HOA Horror Stories That Will Make Your Blood Boil

HOA Horror Stories That Will Make Your Blood Boil


The upkeep of order is the responsibility of homeowners associations. Instead, these Karen strongholds produce insignificant squabbles, absurd drama, and bloody feuds. After hearing these stories, we will never enter another HOA.

1. Notes For The Record


So earlier this month, I purchased a property in a real estate lien auction. The property was in a voluntary HOA that had 100% membership, and they were RUTHLESS in trying to get me to join before I bought the house.

But I knew what I had to do to get them off my backs. My attorney looked into the situation and drafted a proposal and sent it to the HOA via registered mail.

He drafted up a proposal agreement with the HOA with the following conditions:

1. The property owner has unrestricted access to any community-owned roadways, gates, etc. necessary to access his property. 2. This does not constitute joining the HOA. 3. The property owner will pay a figure monthly to the HOA to contribute to the non-government-owned infrastructure, at his discretion.

The amount is non-negotiable and not legally required, merely an acknowledgment that the assets exist and have costs for their upkeep.

4. The property owner will not be held to any HOA standards. 5. The property owner does not and will not get any voting rights in the HOA.

6. Any further attempts to get the property owner to join will be considered harassment. 7: Cashing of the attached checks constitutes agreeing to these terms. 8. The HOA will provide any necessary access codes for the property owner to use for visitors, contractors, etc.

They received it and signed for it. That day the harassment from the HOA stopped. A week later their attorney sent back a response. When I read it, I had to shake my head. It read:

The HOA board has met, and they do not appreciate your un-neighborly attitude and are not agreeing to your terms. However, they acknowledge that your claim to unrestricted access to your property may have legal merit if the issue is taken to court.

I have been instructed to give you a gate access code, attached below. You will not be given a key fob to the gate as it would give you unrestricted access to their clubhouse.

Furthermore, they are notifying you of the following:

The roadway and sidewalk are both HOA property and they reserve the right to remove any illegally parked vehicles or other property. This is however an acknowledgement that you will not be held to their community standards.

They also are requesting some leeway regarding harassment as community notices may inadvertently be delivered.

Finally, they are returning the check uncashed. I’m not quite understanding how this doesn’t constitute them agreeing to my terms though.

They are giving me everything I want and are turning down my gift towards the upkeep of the road/gate. I guess if they want to shoot themselves in the foot just to be spiteful, I’ll let them go ahead.

2. A Typical Karen 


I own a bunch of rentals in a bunch of communities. I’m no stranger to HOAs and court battles. In fact, I have a company attorney on retainer. I just moved into a community and finally bought myself a house I plan to stay in for a while.

Well, a Karen recently got elected to the board and she immediately hated me. Why? Well it all started when I requested the following:

1: HOA financial documents—which two months in they have still not produced. 2: A temporary reasonable accommodation after a major surgery.

Finally, I asked her husband not to change his oil in the parking lot. She hit back hard. So far I’ve received four notices for: speeding in the parking lot, a political sign (who was an opponent to her political sign in her front yard), a construction noise complaint, and destruction of community property for washing my car with a hose.

So my attorney goes to work on the upcoming fight. My attorney BCCs me on all emails to the association and the management company. I wish I was making the next part up. Karen is so stupid she replied all on an email meant for just the property manager:

A few snippets: “I’m going to keep fining him and make his life horrible.” “He is a nightmare and a punk kid with too much money.”

“We are going to drown him in lawyers’ fees and send him the bill until he finally submits to me.” “This is now personal, I’m on a mission to show that punk kid with his parents’ money that I’m president and he will do as I say.” My lawyer called me six times at 10:

30 last night and said “check your email.” At 9 am, my attorney sent a cease and desist to the entire board and included a copy of the email.

Mine and his phone have been blowing up non-stop from the four other board members and their attorney trying to just talk.

This woman may be the stupidest person on Earth. I honestly cannot wait to see the fallout from this.

3. Keep It To Yourself


This happened years ago when I was in elementary school. I was living in Florida at the time. Anyone who lives in Florida knows how often new gated communities just pop up. So our neighborhood was established and had been before I even moved into the house.

The house once belonged to my uncle. We had a neighborhood watch, but no HOA.

The gated community was finally built and people were moving in. Now, we don’t have a bad neighborhood, but we had some strange colored houses. Lime green and magenta with giant metal lizards hanging all over it, for example.

Our house was simple, hand brick and half concrete painted white. It stood out compared to some of the other houses.

The new gated community is an HOA community, and they thought they ruled over ALL of us.

Soon people in our neighborhood were receiving fines for their house color choices, their “unsightly” cars, not approved mailboxes, and other nit-picky things. My parents received some for my dad’s boat being in the driveway and even our unruly yard.

We had a bougainvillea, which grows like crazy, and we were constantly trimming it.

We even got a fine for our fence. The old fence was chain-link and the new fence was a wooden privacy fence, don’t ask why we had two different fences, my uncle only fenced-in part of the house, it was still a good fence so my dad didn’t want to rip it out.

Well, my mom and dad would just pitch anything they saw coming from that gated community, as they had fancy stationary that was easy to spot.

This went on for maybe four or five months, we would receive “fines” for not meeting HOA standards and other violations. We talked to our neighbors and they received them too. They tried to call and complain.

Still, they were given the run-around and decided to pitch the mail as well. Then it all came crashing down. My mom received a phone call from her bank, and they started to question her about the lien on the house that just appeared in the system.

My parents had less than a year left on their payments for the house, and they always paid extra every month for the house loan and were always on time.

My mom was super confused and said there shouldn’t be a lien, we don’t have a reason for there to be a lien. Turns out the gated community filed liens on almost every house in my neighborhood.

My mom told the bank the situation and called a lawyer. At that point, a lot of the members of that HOA faced charges and it was a just huge mess with a pretty big lawsuit against the HOA board.

We were able to pay off the house after the lawsuit. We even had a big celebration on one of the roads, a huge cookout, and we met people we didn’t know before. I even made new friends with some kids that I didn’t know existed. People moved out of the gated community due to bad press and a lot of the houses stood empty for a long time.

When I moved away, there were still a lot of houses empty and it was like a ghost town.

Last I heard, the name of the community changed and the houses were being filled up.

So I guess the lesson is, leave our bright houses alone and mind your own business.

4. Mr. Invincible


About 25 years ago, my aunt and uncle moved into a new construction single-family home neighborhood on a half-acre.

About six months after they moved in, my uncle was informed that his neighborhood was being taken over by an HOA. He disregarded his HOA application as he did not wish to join. Not long after this, random neighbors began complaining to him directly.

They whined about his boat and cars in his driveway violating HOA rules. He just informed the often rude people that he was not a member, and they would argue with him that everyone was a member.

One of the major issues is that his driveway, garage, and front yard was on the main level of his home and the backyard dropped down a cliff to level with his basement and backyard.

So he had no way to back his boat around the side of the home into the backyard. It escalated quickly. Eventually, the HOA began harassing him with threats if he didn’t move his boat to the backyard. His backyard had been closed off by a vinyl fence the HOA installed and lined another road back there.

So one day my uncle decided to compromise by trying to take down a section of his back fence so he could make a gate for boat parking access.

The HOA called the authorities on him for destruction of property.

The officer left my uncle with a warning and said the fence needed to be returned to proper condition by the end of the day. My uncle put the fence back up and placed his boat back in his front driveway.

Now the fines started coming. Week after week, month after month. When the fines reached $10k, the HOA filed a lawsuit against him.

He countersued for the harassment and street access to his backyard. In court, the HOA showed the HOA boundary and showed my uncle’s house was in the middle of the HOA, explained the violations, and the report filed over the back fence. My uncle explained that he never signed up for the HOA, moved into the neighborhood before the HOA existed, never gave them permission to fence in his back yard, provided all mortgage documentation, and a blank HOA application with the HOA’s security stamp and date.

The HOA argued that it didn’t matter if he didn’t turn in his application because he was within the HOA borders. It didn’t go well for them. The judge declared my uncle’s property was grandfathered as private property and not part of the HOA. The HOA was to immediately take down their fence on the back border of my uncle’s lot. Since the HOA had fined my uncle $10+k in fines, my uncle was owed $10+k in damages for the harassment.

