As Bye
My wife and I have been getting harassed by a new HOA to join, as my house is the lone holdout on a beach-front strip. With my highly evolved ape brain, I have spent the weekend scouring the laws and loopholes.
I have now, through a series of quantum calculations that will only make sense to me, found the means to kill an HOA anywhere.
Step one: Organize your community and friends at the next meeting and have someone or yourself call for no-confidence and vote to remove all HOA board members. Then vote in new members. Step two: Have a new president.
Vote to overturn all standing fines, then end the meeting with a vote to dissolve the HOA in it entirety. Any properties owned by the HOA are to be sold to pay off any debts owed by HOA. Record everything. Then turn a copy of the video into the governing body of where you live. As proof. Ta-da.
Story Credit: Reddit/Fredking1313
18. Take A Walk
When I was two, my dad bought the house I grew up in. It was a major fixer-upper. In total, he probably put $100,000 fixing it up, if not more. So this is where the story comes in. The city building inspector informed my dad that because it was documented that he spent over $50,000 improving his property, he would have to build a sidewalk too. There was an even bigger catch.
It was supposed to be only in front of his house and would come out of his pocket. Also, if anyone injured themselves on the sidewalk that abruptly started and abruptly ended, he’d be responsible for that as well. He also had to pay for upkeep, and it would cut about three feet into the front yard and would permanently lower the property value. Yes, really.
Now at the time that this happened, the city had completely renovated a park playground costing well over the $50,000. This was public knowledge. The park was within viewing distance of our house and had two historic trees within feet of the road. So my dad wrote a letter to the mayor’s office. He worded the cover letter in a way such that they would have to publicly read the entire letter out loud during a public meeting.
The letter basically said to lead by example and put in a sidewalk at the newly renovated park, meaning they’d have to cut down the two historic trees. The public was outraged. After that, the building inspector basically let him renovate the house however he liked. There is still no sidewalk.
Story Credit: Reddit/jakeSimpai
19. V Is For Vendetta
Well over a decade ago, I was forced to move back in with my dad. I was only planning to stay a few months, until I was financially stable enough to get my own place once again, but my dad insisted I stay rent-free while I got my car paid off and some serious dental work done. This lasted four years. My dad owns a really nice place in a subdivision that had an HOA.
For about two of those four years, things went fine…until it turned into a horror show. It all started when a woman who I shall aptly call Karen became head of the HOA. Me and Karen had many unfortunate run-ins in the past. She would constantly ask my dad how long until I move out. Then she would always report me and my dad to the HOA for the silliest things.
They were so stupid, the HOA would usually ignore them, or at best dismiss them after getting our side of the story. Bu now that she was in control, she took direct action. The first was to declare me an “unauthorized border” after instituting a by-law that all adults 21 and older in a household must be registered with the HOA as permanent residents. They also had to stay a minimum of five years or risk penalizing the homeowner.
My dad refused to do any such thing because I would eventually be getting my own place. But Karen insisted, even serving him two years of backdated penalties for having me there. My dad ended up having to spend money on a lawyer to send her a cease-and-desist order because I was legally grandfathered in, since I was there before the by-law. Of course, the fines were begrudgingly dropped, but it didn’t stop there.
Afterward, she would try to nickel and dime my dad with constant little things like me being out at all hours of the night (I worked late) or the way I dressed in public being inappropriate (jeans and band t-shirts mostly), and other stupid stuff, most of which weren’t in the by-laws. She even took to using a selfie stick over the fence to see if there was anything in the backyard violating the rules. I since moved out of there and a year or so later, Karen was voted out of the HOA after ticking off the wrong people.
Story Credit: Reddit/Mote-of-Lobross
20. Peeping Tom
My co-worker’s neighbor behind him has been reporting him to their HOA for months now and getting them fined for literally nothing. The latest issue was having a firepit on the back porch.
The by-law mentions you can’t have an open fire or have firepits in use, but grills are allowed… but the issue here is that the firepit isn’t even in use and never has been.
Also, the picture presented to show the fireplace on the back porch comes from that neighbor’s security camera…that is directly pointed at my co-worker’s house. Like, the entire view of the camera is all of only his property and nothing else.
The houses are separated by an alleyway, too. This neighbor spies on him regularly. He sees him looking out at them all the time, day and night. He also trespasses on other people’s property to find reasons to report them. Ridiculous.
