Times When The Homeowner’s Association Ruined Everything

Times When The Homeowner’s Association Ruined Everything


Moving to live in a Homeowner's Association (or HOA) may seem like a good idea in theory. Every home looks neat and tidy, and the community is more pleasant as a result, right?

That's not always the case, though, as some HOAs can end up feeling more like a gang than a friendly neighborhood committee. Here are some true life stories from times when Homeowner's Associations ruined everything.

Splash Zone


My wifes aunt and uncle live in an HOA neighborhood. Their current problem is that the ground is higher than their 1st level and it's slopped towards a group of condos. Every time is rains bad, their condos flood. They don't have basements.

HOA won't do anything and it seems a few of their residents are lawyering up. This has happened since they put in a storm drain and for some reason it backs up into their common area which is behind the group of condos.




I was putting on new siding… very obviously too, had ladders up and everything. But there was just plywood up one morning on part of my house, facing the street.

I got a knock on the door at 7:30 AM, a code enforcement officer (in uniform, looking vaguely like a cop) was visibly upset and acting like I'd taken a dump on the front sidewalk or something. Told me if I didn't have the siding up by the end of the day I'd start getting fined every day.


Revenge is Sweet


I love reading contracts and agreements so when a friend of mine told me about his HOA troubles and not letting him keep his boat behind his house I jumped on the opportunity.

After reading, sourcing and finding a few rulings I learned that they have very little power to enforce what they can’t see from the road (which affects property value). He took my documentation to the HOA and requested that they remove his fines.

They refused saying “the agreement says nag nag nag” and after a few months he finally paid a real estate lawyer $2000 to go talk circles around the HOA and they finally backed down removed his fines and allowed him to keep his boat.

Then out of pure spite and with my design we built a 40’ tall “temporary” structure, conforming to both the HOA agreement and building code to fly a flag on a further 25’ pole.

We took it down and put it back up every 3 months for a year. You could see it from almost anywhere in the neighborhood.. It was a real triumph and IT WAS HIDEOUS!!


Lien in the Sand


HOA “lost” paperwork for change of ownership when we bought our house. They sent us letters saying there would be a lien placed on our home if we didn’t pay the overdue amounts plus over $200 of late fees. I had to call them 3 times to even get someone on the phone who knew how to help me.

Then I contacted escrow who said they had already not only sent all the paperwork, but turns out we had already paid the fees. Called HOA again and they were insistent that we hadn’t paid or sent over paperwork.

Called escrow again and requested they contact the HOA themselves to sort this out and HOA still insisted we owed a late fee. Started losing my cool until escrow said they would pay the late fee.

A month later we got a letter in the mail saying we were being fined for leaving our trash bins out longer than necessary.



Wrong Address


I’m being charged $400 because of a violation for a bush overhanging my walkway. I don’t have a walkway. Or a bush. The picture isn’t even my house. They won’t back down.


Fenced In


I lived in an HOA with my parents for seven years down in Northern Texas. We had a small tornado come through our backyard one night while I was at work, and it knocked down both the fence diving the front yard from the back yard as well as the fence between us and our neighbors behind us.

The HOA agreement included coverage for natural disasters, yet when my parents and our neighbors went to the HOA to get the fences fixed, the HOA kept denying them. Three months later and the threat of a lawsuit for breach of contract and they finally fixed the fence.

I will NEVER live in an HOA because it’s too much hassle. I don’t wanna have a bunch of entitled people tell me what my house can look like or fine me for not cutting my grass to a specific measurement or what not.


Colorblind and Tone Deaf


My family was fined for "putting up a fence" when we put a 12 inch tall wire boarder around our flowerbed. My friend was fined in a different HOA because her garage (that was painted by the same company at the same time and with the same paint) was a "different" color than her house. It wasn't.

The HOA president delivered the violation notice to her on the day of her husband's funeral. Yes he knew that she (46 year old) had just lost her (48 year old) husband 4 days before.


Trash Can Ticket


My grandparents lived in a old folks community with a zealous hoa. My grandmother had to go to the hospital, cause of her many health problems. My grand father would go with her. This happened once when I was visiting.

There was a knock on the door at about 10am. Two elderly women with clipboards immediately jump into a speech about how the trash cans hadn't be brought in. I explained the situation.

One of them said she was in the hospital the previous week but still managed to bring in her trash can and handed me what looked like a ticket for $50.


Fire Engine Fury


I work in emergency services. I’ve had HOA board members try telling me we couldn't idle our fire engine or park our ambulance “there” as if I’d know the rules.

I’m usually professional but the second time they tried to complain about the fire engine idling I responded along the lines of “I don’t care what your bylaws say. Article 300 of Michigan traffic code says I can park wherever I want.”

We were there for a family with carbon monoxide poisoning and I truly didn’t care about anything else at that moment. We had crews up and down the road to treat and transport the entire family.


"Do You Know Who I Am?"


My daughter was a lifeguard at the pool in our community and they weren’t allowed to give out certain equipment (it was for swimming lessons). One day the HOA president asks for equipment and my daughter says no as she was instructed.

The HOA president actually says “Do you know who I am?” Then he proceeded to call her boss.



Truck Owner's Association


When I was a kid my parents had a house in a nice cul-de-sac, but it was a working class neighborhood. The transmission in my truck took a doo doo so I replaced it in our driveway.

A few days later we got a letter citing a clause stating all improvements done on property must be done by a licensed contractor. It was a far reach but they stood by it as there was nothing in the CC&Rs against working on personal vehicles.

My dad made me pay him back for the fine but for awhile afterwards I’d go put some oil or coolant under the HOA presidents cars and hope he wasting money chasing a nonexistent problem.