Then he really got revenge. My uncle rebuilt his yard fence in see-through chain link with a gate where he parks all his toys in full view. He moved the boat from the driveway to his front lawn, let the lawn go to seed and then paved it over—all 10 feet from his front door to the sidewalk. HOA neighbors in the decades since still approach him to complain and he just tells them to take a walk knowing there is nothing they can do to him.


5. A Simple Issue


So, some quick backstory to this. I don’t live within an HOA (thank the divines), but I have had dealings with them.

I studied environmental engineering in college and have a degree with a specialization in water treatment systems. Normally, though, that’s not my day job. Even so, recently, a friend of mine who works with one of the neighboring cities asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing some tests for water pollution in a waterfowl preservation area.

There had been some strange die-off events going on, and the city was trying to figure out where the source of the pollution was coming from. I’d be operating under a special contract from the city, and was given access to any location along this waterfowl area (within reason) to perform my tests.

I won’t go into detail about how the tests work, but suffice it to say that I started taking water and soil samples from likely sources along the waterfowl preserve’s borders.

This showed me that there was a notable amount of nitrates and phosphates in the water, which I surmised was affecting the birds.

Now to find the source. I followed the river up its length, passing a number of housing sites, a couple of apartments, and the odd settling pond. Over the course of several weeks, and a barrage of tests, these were ruled out as sources.

The further I went up the river, though, I got more alarmed. The further up, the stronger the concentrations became. To the point that it was dangerous for humans to even be in contact with the water.

We’re talking “super fund” type pollution. This was last summer. As I waded up along this area, I heard some splashing and the sounds of kids playing in the water.

Not good…not good at all. Turning the bend, I come face to face with a small dock leading into the water, and four or five kids taking turns jumping off it into the water.

The heavily polluted, dangerous water. There’s some lady sitting on the dock watching them, and I approached her. I forget the exchange, but it boiled down to me telling her I’m from the city.

I said that based on some of what had been found, the children were banned from swimming in the river. The lady tried arguing the point, until I told her I was calling the Marshal to have the area barricaded off, and she could explain her complaints to him.

She grabbed the kids and scuttled off. The Marshal did arrive, found that the dock wasn’t built with proper code standards, and condemned it.

This forced the HOA who had built it to have it demolished within the week (or the city was going to do it and they’d still front the bill).

That still left the matter of the pollution. That’s where things got weird. Once I passed this HOA subdivision, all pollution vanished. I must have done five or six further tests to verify this, but yeah, no pollution.

So I had my culprit. The next question was figuring out what they were doing. That’s where my investigative side comes in. With the help of the Marshal, I started going around the properties of the HOA, talking with residents.

It was a few simple questions like “Do you know if they’re fertilizing the grass”, and “When do they do this” and “Do you know the type of fertilizer they use?”

Just gathering evidence.

Remember the lady from earlier? Turned out she was the HOA president. I only found this out after she called the authorities on the Marshal and I, reporting strange “men” wandering around her neighborhood. She called them something like four times in a day before the officers flat-out told her “They work with the city, and if you keep calling, we’re charging you.”

That didn’t stop her from following us around in her car and taking photos with her phone. Eventually, we spoke with one older gentleman. This is what broke the case. The HOA president had been fining people for not having perfectly green grass.

We were in a drought at the time, so that’s no surprise there. After several of the people in the subdivision got fined by the city for watering their grass, she had taken matters into her own hands.

She’d first tried contracting a landscaper to spray the lawns with fertilizer, but due to various EPA regulations, he’d apparently refused. The homeowner gentleman couldn’t be certain what the lady had done next, but a couple days after that, some guys turned up with a large farm-type trailer of liquid, and sprayed every single foot of grass the HOA controlled.

Even right down to the water’s edge. With the homeowner’s permission, I took several soil samples from around his property, and then samples from the common area that joined the grassy area beside the river (and dock).

It took about a week to get the full results back, but I had my answer. This lady had some contractors or someone spraying farm-grade fertilizer on the grass.

This particular fertilizer is heavily controlled by the EPA and requires a special license to even possess, much less use.

I presented all my evidence to my contact at the city and laid out just how serious the damage was, and that I was legally obligated to report the HOA to the state regulatory board for gross violations.

My contact took the papers and paid me for my services, thanking me, but also noting that if this went to court, I would need to testify about my findings.

The court was originally scheduled for March of 2020, but it never came to that.

The HOA president entered a plea deal with the state, where she and the HOA was required to pay for the environmental cleanup of the river, as well as restitution to the state. The fines alone topped close to a quarter of a million dollars, and the cleanup (still ongoing) is expected to break a million itself.

The HOA president got the boot, while the HOA itself was (last I heard) facing being dissolved by the state due to multiple cases of negligence and inept management. I don’t know how they came in contact with that fertilizer, though I suspect some of the charges against the HOA president had something to do with that.

Want to know the sad thing though?

If the HOA had simply contacted the city, or the state, they would have been given a list of approved fertilizers to use, which both wouldn’t have polluted the surrounding water, and wouldn’t have put them on the hook for an environmental disaster.

The number is right on the city and state’s website. The HOA just couldn’t be bothered to look it up.

6. A Mocked Female


I’ll start this off by saying my ex is vindictive as heck. We’ve been fully divorced since about 2020.

We sold the house we shared and I didn’t have to pay her alimony because she cheated and we’re in an at-fault state. It was messy since D-Day. All of the stereotypes. First the sobbing and then trickle truths, saying “I love you!”

“It was just one time!” “Ok, it was two years!”

And then the gaslighting followed by “I’m going to take you for everything!” before packing her stuff and walking out. I feel like I never really knew the woman my ex was in all the time we were together.

We were married five years and together for seven. And in two of those five married years, she had affairs with three other men. The final one being a foreign businessman of some sort from what I could find out.

Somehow, it gets worse.

She got pregnant from the final affair, and no I didn’t sign the birth certificate because I found out about all the affairs before the baby was born thanks to a call from the first affair partner.

At that point, my ex tried to go full scorched earth on me. But since we live in and were married in an at-fault state, she lost. We didn’t pay equally into our house, and the equity was divided 70/30.

So I got a pretty good cash payout when I sold our marital home to put as a down payment on a different house closer to my job. It’s a bit of a downgrade, but suits a single guy in his 30s like me just fine.

My ex did show up at my house once, but I refused to let her in. She whined at me that I’d financially ruined her in the divorce. I laughed so hard and said it was karma.

She yelled that she’d sue me for what was rightfully hers. I said if she was going to sue me, then to go ahead and sue me. It’d end up the same way in court because she has nothing but a false sob story.

She was the cheater, not me. I’m no angel, but I didn’t do anything to her, and she was the one who ruined our marriage. She then said she’d tell everyone she could that I mistreated her.

I said I’d sue her for defamation if she did. Then I let her know one crucial detail. I was recording our interaction and had those words saved to my phone. She went wide-eyed and her jaw dropped.

The look people are calling the surprised Pikachu face. Then I asked why she was there, if not to just try and make trouble. After all, she had a new man in her life who knocked her up.

She just huffed at me and said he isn’t around much, and she’s stuck in a tiny apartment living off his child support until he comes back. It was immature of me I know, but I did the bit of playing the world’s smallest violin.

She yelled at me to go screw myself, and I yelled back that I’d sooner do that than her any time. She raged at me and then got in her car to leave.

Haven’t seen her since.

Ok, so there is an HOA in my neighborhood. But I was not legally obligated to join it because the last owner of my house was not a member. I made sure of that through a real estate lawyer as well.

The HOA had no grounds to force me to join, and they were not happy about it. The HOA president would show up with forms every week for the first month demanding I sign them.

Then she threatened to take me to court. When that didn’t work, she tried more cunning methods. She started harassing me by looking for any infractions she possibly could to report to the city.

An inspector came out several times and found nothing wrong. In fact, I offered one of them a burger while grilling, and they graciously accepted.

Did I mention the HOA hates barbecues and parties that aren’t approved in advance?

Well, they do. And I like to grill when the weather is good. And my neighbors actually love me for it because I invite them over. I had the authorities called on me several times for noise complaints because I was playing music on a Saturday afternoon while having my friends over.

I caught the HOA president trespassing once, trying to peer into my windows. I called the authorities, but she denied ever doing it. So, I came up with a plan. I got cameras. She hasn’t trespassed since.

