For those unfamiliar, a homeowners association (or HOA) is an organization where homeowners collectively pay fees to maintain and improve the neighborhood. Each HOA has a collective set of rules and bylaws which the properties inside the area must follow. Living within an HOA has benefits, such as a neat and well-maintained environment, perhaps exclusive community amenities like a swimming pool, or on-site security. Yet, some cons are hard to overlook.
Thousands of current and former residents of an HOA
I got a HOA violation for my neighbor’s vines growing into my yard.
We are only allowed to have chained link fences. No wooden or any other fencing. I’m sorry, but I want some privacy in my back yard. Our houses are so close together I can see everything the neighbors around me are doing.
House in the neighborhood caught fire. Luckily everyone was okay (they had small children), but the fire burnt a hole in the side of the house.
While waiting for it to be repaired, the family covered the hole with a blue tarp to prevent rain from getting in and causing more damage.
HOA fined them because the tarp was an “eyesore.”
My parents moved into an HOA a few years ago. I lived with them temporarily. One day, someone from the HOA went around to every house with a color palette of shades of white that were acceptable for mailboxes to be painted in. If the white paint on a mailbox didn’t exactly match one of the shades of white on their color palette, the mailbox had to be repainted, at the expense of the homeowner. My parents had to repaint their white mailbox so its shade of white was acceptable.
Everyone in my neighborhood was fined for having “dirty roofs.” Seriously, they claimed that everyones roofs were dirty and made the neighborhood look bad. It’s not like they were covered in mold or anything, hell idk how a roof is even dirty but 268 of the 284 houses in my neighborhood were fined $75 for it. We found out later that the HOA president started a power washing business and likely just wanted to drum up some business. He was impeached because of it and none of us even paid the fines
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.
Condo where I used to live forbade pickup trucks. In Georgia.
They charged me $500 for leaving a glass cup on the bbq.
Damn I was pissed. My blood boils just thinking about it. I have so many other horrible stories like my wall was flooded inside and they refused to fix it even though it was a HOA problem. I pay $617 monthly. F bastards
They wanted me to switch the color of the lightbulbs I used outside.
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.
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.
The first month in our townhouse, we got a notice that we had not mowed our lawn and were in danger of being fined. We didn’t have a lawn. The entire yard was covered in topsoil, seed, and straw. The “lawn” turned out to be a single weed that was growing up in the shade of a bay window.
I didn’t pull it. I tied it to a stake and told them it was our garden.
When my parents bought the house I grew up in during the early 90’s, they got a letter in the mail saying that they hadn’t paid their dues for the HOA. They took the letter into the office and asked what fees they were referring to.
The office lady was really rude and pulled out a piece of paper saying that my parents had signed a contract and they were legally obligated to pay their monthly dues and follow the rules blah blah Karen Karen blah.
Well, when my parents looked at the sheet they supposedly signed, it wasn’t their signatures. Their names, not their signatures. Someone at the HOA had forged the paperwork, presumably bc they’d forgotten to get it signed. Needless to say, the contract was void and my parents refused to sign a new one. They were one of about 5 houses that they’d done this to in the neighborhood, one of which was our nextdoor neighbors. About 3 houses to this day still don’t have signed contracts including theirs, and they get to do whatever the hell they want with their house, to the immense frustration of the HOA.
Not allowed to put a welcome mat at my front door.
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 untill we moved
We have a landscaping committee. If you want to plant flowers, they must be approved by the committee before you plant them.
Can’t be parked in the same reserved parking space for more than 72 hours. Kinda F’ed up they enforce that during a pandemic.
Can’t park your vehicle with the front or rear bumper sticking over the curb.
Pick up trucks have to have a bed covering.
No kids toys, including bikes and scooters can be left outside when not being used…. got a fine for that one when my daughter took a break to eat lunch.
Can’t have interior lights on past 10pm without have curtains closed.
Trash has to be put out behind your car after 9pm the night before it’s picked up. It doesn’t get picked up until around 7am. No fun when you have to leave before 7. No guidance on where to put it if you don’t have a car or have to leave before 7. When asked, they tell me to just take it to the dump myself if I can’t follow the rules.
My parents HOA is stupid strict. Can’t have any holiday decorations up past the first week of Jan. My mom pulled a Clark Griswold and broke her ankle falling off a ladder putting up decorations before the holidays so a wreath was left on the front door longer than allowed. They got a letter with a picture and a threat of fine.
A few summers later they and some of their neighbors decided to stick it to the man. They got a flock of plastic lawn flamingos and planted them in one of their yards. Whenever the HOA would send a letter the flock migrated to another yard. Kept it up for about a month and a half.
I have hedges in the front yard. There’s dirt under them because you know, plants grow from dirt. HOA comes by and says we absolutely can’t have any exposed dirt, including under the shrubs. I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do about that?? I just poured mulch over the dirt under the shrubs. They haven’t said anything so I think that was the right thing to do. It definitely looks sh*ttier than just the plain dirt.
Wildest thing is that it was just the dirt under the shrubs for a literal decade
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…
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. F*ck. That. Sh*t.
They told us we couldn’t use hoses in our back yard. HAHAHAHAHAHAgof*ckuourselves
Condo association technically, but you can’t put plastic skeletons out on your balcony unless it’s October.
I may be the reason that this rule exists.
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, so suck it.”
Now we are trying to overturn his decision to essentially give our neighborhood over to some sh*tty HOA management group that treats its residents horribly like a sh*tty landlord would a tenant. Oh, and the management group that we were given to is run by a man who’s 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.
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 maintin the road and that is it. We have 18 laid back neighbors and 2-3 Karens.
Window washers hired by homeowners must be chosen from an approved list of window-cleaning businesses by the HOA.