Lost Payment


HOA lost my quarterly check. Sent a notice that I didn't pay an October quarter. Showed them the receipt from when I dropped it off. Then started naming each quarter before until I didn't have receipt proof they received it and then it was "that is the one you didn't pay".

Tried to charge an extra $5 for something, sold the house and moved far away.


Emus are Better Neighbors


I was just learning to drive and parked my car too far away from the curb. Parents and neighbors didn't get along so neighbors measured the distance from the wheels to the curb and parents got fined.

Now I live in the country with pretty much no rules. We have goats and emus in our front yard.


Initiation Hazing


Moved to Florida where every neighborhood is an HOA. Upon moving in I felt like I had joined a sorority or fraternity and I had to endure the hazing from the HOA. The final straw was when they sent me a letter that my white mailbox was dirty.

So I decided to walk down one street and took pics of mailboxes with no doors and mailboxes that were covered in mildew and I emailed them all to the HOA.

I told them to not send me any more notices until these mailboxes were up to code. I haven’t received another notice in a year. I guess I passed my initiation…




Mine sent me a letter because we had leaves in our yard. In November…… So I did what any normal person would do. Raked them into piles that said no and sent a picture of that instead of paying them.


Pool Problem


Several years ago a co-worker told me about how she and her husband put in a small in-ground pool in their backyard. They got all of the required permits and everything and nobody said boo during the weeks of construction.

After the pool was installed and they were getting ready to open it, the HOA sent them a letter informing them that it was in violation of the HOA rules and it had to be removed. (I guess their community had a public pool at the clubhouse or something.)

They ended up going to court and spending thousands of dollars to fight it. In the end, they agreed to erect a high privacy fence around it so that it wouldn't be visible. How ridiculous!





I lived with my wife in officer housing on a military installation. Of course we had to follow certain rules so everything looked ship-shape. That wasn’t hard to do.

What did get under my skin was the colonel driving around, taking notes, and then having her underlings issue tickets to residents for minor infractions. The one that sticks in my mind was the “suckers,” as they were called (I had never heard the term before).

Although I kept my grass mowed per regulation, the little maple tree seeds would sprout up overnight and be an inch taller than the grass. I got a ticket for suckers in my lawn, even though the grass was freshly mowed. Okay, sure. I’ll just mow the lawn every day. Sheesh.




They wanted me to switch the color of the lightbulbs I used outside. They were the wrong hue of white. Nah, I don't need someone who is that picky to have ANY power over my property. At that point, it's no better than renting.


Daily Inspection


My HOA president walks around the neighborhood every day and takes pictures of any violations he finds. There is a management company that does monthly checks for violations, but that's not enough for this old, bored, retired man.

About a month after having a baby I got a knock on the door from the HOA president, which I answer in my post surgical breast feeding outfit, because a palm frond hadn't been trimmed after being down for 3 days. Then I got a written notice the next day, then I got another notice 2 days later.

The HOA maintains the roads and there's a 15 mph speed limit. People drive pretty slow. These idiots put in 3 speed bumps on a 200 foot stretch of road! I've never seen anyone blast through and I regularly go on walks.

They also put up a security camera, raising our monthly dues, because one neighbor left their garage door open all day and someone took a few things. I can't sell yet, but when I do, never living in an HOA again!


Lightbulb Moment


My former HOA threatened to take me to court over the color of a light bulb inside of my condo. They claimed that the color of a bulb inside my unit altered the exterior appearance of the building. I'd had Philips Hue lights for probably over a year without issue.

Then my neighbor left up their Christmas lights well past new years and received a complaint about it. Next thing I knew someone complained about my Hue lights. I switched them to white.

I could have won in court, but it wasn't worth angering a bunch of petty busybodies who have nothing better to do than to sit on an HOA board. Anyway, the association wanted to add a new amendment that allowed them to sue anyone over anything they deemed a "nuisance."

They brought in their lawyer for a question and answer session. I asked if the color of my neighbors lights could be considered a nuisance, he clarified that it had to be a bigger concern.

I followed up asking if we could claim that my neighbor had altered the exterior appearance of the building, he laughed and said no dismissively.

So by that point their lawyer had already admitted their case was unwinnable, and he'd said earlier in the meeting a big part of his job was to keep the association from taking an unwinnable case to court. So the lights were whatever color I wanted them to be from then on.

I now live in a neighborhood without an HOA. Sometimes a neighbor's grass is a bit high and another neighbor just built a patio in the front yard and sometimes people put trash out a couple days before the city says they can and nobody says anything; it's wonderful.


Boardroom Workout


We rented a condo from the people who owned it and it was associated with a HOA. We like to grow things but there was no balcony so we just had two large pots, one on either side of our door.

We got a notice one day that we had to get rid of our only plants because they didn’t fit the aesthetic of the building, or something. Basically, they were too ugly. They also didn’t have a room to discuss whatever it is they discuss at meetings, so they would do it in the gym for some reason.

They’d move all of the equipment to the side and set up their tables and chairs and then never moved anything back. One time I accidentally barged in on them in my workout gear and I actually had the nerve to ask them if there was a boardroom I could work out in.

I said it on my way out, so I don’t know what their response was. But yeah, we didn’t renew our lease there.


Everything is Fine


We just bought a house and I told our realtor that was the only absolute deal breaker. Even if he said a house was perfect I wouldn't bother driving there if it was in a HOA.

At our last rental they tried to fine us for things the previous tenant had done that hadn't happened since we moved in (garbage cans left out, grass uncut, etc).

Then when provided with the dates that were prior to our lease being signed, the rental company said the old renters couldn't be contacted so I was responsible. Nope. Bunch of crooks. I've told them to take me to court and if they choose to I'll happily waste the money.