But I still got repeated passive-aggressive letters saying my cameras were not an approved addition to my house. Some months ago, I started getting letters for fines in the mail.

When I contacted the HOA, their representative claimed they had it on record that I’d joined, and needed to pay all fees effective immediately.

I told them that was not possible. Then they emailed a scanned copy of the forms, and they had a signature on them. As I looked, my heart stopped. The signature was not mine. It was very similar in some ways, and I recognized it right away as being my ex’s handwriting.

She knew what my signature looked like. But it was a loose imitation at best. I got in touch with a lawyer right away over the forged signature. But the HOA still demanded to go to court, which took seven months before that happened.

Meanwhile, they were stacking unpaid fines against me weekly and were constantly threatening to put a lien on my house.

We went to court and the HOA president looked very smug. But my lawyer pointed out how the signature wasn’t the same as mine and was very inconsistent in the various forms.

I’d never allowed the HOA president in my house, and I’d never requested the forms. I couldn’t believe the woman’s response. The idiot HOA president actually slammed her palm on the table and said it was still binding.

When pressed where the fraudulent signature came from, she admitted my ex-wife called the HOA and they sent her the forms, then got them back in the mail signed. But then she actually claimed she’d thought I’d signed them.

The judge looked at her and asked if she was serious. She confirmed she was. The judge then asked how a woman I was no longer married to, that had never even lived with me in my current residence, was supposed to have any bearing on whether or not I joined her HOA.

She went quiet and I could see the “Oh, shoot” look on her face as the hamster wheels were turning and she seemed to finally mentally put the pieces together. My lawyer then counterclaimed that what the HOA did was wrong, and actions must be taken.

And they were. I countersued the HOA for the emotional distress of the harassment I’d gotten since moving in.

Which, by the way, I had lots of proof of. That won me about ten grand that I decided to put towards my mortgage.

The HOA president was removed from her throne. I like to think she went kicking and screaming. She was also slapped with a hefty fine. I’ve seen her outside a few times, and she always looks at me like I am the devil.

The HOA itself had to pay all of my lawyer fees too.

After that, I wanted to go after my ex for forging my signature, but I can’t because not long after she forged my signature on those forms, she apparently left the country to be with her third affair partner.

She’s somewhere in Europe from what I can see of the final posts on her Facebook before she disappeared. So I can’t do anything against her unless she ever returns to the US.

That was a wash, but I’m not getting letters from the HOA anymore though. The new president has promised to keep things completely cordial from now on. I still don’t feel like I got much of a win in this though.

Other than the 10k payout it all felt like a huge waste of time.

7. Fast And Furious 


I’ve been dealing with this for the last three months and it has FINALLY reached its climax. for a little back story, I own a towing company and am currently renting a home within an HOA.

I was NOT informed of this when I signed the lease. My wife and I broke ground on our dream home days before lockdown went into effect last year. We signed a two-year lease as we were offered a $250 reduction in rent if we did.

The house has a three-car garage attached to it, as well as parking for an additional two cars in the driveway. I keep my tow truck in the driveway or parked on the street in front of the house as it is classified as an “emergency vehicle” by the state and not merely a commercial vehicle.

This means it is not against the HOA to have it in the neighborhood.

We also own many cars as all three people living in the home are car nuts. Now, we do not keep that all at the home, but we do have a total of six cars at the home, plus the tow truck, which means two vehicles are always parked on the street.

All of the imported cars have wide body kits that cost between 4 and 12 grand—this is important as to the value of the vehicles as well as looks.

After living here for just over nine months, we get punched in the face by the HOA that we had absolutely no idea existed.

They started by ticketing the tow truck that is parked on the street, stating that it cannot be parked there. Okay, I’ll put it in the driveway no problem. pay the $150 fine to the HOA after getting the contract from the landlord and reading it.

I figure it’s best to just go along with it and not ruffle any feathers. By moving the tow truck into the driveway, I started parking my RX7 on the streets. My two classic cars are kept in the garage, as well as the BRZ as it is my project car and I’m in the middle of building a very high-end drift car out of it. The other two people in my house drive the BMW and Nissan every day.

The very next day, I return home to another smack in the face. There are tickets on both the RX7 and the Silvia, which are parked on the street by our driveway. Now, numerous neighbors are also parked on the street without tickets from the HOA.

I immediately call the jerk in “charge” of the HOA to ask what the heck going on. He tells me that our “junk” is devaluing the neighborhood.

He says it cannot be parked on the streets and cites a rule in the HOA guidelines about vehicles being in disrepair.

I laughed, a full-on gut chuckle. The guy I’m talking to drives an early 2000s Cadillac that may be worth 10k. He tells me that if the vehicles continue to be parked on the street, he will have them towed.

Okay, let’s play. I’m ready.

I told him that he needs to read his own manual and look at the vehicles he is talking about. Clearly, both cars are not in disarray. 10 days after the initial ticketing, he calls for a tow truck.

This is where I should mention that the reason my tow truck is listed as an emergency vehicle is because my company has the county police contract for their towing, as well as the township.

When small-guy towing shows up to impound my vehicles when I am not home, I get a call from the company to inform me about it—we know each other from the businesses we operate and I often kick him work when we are holding over a 90-minute ETA to not upset customers. He tells me that he HAS to tow my cars due to his contract with the HOA.

However, he doesn’t have a truck that can tow these lowered cars without damaging them. He asks me to come home and remove the bumpers so they will go on his truck. I told him that it wasn’t going to happen and I’d hate to look for another towing company to send overflow work to, all while we see how the courts feel about the impounding and potential damages to the cars.

He wisely decides to not tow the vehicles.

Now, this was October of 2020. Since then, my towing friend has called me dozens of times about the HOA jerk calling him repeatedly to tow the vehicles. He tells the guy that the only company in the area that can tow these vehicles is my company. FINALLY it happens.

The jerk calls my company to impound MY cars.

Okay, no problem. I sent three of my guys over in the shop pickup to drive my cars back to the shop, where they were parked and kept for the last month.

The wife started driving the Impala regularly as it is summer. On Friday, we went to small claims court as I sued the HOA for towing costs, about $250 per vehicle, as well as storage on each vehicle, $62 per day each, AND an additional $3,000 for inconveniences due to not having the cars for daily transportation.

Add on an additional $1,500 for lawyer fees. After roughly five minutes, the judge asks for photos from the HOA jerk of the cars, and he gives the judge photos. The judge comments on how nice the cars are and that they clearly are not in disarray.

I thank the judge and ask him if he can see the Cadillac parked on the street way in the background of the photo, as well as the other five or six cars in frame.

The judge affirms this and asks the jerk about these cars. The jerk states that they are NOT in disarray and even coughs up that the Cadillac is his car. The judge smiles a toothy grin.

Then he makes a confession that delights me. He confesses to being a car guy and estimates that each of the two cars that have been impounded are worth $50k and that the jerk’s Cadillac would clearly be the eyesore of the community.

The judge then dismisses the HOA’s claims and explicitly tells the jerk that he is NOT to tow any vehicles out of the neighborhood without third-party confirmation of their disarray or abandonment. The judge goes further and states that the HOA is in violation of the township ordinance, as the streets are NOT private streets but belong to the township.

The judge then grabs what I assume is a calculator and starts punching away. After about a minute and a half of pure silence, the judge looks up and says “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 lost his freaking mind.

He went on a rant about communism? And how the judge was the problem with this country and into election conspiracies and every wack job theory you’d hear. The judge warned him twice and finally ordered him in contempt and invited him to have a weekend stay on the county’s dime. He will be home tonight as the judge is set to release him at 6 pm.

The cars are back in their original spots and I cannot wait for the hand wave and grin as he comes home this evening.

8. Supporting The Little Man


This story takes place in Ontario, in the city of Kawartha Lakes –one of the worst municipalities in all of Ontario in which to live. There’s poverty, addiction, a culture of prideful ignorance, and partisan voters that will vote against their best interests time and time again.

The city council are also looting their tax base to provide free educational opportunities for unqualified staffers they hired.

They are holding secret meetings behind the public’s back and in one case spent $140k to fight a lawsuit that was levied against them after they blocked a brand new business’s access road because some city council members owned a competing businesses. They were fined $70k and spent another $70k of taxpayer dollars to appeal and lose in the end.