Story Credit: Reddit/seanb4life
21. Destroyer Of Worlds
So this happened almost 10+ years ago but has cemented my hatred for HOAs. My family is from Guam, (a small Pacific island and US territory) where there aren’t many, if any, HOAs. We moved stateside around 2001-2002 when my dad decided he wanted to. My parents had good jobs and made good money and decent credit. We lived in Tennessee for a while. Then one time we drove up to Indiana to visit some family, and I guess my dad liked it so much he decided to move there. Our house was very modest but a bit more “extra” than most because it was part of an HOA. After a few months living there, my dad noticed a crack in the garage (poor foundation) and notified our builder. The HOA was still being built so he was easy to find.
The builder said he’d take a look. What he found was so messed up. We come to find out that not only was the foundation poorly set, but the plot of land it was on was sinking. My parents were told that in order to fix it, it would cost more than their home loan because of the condition of the land it was on. The builder suggested that they pay him 25% percent, cash, of the home’s value and he’ll build them a new house with their current mortgage cut down 25% as a good-faith gesture. As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking: That can’t be right. That’s not how that works. Well, you’re right, but we made a huge mistake. Being from a small island where you can trust someone at their word, it didn’t occur to my parents to question it or get a lawyer’s advice. So our new house is built, nicer than our previous home, and not sinking.
Life is good for a while—until we had to go on an extended trip due to a family emergency. Luckily at this point we’ve been living there for years and my parents made some friends. We would’ve just left but one of their friends let them know that they needed to inform the HOA that some lawn and garden standards wouldn’t be kept up due to the trip. Yes, my parents should’ve read the by-laws, but at first they were excited to own a home so they never did. At the time of the emergency they weren’t thinking about anything but getting back to Guam. So my parents think that a face-to-face with the HOA board would be good enough to inform them of the issue, and they did just that. They told them during an HOA meeting, that’s it.
Our trip took a little while longer than expected. The whole summer and part of the first school year, but we finally got home. We got home to a nightmare. Waiting at our door were countless letters, warnings, fines, and more fines. I don’t exactly remember what the total was but it really doesn’t matter. My parents were broke, they spent their savings getting us to and from Guam and paying the mortgage, so yeah no back fund. My parents went straight to the HOA for answers. Basically, it boiled down to the “fact” they didn’t notify the HOA for the reason for the drop in standards, so they claimed they were well within their rights to post fines. Here’s the worst part. They put a lien on our home. My parents barely covered the mortgage and the trip to Guam, remember. This was a disaster,
They tried reasoning with them, until eventually, they went to court. As you’re guessing, it didn’t go well. The HOA board hung on to the fact that my parents didn’t send an email and wait for board approval. They won. My parents were forced to pay the lien while also paying the mortgage. At first, my parents were optimistic, but it got to the point where it was pay the mortgage/fines or feed my brothers and I. They fell further behind and were starting to fight about it. It became too much for them, and they had to walk away from our home. My mom was devastated, and my dad felt like a failure. I was old enough to understand what was going on but my brothers didn’t know why we had to leave our home. The whole ordeal destroyed my parents’ credit, wiped out their savings, and cost my parents their good jobs.
My mom’s job in finances required good credit and my dad had to work closer to home because of the financial situation. I don’t think there’s any way they can recover from what they walked away from, but they’re not fighting and don’t have to choose between paying rent and feeding my brother. The whole experience made me really hate HOAs. I will never move my family into one if I can help it.
Story Credit: Reddit/Sinister237
22. You’ve Got The Wrong Guy
My HOA is fining me for parking in the Visitors Parking area…but the car is not mine.
They will not believe me, and refuse to remove the fine.
In fact, they are now adding on late fees.
Story Credit: Reddit/Unhappy-Fact
23. A House Of Cards
I’m in Canada and am working on an apartment. We have had multiple meetings with the local HOA to get approvals for how the material looks, the color, even how it all goes together. I work in architectural sheet metal. Anyways, we have been working on this building for about two months. We made it up to the 6th floor and are securing the cap metal with standing seams, wing clips, and smash pins.
That’s about when the HOA representative comes out onto the scaffolding. What he said left me dumbfounded. He promptly says “Take off all the cap flashing. I don’t like the standing seams because it ruins my view and the views of the residents. Don’t you know this is a ‘luxury’ apartment?” My boss and I were seriously at a loss for words, since what we were doing was LEGALLY REQUIRED.