A Bad Deal Even at $1 a Month


The HOA president (the guy who schedules the area drains being emptied) is a Boomer on a power trip. He is in my business about everything. I got a new furnace and he threatened to sue me because the utility company had to use the driveway.

I scheduled a specialty garbage pickup with my garbage company and he called me screaming that I put garbage out in front of my house that morning. I have a retaining wall in front of my house and he came by and yelled at me for cleaning it.

The list goes on and on. Total nightmare experience and I will never live somewhere with an HOA of any kind ever again.


Welcome to the Neighborhood


Had a member of the board drive up and yell at me while I was moving in because the moving van was in the street. Parked it in the driveway but it stuck out into the street about 2 feet. Woke up the next morning and there was a warning posted on the moving van for sticking out into the street.

Welcome to the neighborhood. Ended up living next door to the biggest jerk in the neighborhood too. These were zero-lot-line properties and he put an above ground pool in the side yard between our 2 houses.

There's supposed to be 3' space along the side of the house for access but his pool went from his wall to my wall so you couldn't even walk between the properties. Then every time they went swimming the pool walls would flex and bang my house.

I wrote multiple letters to the HOA but they didn't do anything. Moved out shortly after the pool incident. I'll never live in another HOA.


Essay Response


I was doing some work in the yard and had a 5 gallon home depot bucket on my driveway. After about an hour I took the bucket back in the garage and went inside.

A week later my HOA sent me a three page letter with a picture of said bucket on my driveway saying it detracted from the value of my neighbors homes. It was on my driveway for an hour, while I was working. Can't make this up folks.


Purple with Rage


We had a cookie-cutter house built. One of the color palettes we could choose from included an accent color for the door/shutters that was a dark purple. The hubs and I are a little kooky so we selected it. At our final walkthrough, our door and shutters are brown.

I tell the general that it’s wrong and show him my contract. We were the only homeowners in the subdivision that selected that color, so the HOA decided to not offer it anymore. We said fine, that puts you in breach of contract and we want to be released.

A few phone calls later, my door and shutters are purple and I’m happy. We purchase the house. At least once a year we got a nasty letter from the HOA about our “unapproved door color.”

Every time I sent them a copy of my contract and their bylaws stating that the colors from the builder are allowed. Not my problem you guys discontinued it after I picked it.


Deep Dog Mess


Forcing older and /or somewhat handicapped dog owners to produce a doctor's note stating they are unable to use the stairs because of a rule of no dogs in the condo's elevator.

Not because of potentially vicious dogs in an elevator cab. It was because they felt that people's dogs were leaving a mess and they weren't cleaning it up (which I never experienced). The dogs, by that rationale, could still leave a mess not cleaned up in a stairwell or hall.

I sent the board an xray of my knee with screws in it to avoid a $500 fine. That got hit down with a threat of an ADA lawsuit. Now anyone can use it.


Prune Rotation


Get a letter "prune your tree." I tell the landscapers "prune the tree." Get a letter "you didn't prune enough .. prune more." I tell landscapers "you didn't prune enough.. prune more."

Get a letter "you pruned too much. Tree doesn't fit standards anymore. Replace with same size tree." I research and same size tree costs 700+planting+removal of old tree. Tell HOA board get lost I'm not going to kill a perfectly good tree.

Get letter "we gonna fine you and lien your house" or something. Paid a guy to dig up my tree then rotate it 90degrees and replant it. Get letter "thank you for replacing tree."


Dog Walker Scam


A week after moving in I received a letter from mine saying I was spotted not cleaning up after my dog in the common area. That was a blantant lie. Every single time he pooped there it was picked up. I didn't have roommates at the time so there was no way it could have been someone else.

The fine would be $100 fine after the first warning and $150 after that. I wrote back telling them I didn't appreciate being lied to and accused and that was not the way to welcome me to the neighborhood.

I went on to inform them that if it happens again and they provide no evidence to back their claims, they will be hearing from my lawyer for harassment. They would do that to everyone that moved in with a dog.


Song and Dance Management


My HOA had a coup where half the board resigned on the spot, same day, and the three board members that were left handed management of our neighborhood over to some mega HOA corporation based out of LA.

Before the handoff was complete, the chairman of the board fired everyone that worked for the HOA, including our incredibly talented accountant who due to his experience kept our finances so tip top that we had a surplus of money and have never had our monthly dues raised in almost 15 years.

When we, the residents, demanded an explanation, the chairman refused by quoting an article from our HOA charter which gives the board the explicit right to manage the community however they see fit and without needed approval from the residents.

He basically told us "I don't owe any of you an explanation." Now we are trying to overturn his decision to essentially give our neighborhood over to some terrible HOA management group that treats its residents horribly like a scumbag landlord would a tenant.

Oh, and the management group that we were given to is run by a man whose only formal education is a degree in opera. And the accountant who has been assigned to manage my neighborhoods finances, does not have a degree in finance or business. She has a degree in ballet.

It is my opinion that our board was bribed into selling us to that management firm. Our community hired a lawyer and we are in the process of reversing what our board has done.

If successful, we are going to rehire everyone they terminated and change the bylaws to prevent anyone from ever being able to do this again. So yeah... Thats my worst story and it's still going on right now.


Roof Drama


I got a letter saying I needed to clean my roof, mildew built up on it, it’s Florida, it happens, It was bad, and I was about to pay a company to do it anyways but I got the letter first. Went ahead and paid $250 for a company to clean it and got a 2 year warranty.

Then of course I drive around and notice 90% of the homes in my community needed their roof cleaned, most are worse than mine was. Waited 2 months to see if they were going to take care of it, nothing happened.

Had a neighborhood kid fly his drone up and take pictures of all the roofs, proceeded to email the company the pics and asked why me only? Haven’t gotten a response yet. Can’t wait to move out of here.