That’s all backstory. Suffice it to say it’s a city run by uneducated rubes and inhabited by the most apathetic voters I’ve ever encountered. My old man was an original property owner of an unassumed road for 50+ years.

For the uninitiated, this means that although the city owned the road, they are not responsible for maintenance, grooming, etc. beyond the scope of the limited-service agreement they made with a single property owner.

By the way, we later found forged signatures claiming that one owner represented the entire road.

This all basically meant they would do two gradings per year, though they only actually provided one. About 20 years ago, some citiots (city idiots) moved up on the road and decided they would create an HOA.

It was a total nightmare from the very beginning.

They didn’t get insured, they didn’t incorporate, and they thought they could go around forging signatures on city documents and charging residents money for essentially nothing.

It all came to a head about 10 years ago when my dad refused to pay them until the two chuckleheads in charge showed him how they spent the money. Oh boy, this started something.

Rather than provide a fair accounting of the neighborhood funds, the “president” and the “treasurer” both decided they wanted to sue for the money “owing.” Well, we went to court and it turns out that you don’t just get to declare yourself the head of an association that doesn’t exist.

Turns out you also can’t collect money from the residents and spend it on cookware and paying their unqualified, uninsured friends to do roadwork.

Turns out perjury is frowned on in a small claims court.

They found out the hard way. I discovered in their court filings examples of perjury and general dishonesty. They manufactured documents and got caught doing so. They were given multiple options to settle in court, but turned them all down, instead choosing to self-destruct in the most absurd and stubborn way available to them.

None of their witnesses showed up, they brought literally no evidence with them to court, instead relying on the phrase “it’s not rocket science”, and they somehow assumed the judge would accept “it’s not rocket science” as some kind of evidence or as somehow lending credibility to their claims.

He didn’t. The HOA lost and ended up owing us money.

The HOA dissolved immediately afterward, and if the story ended there, it would make sense, but not be a very interesting story. But you’re not here for just a “good guys win” story, you want satisfaction.

Well, I’m about to blow your mind. Turns out one of those two old men that fancied themselves in charge of the HOA couldn’t accept defeat.

Our driveway lights started to disappear, and someone was blocking the culvert in the middle of the night and washing out the road in front of my dad’s house.

Minor vandalism was happening almost on a nightly basis. So, I came home late one night, and sure enough, this 70-year-old moron is thrashing about in the April temperature swamp, having fallen in after blocking the culvert.

He got his shirt tangled in an underwater branch and can’t get out.

We had to haul him out because he was so tipsy and suffering from hypothermia that he couldn’t even move.

Then we called the authorities. He got yelled at and no driveway lights ever went missing again, and the officers me keep the trash can lid he was using to block the culvert. Free lid!

Moral of this story is don’t take any flack from an HOA. They may look official, but I’ll bet you most HOAs are doing something shady that will reflect poorly on them in court should you find yourself at odds with them.

9. Overlording It


I own my downstairs condo and have been complaining about the tenant above me who has been renting for about two years. Beginning in March this year, the management office sent a hearing notice to her, allowing her to plead her case.

Depending on the results, they’ll fine (or won’t fine) the owner, her landlord. So far I have three reports, two with security footage documenting her being a nuisance, and I had officers come by.

The manager suggested that I shouldn’t attend the hearing to avoid any kind of confrontation with the tenant. Last time, the manager warned me again that a hearing does not guarantee a fine and wanted to set that expectation.

When I told him about the report, his tone changed and he said this can help. The hearing makes the decision, but I think my documentation is better than hers.

Honestly, I would prefer to not attend the hearing because I don’t want to be too defensive or reactive in front of the committee.

Anyway, I decided to call her landlord because I found it odd that after she got the first warning last year and the hearing notice recently, he wouldn’t have tried to give her any kind of warning himself. The last time I spoke to him was almost two years ago when the last tenant moved out and he replaced the carpeting.

I haven’t reached out to him since because his last words were there’s “nothing else” he can do.

10. No Indicates No


I do not live in an HOA but we still have a “neighborhood region” as designated by the city.

Once a month anyone who wants to gets together with our local PD neighborhood relations officer, and usually our district city council rep. As you can imagine, we have a few people who are the type who would dream of being on an HOA board.

We had that monthly meeting a few days ago and one of my most “lovely” neighbors shows up with this guest in a bit of a suit. After the routine stuff, she points out that she filed to have time to speak.

She gets up, introduces the guy, and starts talking about how she would like for us to listen to him explain the benefits of bonding our neighborhood together in an HOA.

I’m sitting up front as usual and could not help but blurt out “screw HOAs” while trying not to laugh. She looks surprised, stares at me, and says “excuse me?”

So I popped to my feet “Okay.” I went off on her. “Most of us are fighting to make it month to month, and we will have to pay a few hundred extra to some suit for what might sound good but guess what”?”

I took a deep breath here.

“Trash can on curb past 7 am on pick up day or out before 11 pm the night before? Get a fine. Lawn over two inches high for more than 24 hours? Get a fine. House does not match the stipulated paint colors?

Get a fine and fix it within 14 days. Feed the stray cats (looking at a lady who does so)? Get a fine.” I look to another neighbor.

“Put out winter protective boxes so the strays don’t freeze?

Get a fine per box.” The neighbor kept trying to interrupt but I ignored her. “Working on your car in your own drive, yep another fine, per day. And guess what? You fall behind, they put a lien on your house, put you out and either rebuild it or tear it down and build something new to up-sale and eventually push as many people out as possible to replace us and ‘elevate’ the neighborhood, all while making themselves rich off stealing our properties.”

“I’ll never sign anything.

Judy?” The room looked back at her like they were looking to hurt her. Needless to say, it went nowhere. The suit tried to talk up his points but I had counters to everything he threw out.


11. Few People ARE Trying To Harm 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.

12. Inhumane And Inept


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.

13. The Law As It Is Written


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.

14. Restarting Completely


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.

15. For The Benefit Of All


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.

16. Adapt And Grow


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.


17. Go For 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.

18. Simple As Pie


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.

19. Sneaky 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.

20. Sweet Revenge


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. But 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.

21. You’ve Chosen The Incorrect Man


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.

22. Invader Of Realms


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.


23. Getting On The Ground


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.

24. Home 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.

25. A Party Up 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.

26. Always Insufficient


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.

27. Pulling The String


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.

28. Having a 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.

29. Farming It To The Fullest


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. But it got MORE 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.

30. Ageism Done Right


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.

31. Dedicated To Sheds


When we bought our house, the largest in the neighborhood and the original showcase home for the development, there was a shed in the backyard.

My Lady Lair, if you will. The home sale was approved by the HOA and a letter of “no violations” was issued. All good, right? The home unfortunately came with scads of “abandoned property.”nWithin 24 hours of taking possession of our home, it turned into a nightmare.

The former owners broke back in to remove what was now legally ours.

I stopped at the security guard shack to inquire about ensuring that the former owners’ gate codes were inactivated and to keep an eye out for any attempt at continued entry into the gated hood. The guard assured me he would handle it and I went on my way.

That evening, the guard came to my home to give me additional information I might need.

He also offered security cam footage for the authorities. I thanked him for taking the time to make me feel safe in my new home, but before he left he said, “Just to warn you, the HOA will go after you for your shed—they want it gone.” After a bit more discussion, he informed me that the former owners were not only crazy but had gone toe-to-toe with the HOA over the shed.

Three years and lawyers all around, the HOA finally said screw it, this is costing us too much money and their lawyer is better than ours, and dropped the whole thing. It came all too true.

Within two weeks I had two different neighbors tell me the HOA would give me problems over the shed. Fun! At the three-week mark, an inspector from the county showed up to tell me he was investigating an anonymous complaint about code violations and the shed.

This shed, by the way, was visible only if you stood on my property, but apparently there was no permit for it. I was livid and already considering what avenues I had to keep my shed or “win” compensation for the loss of property when the code enforcer smiled a devious smile at me, handed me a printout, and said, “all you need to do is fill this out, pay $50 to the county, and you will be in code compliance.”

He then said that “Neighbor Jerry…oops coughcough…I mean the ‘anonymous complainant’ cannot touch your shed after that.” The key here is that four years ago when they were battling the former residents, the county did not permit sheds and the bylaws say all additional property structures require permits.