All I could manage to say was, “If you didn’t like this, this should have been brought up during the meeting with the architect and the head contractor”. This building is as old as I am, clearly was not built to a standard, and if you are a construction worker like I am, you would clearly see all this just by looking at the building’s concrete. After the HOA representative left, we went to talk with the head contractor.
He proceeded to laugh his butt off. He told us not to worry about it since the HOA is already into it for a good million and it would cost them another $50,000 to remove the siding, take out our metal, pay for new metal, install it, then reinstall the siding to get it to the way HE wants it. Then came the surprise. A day later, we get a phone call from the owner saying that they are going to pay for it.
But the way they want it (absolutely no standing seams) is going to cost the building its 10-year warranty on the metal. Meaning that if anything happens after we leave the building, it’s not our problem. I don’t think it’s worth it at all, but hey, I’m not paying for it.
Story Credit: Reddit/polartooth4246
24. Hitting The Floor
We bought our place back in June 2021 and have since been trying to get past our “flooring violation”. The rules in the HOA say we must have rolled carpet or sheet vinyl. 15 years ago, someone installed ceramic tiles in the kitchen and living room. Anyways, we talked to many, many, many flooring companies and they told us vinyl planks were best with the attached padded underlay. Our HOA immediately said no to the pricing, which was high.
So we went back around to the flooring companies and most told us no, that sheet vinyl it really would cost 10k because it would be hard to get the floor that smooth again. Finally, Home Depot said they would do it at a lower price and the HOA finally agreed. Until it all went so wrong.
When Home Depot actually got here to do the work, the workers then refused, saying it was too much and we need licensed contractors—and again that vinyl planks are better. We took all this information back to the HOA. Mind you, all this time we have only spoken with our actual board members for no more than five minutes. We are only permitted to talk to the property management that ignores us half the time.
They actually forwarded us to their attorney simply because I think they were tired of talking to us. So the HOA attorney decided to make a waiver with the HOA board members that says our neighbors below us have to sign off saying that if our new floor bothers them, it’s up to them to legally come after us and the HOA will not help them. This is how cheap they are.
Our neighbors that also think this whole situation is weird signed off on the papers. We found the planks and sent all this to the HOA attorney. WELL, apparently we missed in the wording on the waiver that we had to re-send this neighbor approval back to the property management—basically an approval on an approval. We did not understand this—and we started the work. Now we have a half-cement, half nice-looking floor. No baseboards and our washer and dryer cannot be plugged in. The property management has told us to cease all work and that they would update us later. They threatened fines if we attempted any more work. How long are we supposed to live like this? We cannot deal anymore with this stress. The day when they told us to stop all work, I literally got home and burst into tears. Also, the attorney told us we were absolute idiots in so many words. I have never felt so belittled in my entire life.
25. Never Good Enough
We have these “lovely” neighbors that like to try to assess and complain about everything on our property. Our grass is bad, our fascia is bad, our sprinklers are bad, our rocks are bad, our paint is bad.
This has been going on for some time. But the best part is, we live next to the president. Joy of joy. Anyway, one day I signed a contract to get our house painted. Hopefully soon.
Then we receive a letter stating we have to get the above fixed in two weeks. There are two holidays that are occurring this week and I am going to do my darndest to get it completed. I added grass, but that’s not good enough.
I added rocks—not good enough. The fascia board has been fixed for some time. Sprinklers work and have been working for some time.
Everything is a problem with our neighbors. We received in the most recent letter that if we do not get these items fixed in two weeks we will be fined $100 a day.
Story Credit: Reddit/Finneyz36
26. Party In The Front
I am a first-time home-owner, and I have an old car that does not start, and which I have been trying to fix. I have been parking it in front of my house.
Today I saw an HOA warning notice on my car, saying that parking a car in front of my house overnight is prohibited and it will be towed at my own expense—which is seriously the dumbest thing I have heard in a while.
I called the HOA asking about this and the lady told me that they can’t have cars parked in front of the house as it damages the view of the community. Good God.
Story Credit: Reddit/vish122
27. In The Dog House
On June 25th, after my son got a lumbar puncture with chemo, his doctor gave us paperwork to get an emotional support dog. We showed it to the HOA president, and apparently the rule is no dog over 20 lbs.
However, my fiancé is worried that he may crush that small of a dog by accident, so we need a medium-sized dog. We let her see the paperwork the day we got it.
She said she had to talk to the HOA lawyers for paperwork that we would have to sign. Well, it’s been three weeks.