Micro Government


Never lived in one but worked in plenty as a landscaper. They suck. One account, HOA is responsible for getting landscapers for the front yards, the back yards are the responsibility of the home owner. Owner is a lady in her 70s, and hired us to cut her back yard due to complaints from the HOA president.

First time I show up, I use a small push mower and as I leave I'm met by the president who just happens to be her neighbor... He's complaining the small push mower left wheel marks leading to her backyard. On her property... Which he is claiming is his property.

Everytime I went there after he would be waiting for me to be done to complain about something and THE ONLY REASON I WAS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE WAS BECAUSE THIS NOSY MAN WAS UPSET HIS 70 YEAR OLD NEIGHBOR COULDN'T MOW HER BACK YARD ONCE A WEEK HERSELF.

HOAs are a hyper local form of government and suck even more than a regular government.


Pointless Fines


Let’s just say this, my HOA was $800 when I sold it last month. It’s due to go up to $840 in January. Went up $100 every year since 2015. I bought it at $425 monthly.

Next, I got complaints, 2-3x a week. Thin walls. Neighbor across the hall upstairs would be dropping weights, my downstairs neighbor would call to complain that it was me. I got fined $500 when I was deployed, 7000 miles away for NOISE.

I sent a video showing I was not home at the exact time the noise complaint came in. This happened at least 20 times in the few years I lived there. My record was full of complaints of exact times I was either working at the hospital or deployed. Oddly the noise complaints never came in when I was home.

I also had carpet and got complaints about "rolling noises." The plumbing was wrecked. The wall next to my condo flooded inside several times. I got called at 3 am to hire a plumber to fix it. $700 later, plumber billed the HOA and not me. It was an HOA problem but these fools tried to blame me over and over again.

They did this to me every 6 months for 5 years. Oddly, that thing kept flooding. They never figured out where it was coming from. I got fined $250 for having a tiny glass bowl in the bbq area, not pool, bbq. No warning. Nothing. I appealed it. They called me to sit in on a board meeting.

My patient had just passed away and I was trying to find family to pick up his body from the VA morgue but here I was explaining and begging the HOA to not fine me $250 for a small bowl.

The number of complaints we had against the HOA was amazing. Completely misappropriating funds, abusing their power on the regular. It was an absolute nightmare. Worst decision of my life to live in that building and deal with that HOA.


Red Roses


My sister bought a house in an HOA neighborhood 3 years ago. To be fair, none of us are super familiar with HOAs since none of us had ever lived in one and my sister was told the HOA fees were just for lawn upkeep and snow removal.

The realtor who showed her the house said that the HOA really didn't get involved in anything except for doing the lawns, removing snow and trimming weeds. The whole experience has been an "I'll never live in an HOA again" story for my sister. The trouble started pretty much the second she moved in there.

The first issue was the electrical not working. My dad (RIP) was a master electrician so went over there to troubleshoot and fix the issues. He was over there working on some re-wiring and one of the HOA board came up and asked him what he was doing. My dad told her he was fixing the electric.

The HOA board member had a fit about my dad having a small red toolbox out on the porch. My dad got back in her face and she went off in a huff. Second issue was my sister planting some roses. The roses were the wrong color--only pink, white, or light peach roses were allowed.

My sister had committed the cardinal sin of planting red roses! The HOA flipped out and demanded she remove them and fined her for it. Another dumb issue was a citation for her teenage (at the time) daughter 'loitering with a group' on the front steps.

Her daughter had been standing on the steps for a few moments talking with another girl and exchanging phone numbers. My sister has always been a person to do what she wants so you can imagine this went over really, really poorly. She painted her door bright blue out of anger.

She rips up the notices of fines and leaves them in the HOA president's mailbox. She has the house on the market and has another picked out. She is supposed to hear this week if she is approved for it or not.


You Can Never Leave the HOA


Lived in a condo for 4 years, sold and bought a house this past July. First year we lived there HOA fined us for having “no lid on the trash cans” I went outside, took a picture of my trash cans with the lids on, and sent it to the HOA, and they said “sorry, our mistake”, a couple months later, same thing.

Then a few months later we got fined when our trash barrels blew away, after they were emptied the wind took them, and I brought them in the garage when I got home from work. They sent a fine to everyone in the complex, so we all appealed.

They then fined me again, when a neighbor put out a cardboard box that blew onto our driveway. I refused to pay that fine and they sent it to collections.

Last one was after we moved, I got a letter from the HOA delivered to my new home, stating that the new owners didn’t pay the August HOA, and I was responsible... Wut?


Husband Not HOA Approved


I got an HOA violation for my yard, complete with a picture of my yard featuring my husband… who was mowing the yard.


Early Trash Pickup


My husband and I have a home with an HOA our most recent letter was a picture of our trash can out on the street. Basically telling us that we put our trash out to early for pick up.

The photo was taken on Friday at 3pm and trash pick up was on Saturday at 6am... so they sent us a letter that is isn’t acceptable... Also one of the lights on our garage had gone out and we received a letter with a picture about that as well, that we had to fix it immediately or be fined.

We’re also not allowed to park on the street without a pass from the HOA hung in the car... we didn’t know this and we’re moving in at the time..

We parked one car in the drive way and one on the street, grabbed some boxes, went inside with them, and by the time we came about out there was a huge neon sticker on the window telling us the rules and that we would be towed.


If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em


We just moved into a brand new house in a newly developed neighborhood. HOA was established AFTER our house and fence were built. HOA sent us a letter saying our fence violated the HOA regulations……that were set after its construction and had to be removed……

One note from our lawyer threatening to sue and they backed off real quick. Guess who is now the vice president of the HOA and has the power to keep the HOA from being jerks….yep ME..