If there is no permit, the HOA can order the removal and fine the resident until it is gone.

Two years ago, the county started permitting sheds and the HOA was unaware of the change.

I paid my $50 and got the permit, making my lady lair code compliant and untouchable by the HOA. I also made a new friend in Code Enforcement and all is well in my 150 sq ft slice of heaven.

32. Don’t Try to Fool Me


So this story is about a property I own, but rent out. This may sound strange, but I don’t think I could afford to live there these days—it’s become somewhat exclusive. So a million years ago my property was part of a large farm.

I bought it about 30 years ago, long after the farm was broken up, but before there was any development near it.

The piece of land I got was near the back entrance that joined into a dirt road that ran past.

The more expensive plots were near the tarred road in the front. I originally bought a large chunk of the land intending to do some farming, but that never happened. About 20 years ago, some of the owners got organized—we’ll call them Organized Owners or OO—and had the area designated as a municipal suburb.

The municipality agreed to put in tarred roads, water, and electricity if a certain percentage of the properties were developed.

A construction company (linked to the OO) went around contacting the owners who had land but no buildings. They were offering to build houses for us at a very (very) reasonable price—but there was a catch. It was contingent on them getting a certain minimum amount of people signing up.

While this was happening, one of the OOs approached me and offered to buy half of my property. I agreed, and the money I got for the sale (which was about 4x what I’d paid for the entire chunk of land 10 years prior) combined with a small loan from the bank gave me what I needed to pay for a house to be built, and it was a fairly large and nice house too.

I stayed in the house for a few years, and my mom moved in with me. I had decided to subdivide the property again and build her a house next to mine, but then tragedy struck. Unfortunately, an un-diagnosed tumor took her before the house could even be started—well, it was diagnosed, but too late to do anything. Soon after she passed, we moved out of the house and started renting it out.

About a few weeks before we moved out, the OO I’d sold the land to started talking about starting an HOA. I wasn’t interested and left soon after. About two years later, the neighbor OO contacted me.

There were two roads entering the area these days—the original tarred road that was near where the farmhouse had been and was entered from a fairly busy main road, and my “dirt road back entrance”, which was now a tarred entrance from a wide but not very busy municipal road.

The HOA was trying to get the old farm road blocked off to improve security and decrease through traffic, and wanted the road next to my property to be the main (and only) entrance to the HOA community.

They also had an ulterior motive. They were pressuring me to join. I said no, and I was adamant, and eventually, they accepted that…sort of.

They told me they wanted to have a sign near the road welcoming people to the neighborhood, and the only practical place to put it was on the edge of my property.

They also wanted to build a little guard hut and have a security guard permanently monitoring who went in and came out, and they wanted to build his shed on my property. I thought it over.

We came to an agreement whereby they would mow the lawn and pay the equivalent of about $35 per month in exchange for the land they needed. I was very happy with this arrangement, since the property was fairly large, and it didn’t really cost them anything since they already had a full-time gardening service servicing the HOA.

It should have been fine—it definitely wasn’t.

This all happened over a decade ago. They eventually got the other main road blocked off, and the HOA is paying for rent-a-cop to be permanently stationed close to my property, as well as mowing my lawn and paying me enough money for takeaways for the family each month.

I’m occasionally contacted by members of the HOA to get me to sign up, but I’m really not interested.

My property has been rented to the same tenant for all these years and everything there is going well for me…until about three years ago. This was when someone scared the heck of my tenant’s young daughter by making strange noises and shooting a double barrel close to her bedroom window three or four times over about a month. This scared my tenant and I guessed it scared the HOA because they AND my tenant contacted me with a proposal.

They asked that I join the HOA and they give me exclusions from the HOA rules, including exclusions from paying the monthly fees, and in addition, they will build a wall around the ENTIRE HOA neighborhood, including electric fencing and security cameras.

They told me they had wanted to do this for a while but were unwilling to build the wall on a property that was not in the HOA.

I couldn’t see the downside, and so agreed.

I lived to regret it deeply. It took a little over a year to build the wall and get everything completed, which is quite fast. And then a month to the day after everything was done, my tenant got an HOA warning about his dogs barking.

He told the HOA that while the property was in the HOA, it was exempt from the rules.

The HOA told him that they had canceled the exemptions, and that he had 30 days to comply.

He contacted me, and I opened some mail I’d gotten from the HOA—I’d ignored it since I was supposed to be exempt from the rules and fees. Man, did I get a surprise.

They had indeed retroactively canceled the exemptions, and were claiming ridiculous things.

That I pay late fees going back over a year. That the easement agreement had been canceled, and that they were retroactively canceling it a year back because the HOA contract allowed them to use “small unused portions” of HOA members’ land for the common good for free. That I refund them the money they had paid for the easement over that period.

That I owed them money for the garden service mowing the large lawn, and that I would be fined for each infraction my tenant failed to remedy. This started an expensive process involving lawyers and the court system.

It ended with a judge telling me that what the HOA had done was mostly legal. They did have the right to revoke the exemptions, but they had to give me 30 days’ notice.

As I was walking to my car at court that day, I had an interaction that made my blood boil. The neighbor OO—the one who bought half my land so many years ago—told me that I was stupid to have refused to join when the HOA started, as I could have been a founder member (whatever that means), and that next time I should be sure to understand the documents I sign before signing them.

Well, the neighbor OO was right, I should have read the contract.

Also, I was interested in what it meant to be a “Founding Member” (Spoiler: Nothing), and so when I got home, I grabbed the HOA contract I’d signed, as well as all the other documentation they had provided me with, and started reading.

I was determined to break every rule I could find a loophole to break.

I didn’t get past the first page. I came upon an ingenious detail. While the street address of the property is used to identify it for all practical purposes, in the city records it has a unique property number that has to be used on court records. When my mom moved in, I’d subdivided the remaining property but hadn’t yet started building on it.

And when I gave the HOA the easement all those years ago, it had been on the property I’d sliced off for my mom. And when the HOA set up the contract, they had simply used the property number from the easement.

The next afternoon, the neighbor OO delivered (and had me sign for) two documents—one telling me that my exemptions would expire in 30 days, and one letting me know that the easement would no longer be required after 30 days.

I think he was being a bit malicious here, because I lived about an hour away from the property, and he drove out himself.

But the joke was on him. EXACTLY 30 days TO THE HOUR after the HOA had given me the 30 days’ notice, I knocked on the neighbor OO’s door (did I mention he was the president of the HOA)? and had him sign for two documents.

The first was that I planned to build a house on my HOA property (which confused him) and the second was a notice that they had 30 days to remove from the property the guard shed, the parts of the electric boom that were on my property, and the sign.

He tried to engage me but I ignored him, climbed into my car, and drove off. Early the next morning, I got a call from the HOA lawyer.

He explained to me that their junk would be staying on my property since it was in an “unused” part of my land.

I explained that I was building a house there, and that the land would not be unused anymore. I could hear the smirk as he told me that building a second house to be spiteful would not be accepted by the courts.

I sure hope he could hear the smirk in my voice for my next reply.

I told him that the property in question did not have a house, and was, in fact, barely large enough for a house to be built and would not be large enough for any extraneous buildings.

I then told him to go look up the property in question and call me back. I had sliced off just enough to be legal, which was just enough to build a small house for my mom at the time.

It took them just under five days to get back to me. Their lawyer told me that the terms of the easement meant that I could not cancel without their permission. Again, I had the perfect reply.

I emailed him a photo of the document they sent to me canceling the easement. That afternoon the neighbor OO invited me to lunch (his treat) to discuss the problem.

I said “No thanks.” He extended the offer again two days later, and again I said “No thanks.”

Others of the original OO contacted me to try to talk. Some sounded aggressive, some sounded sympathetic. I said “No thanks” to each of them. Eventually, the lawyer phoned and asked if we could come to some sort of arrangement.

I asked what he had in mind, and he told me that he was prepared to discuss exclusions in exchange for access to my property.

So I said “No thanks, and please don’t call me again.”

About nine days before their 30 days was up, I got a call from a different lawyer. He said he wanted to “negotiate a surrender” (his words, not mine). I agreed to meet him at his office the next day.