I know we could get her in trouble and possibly disband this HOA if she tries to fight this. But this dragging their feet is making me mad. I want to get the dog now, but my fiancé wants to give them a three-month time limit. Honestly, I think that is too much time.
Story Credit: Reddit/Florida123love
28. Towing The Line
A hurricane was coming, so I put my boat on a trailer to bring it more inland, and put the trailer at the side of my house. I am not a part of the HOA in my community as my house precedes it.
Within a week, I find a note saying if I don’t move my boat, it will be towed. I tried to call their bluff and left it—what came next infuriated me to no end.
Two days later, a truck came by and tried to tow it. I had to come out with my double-barrel and tell him to get off my property. He ran off without his truck….so I had it towed at his expense.
The hurricane passed, and I put the boat back in the water. Just yesterday, I got a package from the HOA with fines for the boat at $5,000, plus the price of the truck being towed. Like heck I’m paying for that.
Story Credit: Reddit/LastInfluence7046
29. Ageism At Its Finest
This happened 30+ years ago, before I was born, to my mother’s family. My grandmother lived in a house in this one neighborhood that was meant to be for older people in Florida. They really didn’t want anyone under 16 to live there. However, my mother was living there with her, and she also had my older brother Jack. The committee did not like this.
They told my grandmother that while my mother could still live there, my brother couldn’t. Their methods got dark. They began completely harassing them, and the rest of the neighborhood joined in.
My great aunt was also in the area and had sold my grandmother the house she was living in during this time. A guy actually threatened to shoot up my aunt’s office and someone threw a brick through one of the windows.
They were not the only ones that had kids living there and being harassed, either. An elderly couple who had their grandkid due to the fact the parents had died also got this mistreatment. After some time, everyone who was being harassed started up a lawsuit against the HOA clubhouse. It was a federal case and took five years to finally resolve—in favor of the kids and guardians.
Story Credit: Reddit/Penelopepeace
30. Farming It For All It’s Worth
I live in a rural area, on a family farm. The farm next to ours was sold to a developer, who built a bunch of Mini Mansions that now have an HOA. Now the Mini Mansions back up to my family farm. This kick-started a chain of awful events.
I get letters every week from the HOA complaining about the tractor sitting in the field at the front of my property. Yes, it can be seen from the street; we’re working that field and the tractor is necessary. I’ve had them complain about my barns, outbuildings, the sound of the large tractor when I’m seeding, and once my grandfather saw some people he didn’t recognize checking out the barn and went out with his double-barrel to see what they were up to.
Yeah, they didn’t like that. Apparently, they were HOA “inspectors” who declared their “right” to inspect the building to make sure it met HOA rules. My grandfather is not politically correct and I was pleased he restrained himself from using his buckshot to register his opinion of the trespassers. Also, our property is fenced and posted, it was ridiculous.
I was then informed by the HOA that they were going to fine me $1,000 a day until the offending striations and machinery were removed. I informed them that I and my property are not part of the HOA and if their inspectors set foot on my property again, I would have them detained or let my grandfather loose with his double-barrel. They went nuts and called the County Sheriff’s Office.
But, having lived here for generations, I know the Sheriff. He came out and asked me what was going on and I told him. He also visited the HOA and heard their demands that he take immediate action to “protect” their inspectors.
They were less than happy with his answer. He informed them that since my property is posted and fenced, I was well within my rights to not allow them on my land. Also because of our livestock, my grandfather’s double-barrel is not unreasonable because of predators. He also informed them that as I am not a member of the HOA, I have no requirement to allow them on my land and if he gets another call he will arrest the “inspectors”. I have since been sent a letter from the HOA’s lawyer telling me to cease and desist all operations until they get a court date.
They are apparently suing me for “damaging the value of their property.” I forwarded it to my lawyer who, after he got done laughing, was amazed. First, because a court has to issue a cease-and-desist order, not the HOA, and secondly we’ve been here farming for four generations.
I have spoken with the HOA board and told them to leave us alone or we’ll be more than happy to play “our lawyer is better than their lawyer”. This is when I learned they are under the delusion that I’d be selling my land for development to an organization like theirs. They were more than a little surprised when I told them that we’re currently training the fifth generation to take over and we have no intention of selling our farm, period. Seems the developer left them with the impression that I was selling my property to be developed like my neighbors had been, only to make his money and run.
God have mercy on overzealous HOAs.
Story Credit: Reddit/VladVlad666