Bad Apples Spoil the Bunch


I'm the Treasurer of our HOA. We pay $250 a year to cover road maintenance. We make sure that is all we worry about. We get Karens at meetings all the time complaining. We politely tell them we maintain the road and that is it. We have 18 laid back neighbors and 2-3 Karens.


HOA Inspectors Are Not Cops


It's 6:30 AM, and my cats are going nuts, and I realize someone is in my backyard. At the time I worked as a bouncer and very frequently got the "I'm going to come to your house" type threats. I live in the same HOA (albeit a huge one) as a bunch of the jerk customers. My sliding door starts jiggling.

I grab a gun, and throw open the blinds. Outside, on my porch is an old man. I start screaming, make him get on his knees and call the cops. Low and behold, he's an "inspector" from my HOA, there because a neighbor reported me cutting down a half dead tree that was about to fall on my house.

"Town" cops show up. They are actual police, but only work in the HOA, they are not happy with me, but because I said the right words on the 911 call, the county sheriffs also show up.

They basically have an argument with the local cops about the fact that being a HOA inspector doesn't allow you to come onto someone's enclosed deck and that since I didn't physically attack the inspector, I didn't commit a crime.

We spend all morning going back and forth, finally, we basically agree to a "everyone go home" agreement. HOA sends me a strongly worded letter.


Friendly Neighborhood Classism


I rent in a community that is a mix of renters and homeowners. The rental company has been trying to get approval to fix my deck for over 3 years now. I can't wash my car in my driveway but I also can't have a dirty car.

The leasing consultant when explaining the HOA rules for the renters literally said that renters can't do anything homeowners can do.

Lastly, the HOA randomly enforce outdated rules and regulations that can't be legally enforced anymore. The rental company lawyer really comes through during those times.


Hog Wild


I bought a house in a development that had died. My house was built in the 70s. But a new developer came in and as houses started being built everywhere, they enacted the HOA clause and populated it with rich retired folks that just make up crazy rules.

Wrote a rule that you had to put up a fence around your backyard. So I did. They didn't like my fence so they changed the specifications for the fence. I got irritated and had a friend give me a dead feral hog to hang on a post in my front yard. The dogs in the hood loved me.

It didn't solve anything but since I had a dog door I would sometimes wake up with 15 dogs around my bed who came in during a storm. I was the crazy redneck, but the dogs loved me and I like them more than humans.


Imaginary Dog


I once got a fine for not picking up after my dog. The best part was I didn’t own a dog. Still have to go through an exhausting dance of imaginary scenarios with them:

Are you sure you don’t own a dog? Positive? Not even a little dog? An animal that might have looked like a dog? Were you dog-sitting a dog? Are you planning on getting a dog?


Big Pile of HOA


I was house shopping. I walked in to a house and there was a pile of human feces in the middle of the floor. I was stunned. The realtor, was "Let me call the HOA" about this.

Not the homeowner, not the listing agent, but the HOA. The HOA had seized a person houses over a fee and forcibly were selling it. I wish I could have made that pile a little larger.


Running Rampant


I usually like living in HOAs and the ones I’ve lived in have been decent but my parents' HOA is insane. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and began his chemo, he became to weak to walk. My parents installed a ramp at the front door so he could get his wheelchair into the house.

Their neighbor, the HOA president, went crazy. She demanded doctors notes, appointment slips, and that my dad prove to the neighborhood that he could walk and was lying. My dad was too weak to do anything and mom is too passive so I had to step in. I threatened to lawyer up and sue her personally.

She eventually backed down. My dad passed away in April and a week after, she came banging at our door saying she saw the funeral home come and pick my dad up and that we need to take the ramp down now “that he’s finally dead.” (Her exact words.)

At that point, I called the police right in front of her to report her for stalking and harassment. I moved in with my mom and now every time this woman sees me, she runs back into her house.

On another note, she follows neighborhood kids home from school asking their names and where they live because she wants to know if “they really live there” and my neighbors and I have caught her many time looking into our backyards.




We had a house fire that cost two children lives. Two days after the fire we got notices that we need to do something about the debris because it was unsightly and we were a corner lot.


Fighting the Power


I live in Florida and have the pleasure of living in an HOA neighborhood while not being a part of the HOA. Apparently there are a total of 3 houses in my neighborhood not part of the hoa, and I was fortunate enough to have bought one of them.

Ever previous owner refused to sign into the hoa, and I have continued this tradition. Best part is getting all sorts of fines, letters, and people knocking on my door informing me of stupid trivial violation.

I just get to laugh at them while I explain I'm not a member of their stupid little club and therefore not beholden to its rules. At one point they had my truck towed out of my driveway because of the HOA's no truck policy.

I simply called the cops and reported it stolen. It was found at a local impound lot, and returned to me free of charge. The HOA ended up having to pay for the tow/impound fees, and tried on several occasions to pass those on to me through fines.

Finally had a lawyer write up a cease and desist letter telling them to leave me alone or I'll press charges for the theft of my truck and harassment. That was six months ago and I think they finally figured out they have no authority to tell me squat because I haven't heard from them since.




My old house's backyard bordered an HOA community. Our house was built 30 years before the community was built so we weren't part of it. We used to get notices about violations and fines if we didn't correct them. Never did correct them. They finally sent legal papers to repossess our house.

Went to court with a tax map that showed our property NOT part of the HOA community. Judge dismissed their suit against us and found them guilty of harassment. We didn't get awarded much, but I made sure to break every rule of theirs I could until we moved.




So, when I was a kid my mom moved to a townhouse complex, which had a Strata Council, which was basically an HOA. I often keep late hours, so I like to keep my windows blacked out so I can sleep in. So, I tinfoiled my windows, which were recessed basement windows.