I’d already had documents drawn up, and the meeting was as simple as me giving him the documents and him reading them over. It was a total slam dunk.

My new easement offer: Included everything offered by the old easement offer.

I changed the line “mow the lawn” to “get the property to HOA standards and keep it there” since it was now in the HOA. It would cost them about $500 per month instead of ~$35. This amount would increase with inflation (the previous contract didn’t include that bit).

When canceled, for whatever reason, the HOA would have to pay me a cancellation fee of around $7,500. The contract automatically terminated 30 days after any disciplinary action was taken against me, my tenant, or the property (“the property”); any complaints were levied by the HOA against the property; any court action was taken against the property by anyone in the HOA.

That [lawyer who had offered to negotiate surrender] would be allowed to mediate any disputes between us, at HOAs expense, and that the HOA would pay all my fees if any action was taken against me.

Here’s the crucial thing. I’d deliberately left some insane things in there so that I could appear to “concede” some points or be negotiated down when the HOA got indignant about the points I actually cared about.

The lawyer didn’t look happy. He said that my proposal sounded unfair, but that he’d have the HOA president look at them. I reminded him that in eight days I’d be setting a group of men armed with sledgehammers and anger management issues loose on whatever of theirs was still on my property.

That evening I got an irate call from the HOA president.

He told me he was never going to sign the new contract. I said “OK.” He then told me I was charging too much per month, and that it should be at the same rate as the previous contract.

I pointed out that when I signed the previous contract the area was under development, and there was at least one other road leading in and out, but that now there was only mine.

And besides, mine was now developed with everything they needed.

He told me that I was forcing them to sign a document they didn’t want to sign. I told him that he was free to not sign it. He whined about everything he could think of.

And then eventually told me I’d be hearing from his lawyer. The next events surprised even me.

The next morning, Surrender Lawyer called to ask if I’d be willing to come to their offices to sign the contract.

I agreed. When I got there that afternoon, I learned that Surrender Lawyer was not a lawyer, but a Paralegal. He handed me the contract and asked me to sign it. He laughed when I told him I’d have to read through it first to make sure nothing was changed and mumbled something that sounded like “I’m sure you would.”

I read the contract. Nothing had been changed. NOT A SINGLE THING. And the HOA president had signed it, with the Surrender Paralegal signing as witness. I looked at him and said “Why did he sign this?

It was stupid to sign it!” and the paralegal looked at me and said “I started telling him that signing it would be a bad decision, but he told me I wasn’t being paid to think or give advice, and to shut up.

So I shut up.”

I said “Do you understand what he’s signed here?” He looks at me and nods. He said “I asked him if I should have one of the lawyers look at it before giving it to you, and he told me that we had already billed enough for this, and that he’d sign it and sue me after their easement was safe.” This happened about a year and a half ago.

It took six months for the HOA to find out how screwed they were.

They wanted to sue me, but their lawyers explained to them that there was no way to win. Even if the court sided with them, all they would get is the easement contract voided, and they did not think that the court would side with them anyway.

The lawyers were adamant about one thing. The HOA could not live with the “HOA pays my fees if action was taken against me” since it didn’t limit the people taking action against me to the HOA.

As worded, the HOA would be forced to pay for my fees if ANYONE took action against me. They argued that the courts would probably not enforce that, since the context of the agreement was to do with the HOA, and I told them I was prepared to find out since the HOA would definitely be the ones taking action against me if they challenged it.

I eventually signed an addendum to the contract. It was even more vengeful than before. It said that the neighbor OO (HOA President) would personally pay all my fees unless he held no position at all in the HOA, and that the HOA would pay all fees if the HOA took action against me. He resigned from the HOA at the end of that meeting.

I politely told him in front of everyone that he should not sign documents unless he understands what he’s signing. He didn’t look pleased. It came out during the mediation that without the ability to control access to the HOA neighborhood through the security boom (partially) on my property, the HOA would be in breach of their own articles and would be dissolved.

I also learned (should have been obvious to me) that all the security cameras were wired, and all end in the guardhouse/guard shed. So basically, it was my way or the end of the HOA.

That first mediation was really quite funny. My paralegal looked more than a little glum as we assembled and he called everyone to order. I suspected that he had been told to work against me, so I took the initiative.

I reminded everyone there that I had agreed to let the paralegal mediate, but that I had agreed to no arbitration at all. If I didn’t feel like the proceedings were fair, I’d leave and they could go ahead and sue.

The paralegal brightened up and things actually went quite well. I’m writing this after getting home from the latest mediation. See, I built a “paddling pool” for the neighborhood dogs.

As in, I made it myself.

I dug a hole, packed it with stone, and added a concrete finish. It was my first attempt, and if I say so myself, it looked…well, terrible. The HOA called for a mediation meeting, which is what they do now instead of taking official action.

I’ve declined their mediation requests in the past. In it, they told me, as nicely as they could, that the paddling pool was an eyesore right at the entrance of the HOA.

I asked them to create a list of what needed to be fixed and how it needed to be fixed to give to me at the next meeting.

The list was extensive. It basically required the pool to be rebuilt from scratch. I asked them if there was any way to reduce costs on the work they needed to get it up to HOA standards, and they assured me there was not.

I had them right where I wanted them.

I thanked them, pulled out a copy of the agreement where they had agreed to “get the property to HOA standards” (which I’d highlighted) and handed it to them with the list.

I told them the HOA usually preferred if these things were dealt with within 30 days. They started arguing until the mediator reminded them that they could not force me to comply without causing the easement to end.

I should mention that their lawyers usually no longer attend these things. They said they would get it done. I also learned a lot about neighbor OO today: I found out that neighbor OO sold his property about three months back and is apparently leaving the country for Australia.

I found out that the HOA had successfully sued him for a ton of money they had lost to his mismanagement as part of his vendetta against me.

I also learned that he had a vendetta against me.

I have no idea what I did to upset him. I’m not sure if I will screw with the HOA anymore. I already think I’m so close to breaking them that the only thing stopping them from canceling the contract is the massive financial loss if they do.

I guess a lot depends on how they treat me and my tenants going forward.

I do like the monthly payments, though, so I’m motivated to play nice.

33. Bringing Him Down a Notch


My wife and I moved into a 64-townhome community that was 10 years old at the time.

The HOA board was comprised of five members that were original homeowners when the community started. They had been the sole board members since the community started, and their sense of entitlement was absolutely crazy. They thrived on their quarterly walkthrough of the neighborhood, for one.

They would write up every single home for some kind of fine regardless of how minor the offenses were. EVERYONE gets a letter. Our first letter, the first month living there, was that our garage door paint was starting to peel (it was a 2 cm scrape where the panels met), it needed to be repainted, the siding needed to be power washed (there was a patch of green moss behind a bush) and the sliding door on the deck was dirty (there was dirt on the bottom of the door from recent rain) and it needed to be washed.

We had 30 days to fix the issues or begin accruing a fee of $25 a day until they are resolved. I asked around and everyone gets these ridiculously petty letters every quarter. No matter what you did to maintain your townhome, you were going to get a letter about something.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

As this was going on, none of the major items the neighborhood needed fixed were addressed. After a decade since the construction, the ground had settled unevenly and many homes had standing water issues where it wouldn’t drain after a storm. The rainwater would sit for 5-7 days in people’s lawns. And more importantly, there had been a court fight with the town since the community was started about our road being “Dedicated,” meaning the town was responsible for snow removal.

Our HOA dues included paying for our own snow removal (which we shouldn’t have to) and we were paying an attorney for 10 years to fight this with no resolution in sight.

Fast forward two years and a few of us had enough. We came up with a plan to distort them. We decided to band together to replace the board at the next annual meeting.

The existing board got wind of this and hit us all with pages’ worth of issues with our properties, since if you have outstanding issues, you are not in good standing with the community and thus cannot run for a board position or even vote for those running. But it actually backfired on them.

This petty move brought the community even closer than ever.

We all spent the weekend before the meeting helping each other clean out their HOA honey-do lists. We took pictures and documented everything, then we had the US Mail certify delivery of each packet with the completed list and photos to the HOA board, who lived 75 feet away.

Come board night, oddly enough, the lawyer was there to give an update that no progress has been made with the township on dedicated our road.

He stuck around as we moved to the elections for the next board.