You could not see these windows without being on our property. She got a notice to remove them, because no window coverings are allowed unless they are white or beige. She passes this along to me.

So, I take the tinfoil down, put white paper over the windows, and then tinfoil behind that. And to further improve things, I then add a layer of black construction paper. No light is getting through, and it's all white from the outside, which is allowed.

They then drop off a note asking what time they can come by to inspect to make sure there's no tin foil on the inside of the window. My mom and I had a good laugh over this, and ignored the letter. They sent a follow-up, more demanding, angrier letter.

We ignored that too. Eventually they sent one threatening fines, and my mom sent one back that lied and said they had already inspected, and they needed to figure things out.

And then she got an apology and no further hassling on this issue, because the Strata Council was full of busybodies who hated each other, and no one wanted to admit that they were out of the loop.


Merry Christmas


There were 366 units spread out on over 200+ acres of land. One of the residents got fined $1,250 for putting outdoor Christmas lights on 2 trees in front of their unit (outdoor decorations being prohibited beyond residents' front door entryway).


An Unexpected Surprise


My parents still live in the United States. The HOA guy in their neighborhood is a little man with a big ego, so we’ll call him Jerkface. Bit of a misogynist.

When he sees something amiss in his precious street (like a campaign sign in someone’s yard, the horror) he waits until the husband leaves for work so he can yell at the wife. Because obviously, all wives stay at home.

So my mom left early in the morning for work. Jerkface saw a car pull out of the garage and leave, so that must have been the man of the house.

He tiptoed up to the stairs with some defiant look on his face, only to be greeted by an unexpected surprise—my giant father, asking him what the heck he wanted. He turned around and went home.

Then later that week, he found a house that four students were renting and informed them that this was a neighborhood for “family units only.” He was rightfully laughed off the porch.


Can I Help You?


Our neighbor was flooding our backyard and the HOA property from her drain by overwatering. The HOA sent us an extremely rude and unprofessional note telling us we can’t drain our pool onto their property. We don’t have a pool. We replied to their letter explaining that.

A couple of weeks later, I got out of the shower to see the HOA president and his wife with a ladder propped against our shared fence peering into our backyard.

That’s when I had enough. I walked out dripping wet in my birthday suit and asked if I could help him with something. They backed off quickly.

He passed on a few years later and his wife (who isn’t even officially on the HOA board, just a busy body) recently stopped by our garage to ask if we were watering and damaging their fence. She tried to introduce herself and I simply said “We’ve met before” while looking her straight in the eyes…


Micromanaging Nature


I was showing my six-year-old stepdaughter how to skip rocks in the pond. An HOA board member screeched to a halt in his truck and yelled at her to stop doing that.

I yelled back at him, saying I’ll buy more rocks for the community if it’s such a big deal, but his reasoning was that I was unsettling the structure of the pond.

Apparently to him, small, thin rocks mixed in with the large boulders were preventing erosion. He then backpedaled a bit and said teenagers from other communities were messing with the pond and he didn’t realize the situation. He told us to just leave the big rocks alone.

It upset my stepdaughter, who didn’t want to skip rocks after the brief encounter. But there was an upshot to all this.

I told a guy at work this story, who just happened to also be on the HOA board with the same man at a sister community across town. The two got into a shouting match at a meeting over rock skipping. There were many other annoying incidents and I’ve moved since. Never again.


Out of Zone

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As a kid, my parents and I lived in an HOA neighborhood and had a lovely big backyard at the base of a big mountain. It had a creek right behind it that ran past multiple houses next to us. Meanwhile, my mom had always wanted chickens.

A neighbor two houses from us had chickens, geese, and a turtle. She decided she should get some, and my mom sent a request to the HOA. Their response was baffling.

Apparently, we were “out of range” of the chicken allowance area because of how close to the mountains we were. They said cougars came near us often and that they didn’t “want any attacks”.

You would think a cougar will see the house with the chickens and go, “WOW! Some delicious food! Whoopsie, it’s in the HOA chicken okay zone, looks like I can’t eat them”.


A Major Eyesore


While living with my mother and siblings in Nevada, a huge storm hit the area and did a ton of damage. During the night, we heard something close to the sound of a garage door slamming down or a huge crack of lightning.

The following morning, we got up to let the dog out and found the huge tree in the raised portion of the backyard uprooted.

It took out our fence along the sidewalk, a small playset in the yard, and the back porch, and nearly wrecked the far-most right side of the house itself (we had a leaky ceiling over there for a while). 

But here’s the most upsetting part—the HOA told us we needed to get the tree out, away and the damage fixed immediately due to it being an “eyesore”. Like we weren’t trying already.


It's Your Job, Not Mine


I had just moved into my house a few months prior when I got a letter threatening to be fined $200, all because my mailbox wasn’t black. I thought surely they had the wrong house because my mailbox was in fact black.

So I contacted them and they gave a run around arguing that it wasn’t. I told them to come to look and of course, they said it was on me to prove to them it was black.

So I snapped a photo and emailed it to them. I heard nothing back for well over a month, then I got another letter giving me a “courtesy” week extension before I was fined. I was livid at that point, so I contacted the HOA again asking for an explanation as to what exactly the problem was.

I was finally told that “neighbors” felt my mailbox was rather worn and needed to be painted or replaced. So basically, it wasn’t black enough for them. I painted it.

Now for the part that set me over the edge…after a few months or so, I learned that the HOA will replace a mailbox as it’s covered under our terms. So I called them asking why they threatened to fine me when they were the ones that should have to replace it if not to standard.

They stated it was because they had no open work orders for my mailbox and that it was my responsibility to notify them if it needed maintenance, not theirs…


Any Other Solutions?


My parents live in a neighborhood with several local physicians. One has six kids, and the youngest has profound autism and is non-verbal. Well, he’s about five or six, and he loves riding his little tricycle in their driveway, which is pretty large.

He would do it for hours. His mom stayed home with him for the most part, and she and her husband became concerned that in a moment, he’d drive into the road if they happened to look away.

So, they got some orange construction netting that they would just put across the end of the driveway while he was out there, and would take it down when they went back inside. I always thought that it was a good idea to keep him safe.

Anyway, several of the families in the neighborhood were not pleased with this and said it was an “eyesore,” so a meeting was called. The proceedings turned so, so ugly.

It turned into attacks on how they were taking care of their son, and how it made the neighborhood look “ignorant” to have that netting up. Needless to say, no one offered any other options, and this family was so irate that they packed up and moved within a month.

This was about four years ago, and that house still hasn’t sold. They live out in the country somewhere, and the last time I talked to the dad, the son is doing very well in his new home.

And he still rides his bike for hours on end.


We'll Look Into It


The house my parents live in was grandfathered into the neighborhood, meaning it isn’t part of the HOA, but that didn’t stop them from writing us letters. One of them was about vines over our fence, so my stepdad wrote them the following epic response: 

“We received your letter about the vegetation growing over our fence. While we do appreciate your concern about the beautification of our neighborhood we cannot comply with this request at this time.

The vegetation in question are actually assistance vines for our senior rhesus monkeys and have been left long due to their diminished ability to scale our fence during their nightly wanderings.

While they only have about three years of life expectancy left, we feel that they deserve the same respect as any family member and do everything we can to accommodate their remaining days.

As their mobility continues to decline we may be reaching out to you for approval for “slow monkey crossing” signs for our street and alley with an image of a monkey in a wheelchair.

Maybe we can get six different signs with each of their sweet little faces on them. They love to pose for pictures, especially in their little throwback baseball uniforms with blousy trousers and little souvenir bats.

Anyway, best of luck in your slow-rolling alley checking searches for minor aesthetic annoyances. Maybe you can convince the guy that painted his door to resemble the Texas flag to correct the red and white stripes so it will be presented properly. Texas pride, y’all! The McVineys”.

Their response was something like “We’ll look into it”.


Suspicious Content


I don’t actually have an HOA, but some people in my neighborhood decided to form a community association. They have a FB group and meet regularly.

The group regularly posts pictures and videos of people they deem suspicious (a.k.a. not white). They chatter constantly about the comings and goings of people they suspect are substance users.

They are very into public safety and are constantly complaining that people aren’t turning on their porch lights. Around Thanksgiving, things started getting spicy—the leader started a contest on Facebook.

Participants needed to post daily time-stamped photos of their neighbor’s houses to see who could get the most lights on. When I explained why this was counterintuitive to security, the leader laughed at me.


Nothing in Life is Free


My dad moved into a new townhouse in the summer of 2013. It was a foreclosure property, as the previous tenants were kicked out for not paying their mortgage and for not paying their HOA dues.

They gave everyone in the HOA new patios and decks the summer prior. It was required, and you had to get a new deck and patio.

But there was a catch—the tenants had to pay for them in monthly installments in the next three years along with their HOA dues. As I said, the previous tenants had foreclosed on their home.

However, there was one rule placed when they got the decks, which was that you couldn’t move out without paying off your deck first. He was told by HOA that he would not have to pay off the deck because it was foreclosed and he was not responsible at all for paying it off.

Sweet, free deck! He signed off on that. He moved in, but then he started getting assessments from the HOA for the deck. But wait, he wasn’t supposed to be paying for the deck…He fought it with the board.

Even with the signed thing saying we didn’t have to pay for the deck, the board went against him. He ended up having to pay off the remaining balance. To this day, he refuses to speak about this topic. It’s a trigger for him.


Mob Mentality


My father-in-law’s condo corporation has a shared pool. The old folks don’t like to share, so they have all kinds of silly rules, like no more than one guest per resident, resident-only times alternating every hour, etc.

My father-in-law can’t even take his own two grandkids for a swim because he’d exceed the number of allowed guests. So many rules and the pool is usually empty. And it doesn’t end there.

Because the residents were still breaking the rules, they passed a new rule that if any resident was caught breaking the pool rules, they would close the pool to everyone for a week and post the offender’s name and reason for the closure on the community bulletin board.


A Reasonable Amount of Confusion


They sent us a series of nasty notices to remove a rotten tree in our front yard. The tree had lost all of its leaves and it was unsightly, apparently. But here’s the interesting part—they sent us this notice in November. You know, like, FALL.

When perfectly healthy trees lose their leaves. We pretended we didn’t understand which tree they were talking about until spring when the tree magically came back to life.


What's the Difference?


When I was a kid, I lived in one of the two front rooms of the house, which were the hottest in the summer and the coldest in the winter. My dad didn’t like to use the A/C so we all just had fans.

One summer, it got so unbearably hot in my room that fans just weren’t cutting it and I was miserable. My dad then put an A/C unit in my window and it was awesome.

But it was short-lived because the HOA told us to take it down, simply because it was an “eyesore.” My parents told them it was for their child but they didn’t care, so my parents had to take it down. 

The kicker? Just down the street, a guy who had the exact same model house as us had an A/C unit installed in the same exact window like the one we had it in, and the HOA never said a word to him.


Not My Rules


My dad retired and decided that he really wanted to buy a camper and travel. My mom was all about it, and both of them were very excited. So my dad ran off and traded his F-150 truck for an F-250 with a huge diesel V8.

He also bought a gooseneck camper and waited for spring. The camper was in the backyard, the truck in the garage, so no big deal…or so we thought. Not long after, he got a visit from a lady.