We brought our signed petitions to add our names to the ballot. The board says were not eligible as we all have outstanding issues with our property. We call their bluff with our receipts from the post office that they had indeed received our completed lists with documentation.

They reply that they haven’t reviewed them yet. We tell them that’s not our problem and we are in good standing. Then came the moment of glory. The lawyer overhearing this states we are eligible to be on the ballot if we can confirm the issues with our homes were resolved prior to the meeting. The HOA president glares at the lawyer but the lawyer just shrugs, saying, “the rules are the rules.”

With the exception of the five existing board members voting for themselves and each other, we are voted in nearly unanimously to replace them.

I lead the revolution because I was tired of the petty stuff when there were real problems in the neighborhood. Sadly, the rest of the elected board members vote me as president. I have no idea what I’m doing.

But we spent the next few sessions removing all the dumb violations from most of the neighbors.

We went through the by-laws to really focus on what’s important. What happens next? Ends up that lawyer was a friend of the previous president and was in no hurry to resolve anything as he was enjoying our excessive bill.

I notify him if it’s not resolved in the next six months we were finding new representation. He was actually good at his job when pressed to do it. He won the case, the town appealed however and tried to drag it out even more.

He fast-tracked the appeal as it had been going on for 10 years and we won the appeal too. The town dedicated our road, then the lawyer pressed that it should have been done years ago; turns out it wasn’t him slowing things down but the town.

He ends up getting us a settlement from the judge for backpay on us paying for snow removal that the town was responsible for.

We ended up using that settlement to have French drains installed across much of the community to clear the standing water issues.

With the money left over, we fixed a lot of the neighborhood issues that the HOA should have been doing the whole time. Fences and sidewalks in disrepair, replaced foliage, etc. It was great getting all that done without having to hit our capital reserve fund.

I remained president until we moved a few years ago. Our family began to outgrow the townhome. Now we live in a new larger development…with a new HOA. I was asked to run for a position on it.

I think I gave the best response. I replied, “not a chance…but I will lead a coup d’état if I need to.” Oh, and one other thing: The original HOA president wasn’t actually eligible to be president.

He wasn’t on the mortgage, and the townhome was in his mom’s name. No one knew because he held the books. The best was at the next annual meeting, he shows up with his petition to try and get his position back.

I tell him (in front of the other 60+ homeowners) that he can’t even be at the meeting let alone vote or be on a ballot as his name isn’t on the property.

But his mom is eligible if she wants to.

That was embarrassing enough for the entitled little jerk.

34. Merry Trashmas


My mom lives in a nice, newer home community with a voluntary HOA. My mother being the firecracker she is, she refused to formally join the HOA but agreed to do the things she would do anyway to upkeep her home.

We paint for her, she has a gardener, she washes windows, etc. She never signed any documents, doesn’t pay fees, but told the board she would adhere to the standards that she didn’t find silly.

The volunteer president lives next to my mother and this guy has never liked our family.

Since mom didn’t join, he would knock on her door for “friendly visits” to tell her what rules she was violating. It was all very silly and we continued to ignore him. His biggest pet peeve was her trashcans.

Apparently they stayed out too long after trash pick-up and he said it was an “eye sore” for the rest of the neighborhood.

Now I have to explain a few things about mom. My mom is a double amputee, has a dysfunctional side from a stroke, is wheelchair-bound, and is still about 95% independent.

There are a few things she can’t do, and bringing the trashcans in and out of the side gate is one of them. For that chore, my sister or I come over the night before trash day and put them out, and the following evening to put them back in.

He whined and complained, wrote letters, and called the city about her trash cans. This guy knew my mom is in a wheelchair, but he kept harassing her. It was after a winter storm that the trashcan blew over and sprayed the neighborhood with trash overnight.

It wasn’t just her can by the way, it was several. My sister and I walked the neighborhood and picked up the trash as soon as we could.

Well, the president lost his mind.

And this time, he went too far. He gathered up the other members of the board next trash day and stormed up to her house. He yelled at her through the screen door while the other sycophants nodded their heads.

I happened to be there and was preparing to grab a broom and go after them. But, to my mother’s credit she didn’t yell back, she simply opened the door and rolled her wheelchair down the drive.

And then, my tiny mother struggled to pull the trash can back up the driveway with her one good arm.

It was actually pretty sad, mom hammed it up. She has adapted to her weak side, but you wouldn’t know it from watching her that day. By the time she got the can halfway up the drive, the angry mob was glaring daggers at the president.

I would find out later he never told them she was disabled.

He also painted her as lazy, and most of the meetings were the president complaining about my mom and telling lies about what a nightmare it was living next to her.

After a round of muttered apologies, they scattered like roaches in the light. Once they left, I moved the trashcans in and we had a good laugh. The volunteer HOA ended soon after that.

Apparently, no one wanted to attend meetings that were little more than glorified whine sessions about my mom and other people in the neighborhood.

The president had been harassing other homeowners and telling similar lies about them. He was proven a liar and we almost never see him now. I’d say the neighborhood has gotten better at this point.

This guy turned out to be the cause of all the strife, and without his influence people began to actually talk to each other.

Nowadays people stop by to check on mom during storms and sometimes her trashcans will magically appear in the side-yard on windy days. And mom, in perfect fashion, sent out Christmas cards to all her neighbors.

You may have seen this card in the stores but it has a raccoon on it and says “Merry Trashmas.”

35. Leave My Lawn Alone


I live in an HOA neighborhood, but my house is not in the HOA as my grandfather, the previous homeowner, did not join the HOA when the other neighbors created it. The HOA board constantly come to my house and tell me I need to join and try to manipulate me into joining the HOA, give me documents and all that.

I usually slam the door in their face.

Last time they can for the third time in a week telling me how they can force me to join the HOA. I pulled out my double barrel at that point and told them they had 10 seconds to leave my property.

They left and haven’t come back. However, I heard people say they’re going to press charges. I say give it all you got; they were trespassing, and my state allows this.

36. She’s Trying to Chew Too Much


This happened a few years back. Our HOA has always been known to be sneaky and to flat-out falsely accuse homeowners of the most outrageous stuff.

Most recently a homeowner was told she was supposed to get approval before she started re-shingling her roof. The thing is? Her roof hasn’t been re-shingled in 10 years, and she had no plans to do it.

Things like that.

Call it just a mistake, call it malicious. Well, a few years ago, we had our time to shine. It was a simple morning. I was still temporarily living with my father at the time and we decided to go out to get groceries.

At that point, we found that his pickup truck had been smashed into. Nothing was taken, it was just smashed into. In fact, I still have pictures from that day.

Officers arrive, they do some investigating, and found that a rock inside the truck was from a house down the street.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t get them to admit to doing it, nor could they prove it was even them. The rock I should say was a special kind of rock that no one else in the neighborhood had, some round polished type.

Very unique.

After this incident, I installed a security camera on my dad’s house. Well, not two days later we got an HOA fine for a vehicle eye sore that needs to be removed.

JUST two days later. I’m confused how such a letter could have been written up so fast, but I started to suspect foul play. Then other strange things began happening. One day we were home and had a knock at the door.

The HOA actually called a code inspection officer! The week hadn’t even been over yet, so the parts to fix the truck weren’t delivered yet. We weren’t paying expedited shipping for damages we didn’t cause, and the truck was so old insurance would probably just total it.

The truck is sentimental to him so he wasn’t going to get rid of it. It still ran great!

Code inspection tells my father that vehicles that do not run need to be removed.

Ok, here’s the really weird part. My father and the code inspection guy both stop talking and take a second, and then both almost say at the same time: “Don’t I know you?”

Turns out the code inspection officer went to the same church as my father, and they knew each other!

The officer tells my father if he can show the truck starts, he’s going to write it up as being in code.

My father starts the truck just fine as the engine isn’t damaged. He tells him to go on with his day and to have a good one. At this point, we are furious because we are starting to suspect the HOA may have done this as there’s no way they could have possibly known so fast.

Unfortunately, our turn of the street had no neighbors with security cameras until I installed one on our house, so it caught nothing specific to our incident. Down the street, these people supposedly broke into a car as well but the camera on their house was unable to see anything.

Here’s where the fun begins. Fast forward a couple months after nothing happened, I decided to install a new dash cam in my car.

I found a good one that uses very little power off the battery, and can activate if there are any bumps to the car, even if the car is off.