She had a list of rules from the HOA that were established long after my parents had built their house, about 15 years later when the subdivision really took off. She said that my dad can’t have the camper on his property because it was an “eyesore”.

Mind you, this camper was in the backyard, behind a six-foot privacy fence. You could still see it, sure, but it’s not like it was old and in disrepair either.

So there were my retired parents, living in a subdivision that has an HOA that was established long after they built their home, and the HOA is expecting them to abide by rules they didn’t agree to. He never moved the camper.


Don't Touch My Property


We live in an HOA neighborhood and we had a neighbor trying to sell his house a few years ago. I kept my trash cans by my garage (they aren’t ratty-looking or stinky, they looked brand new) and when I’d come home, they were gone.

After looking around, I found them behind the fence on my lawn. This happened three times in a week, so after that, I got angry and thought someone was messing with me.

I went to the hardware store, got the largest chain and padlock I could find, and started chaining them to the post on my front porch. My neighbor was outside and I said,

“Hey Craig, you wouldn’t happen to know what keeps happening to my trash cans”? Apparently, he scoured the HOA rule book and found out they are required to be out of sight except on trash day.

He thought my trash cans being visible is why he was having a hard time selling his insanely overpriced house in an awful market and he was moving them himself. Never talked to me, never got a notice from the HOA. 

I chewed him out right there—I told him he was an incompetent child and should know better than to repeatedly come on to my property and mess with my stuff without my knowledge.

Trash cans or not, it’s my stuff, property, land, fence, and lawn.


The Matter Can Wait


I went away for a long weekend and left after work on Thursday. On late Friday afternoon, my water heater burst in the attic of a three-story home and flooded my entire townhouse. When my neighbor got home from work, he saw gallons of water running from underneath my garage door.

When he realized I wasn’t home, he tried to find my phone number and when he couldn’t, he called the HOA to notify me. The lady who answered said that since it was “after business hours (it was 5:01 at this point), the matter would have to wait until Monday ”.

My wonderful neighbor ended up calling the non-emergency 3-1-1 line and they came and shut my water off from the street. When I got home Sunday morning, my entire house was damaged and I could see my attic from my basement.

After a massive panic attack and a frantic call to my insurance company, we started the process of repairs. The cherry on top? 

I needed to have a dumpster placed in my driveway and a moving pod to remove what was left of my furniture while they began drying out the house, and I got a visit from the HOA. They didn’t like how “unsightly” my home had become and wanted these items removed from my driveway.

I essentially told them that they could take their complaints and go elsewhere. I got a little revenge too because I stopped paying their stupid fee since they couldn’t fine me before six months and I was moving in less than five months. I’ll never own another home with an HOA ever again.


Low Attendance


Our HOA hired a management company to run the day-to-day business. What that meant was a guy would ride around taking pictures of petty stuff and mailing violations to homeowners.

I had so many quarrels over nothing. Well, it turns out the HOA didn’t have any teeth behind the violations since the bylaws didn’t allow fines.

Somebody came up with the bright idea to start imposing fines to ensure compliance. They thought they won, but I would NOT have it. That is when I ran for and won the vice presidency of the board.

Another gentleman who was fed up with this stupidity ran and won as well. We didn’t have the power to dissolve the HOA, but we decided the next best thing was to paralyze it.

Without us in attendance, the board could never reach a quorum to conduct business. And they never did.


A Bigger Project Than We Knew


Let me paint you a scene: a young married couple finds their first apartment and although it is far from perfect, it is spacious and two minutes away from work. Mind you, this is the beginning of August…in South Florida.

On the day we moved in, we saw a letter posted for the HOA stating that someone HAD to be present in our unit while the workers were there to work on the central cooling unit.

Okay, no big deal, I had the ability to work from home sometimes, so I did. Well, at the end of those two days, in which workers were to be there from 8 am to 5 pm, we were told that the project “was bigger than expected”. We found out the shocking truth behind exactly what was happening. 

They were replacing the piping of all 22 units in our complex, and we were lucky enough to have one of two points of access to the roof (in our bedroom closet).

That roof access was utilized 24 days out of the month of August anywhere from one to 14 hours a day. So to summarize, as newlyweds, we spent the first month of our marriage alongside many A/C repairmen. Also, we still don’t have functioning central air.


In Broad Daylight


The neighborhood kids and I were avid skateboarders and the lady who was the HOA president decided we weren’t allowed to use our skateboards on the sidewalk or the street anymore.

She proceeded to put up several “no skateboarding” signs all around the complex. As soon as I noticed the signs, I put my sneaky plan into motion.

I went to my dad’s toolbox to borrow a wrench, and in broad daylight, removed each sign one by one and gave them out to each of my friends to hang up in their rooms.


Always Think Ahead


I wanted to tear out a bunch of evergreen bushes that ran alongside my house. We tore them out and we were debating on whether to burn them on-site or put them in a burn pile at a spot I knew about 10 miles or so away.

I opted to just burn them right there. I have an open area next to my house that is about a one-lot size. And so started my nightmare. We put the bushes in the open, running a garden hose out to the area in case it spread. Then I decided that I should get a burn permit.

So I printed one-off and took it to my fire station to be signed. I came back and put the burn permit on my steps and set the fire. The bushes were fairly green so they didn’t want to turn aside from the initial flame up. I needed some accelerant, so I ran to the dollar store and grabbed some cheap lighter fluid.

I came back and my buddy told me that some HOA nutjob came by and said we couldn’t burn things. He said that he didn’t care about our permit and he would be calling the Fire Department.

At that point, I heard the fire trucks getting closer. The HOA nutjob pulled up to see what transpired between the Fire Department and me.

The fire truck pulled up, saw that we were doing everything right, turned off the lights and sirens, and waved at us. The HOA nutjob peeled out and left. We all laughed.