A few days later we got a notice for our mailbox being crooked. It wasn’t crooked much, but I do remember it recently having an angle. Odd, I could just fix it, but……..my car was aiming STRAIGHT at the mailbox!

I’m thinking, no, this couldn’t possible, it only records if there’s a bump. I take out the memory card, and apparently, I either didn’t configure it correctly, but it was recording the whole time, it never went into sleep mode.

I watched the footage. I couldn’t believe what I saw. The HOA investigator walks up to the mailbox and PUSHES it crooked, then writes down on his tablet his findings and takes a picture for records.

I’m appalled at what I see. BUT NOW I HAVE THE PROOF I NEEDED! Now, for the malicious compliance. They wanted us to come to the board meeting and present what is going on at our address.

We haven’t told them yet that we had the pictures, but to summarize real fast how our HOA works, the board hires an outside company to do the grunt work, let’s call it Bentry Management.

We go to the meeting and sit down. Bentry Management is the one in control of our account, and I swear to you this main woman looked like a Karen, so the name fits for her.

As time goes by in the meeting, we get to discuss what is happening at our house. We present the timelines and tell them about the truck being smashed, and just two days later we get a letter.

We ask what dates the investigator was out for that time. Karen refuses to answer it. She argues ignorantly that we should “Keep better care of our stuff” as if it was our fault. Then comes the mailbox incident.

We tell her that we have reasons to believe that the investigator is the one that is causing damages to our property and is harassing us. Karen denies this and says that is impossible.

She says that she knows him personally.

“Oh? Is that so?” I ask. She says “Yes, why?” I then pull my laptop out of my book bag that I had been hiding, open it up to the video file already loaded, and show it to the entire board.

“Enter exhibit A!” I said out loud and played the video. Karen’s face goes bright red. She says that is not her investigator. Ok then.

I then ALSO pulled out the letter about the mailbox, which was complete with the date.

It matches the time stamp on the video. She still tries to claim it’s not them. “No, it’s a coincidence, I’m sorry but you have a vandal and it’s not us.” It’s not?

Hmm. I let the video play, knowing she’s falling into a pit hard right now. As the man walks towards my car, you can plain as day see “Bentry Management” on his shirt.

She’s no longer red now, she’s white as a ghost.

The board looks over at her and asks what she has to say about this. Karen is silent and has nothing except a few noises, which I assume was her brain trying to comprehend what just happened.

I then proceed to bring up a previous case that I happened to remember before we left for the meeting.

It was where we had a grass fine beside our house. Now, this area they were claiming was actually not visible from the sidewalk due to the house’s shape. I asked point-blank:

“Have, at any time, your investigators walked on our property, trespassing?” I saw this knowing as per their rules, they aren’t allowed to do that. Karen is visibly shaking now.

She mutters out, “No, of course not” with her head down, unable to maintain eye contact with me.

She probably feels that I have more evidence, but unfortunately, I didn’t. So I ask again. She asks, “Why”?” OUR neighbor, who is a lawyer, then stands up, and says, “Actually that’s not true, I have witnessed one of your investigators go between our houses and poke around the trash bins.”

Bingo! I didn’t even realize she had this information; I couldn’t have asked for better timing. Karen at this point just starts arguing with our neighbor about having no proof. The board proceeds to apologize for the incident and says they were going to discuss what is going to happen in the future about this.

At that point, the meeting is over.

A month passes and we get a letter that a new person will be in charge for Bentry Management, and new investigators. She was fired that night! Since she was fired, my father tells me we only get the occasional blip of errors, but they correct it immediately and don’t bother us really anymore.

37. A System Game


When my HOA said that I needed a “water catch basin” under all of my potted plants in front of my townhouse, I noticed that the official rules did not say plant “saucer.” Technically a water catch basin is an industrial water conduit.

So I went out and bought a big ugly water conduit and a big PVC pipe to be attached to it. I then sat my plants on top of that.

It is still there. It takes a majority of members to change the rules so they have to live with their demand.

They then said that the flowers in front of my townhouse needed to be dug up because only the landscaper could plant things there. The previous owner had planted them and I hadn’t any idea where they all were. So I bought a shovel and dug up every single plant and expensive bush in front of my place.

It cost them much more than the $50 fine that they were charging me to fix it. In the past year, they have stopped trying to fine me. Probably because I am too expensive to go after for their little things anymore.

There are lots of malicious compliance solutions you can pick like this. If an HOA requires a grass front lawn, see if you can get written permission to spray it regularly with color so that it won’t turn brown.

You then go and get fluorescent pink.

You simply make it so obnoxious and expensive that they stop trying to impose silly little things. There are a lot of fun things you can do by following rules exactly or getting permission to do things that have unexpected results.

Brainstorm with friends. Have fun. But make sure it stays exactly within the rules.

You can “train them” to look only at meaningful things instead. Especially with you. HOAs can actually be a good thing if they are reminded to stick to what is really important.

More like a utility service than an enforcement authority.

38. Place It


My HOA was doing some useless things like replacing asphalt with bricks, which was loud and took weeks and probably will cost a lot to repair, so they told us we could move our cars to the small plaza next to our homes.

They assured us we had permission. Big mistake. Every car parked there got towed, and they had no choice but to pay roughly $300 for every car towed.

39. Making a Statement


A few weeks ago we got a pitiful little snow that was barely really a frost. Just enough to cause a little trouble on the roads, because any sort of weather causes troubles on the roads here.

But nothing severe. So my husband and I go out, get in our cars, and leave for the work day. A while later (I don’t remember if it was five days or a week), we get an email from the HOA saying we are being fined for something.

They aren’t very specific at first, but they are saying it’s about the snow and our cars. We are very confused. There is not enough snow to shovel. Finally, after a few back-and-forth emails, they simply send us a picture “describing the problem.”

Y’all. Y’all. They were emailing because in this pitifully tiny layer of snow, the imprint our car left was in the shape of some twigs-and-berries, if you get my meaning, and somehow that’s our fault.

I cried laughing, y’all. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of being fined for, and we flat out told them we weren’t paying. Eventually, they realized we were serious about not paying, and since there were no by-laws on the books about something like this, they dropped it.

40. The Unbelievable HOA


A good friend of mine inherited the house of his grandparents. He decided to live there for the time being until he figured out what to do with the place.

He grew up in it, so he did not really want to sell it. Not even a week after he moved in, he got a visit from a neighborhood committee. They said they are the three board members of the HOA and are here so he can sign his membership papers.

They were extremely nosy and rude. For example, one tried to get into the garage without so much as asking. When he stopped him and asked him where he wanted to go, he couldn’t stomach the guy’s answer. The guy had the audacity to say:

“I need to check your garage, to see if everything there is in order. I have a right to do this biweekly, and denying me access is an offense that will cost a fine.”

He then had enough of that and kicked them out of the house.

While doing so, one of the board members shoved some papers into his face and told him he needed to sign these right now. He had lived there a week already, and apparently these papers had to be signed BEFORE moving in.

Once they were gone (he hadn’t signed yet), he took a look at the papers. He hated what he saw.

They were ridiculous and gave the HOA rights that were simply unreal. They had for example a right to visit your home biweekly and check things like that you do not use the garage for storage, don’t have gasoline on containers in your garage, etc.

You had to mow your lawn every week, snow had to be shoveled every two hours when it snowed starting at 5 o’clock in the morning.

You could not park more than one car on your grounds (except inside the garage), and a ton of other stuff.

A few days later they came back and asked him why he did not sign the papers yet. They also wanted to check the garage again. This time he would not even let them in and told them he would never become a member of their stupid club.

They tried to get nasty revenge.

Within a week they had sent him fines north of $1,000 (some of them were for denying them access to his home, each worth $250) My friend simply did not take them seriously, and used their stupid letters to help fire his grill.

Then came the day where they went EXTREMELY TOO FAR. He came back, and one of the board members had broken into his garage.

He was standing in it and was writing things down on his notepad.

But that was not even the heartbreaking part. He had two wonderful oak trees in the front of the house. They had been planted by his great grandparents when they were newlyweds and moved into the house.

The HOA WAS IN THE PROCESS OF TAKING THEM DOWN. They had called a professional crew for this.

One was already so damaged, it was basically just a stump that was left. The other one they had just started with.

He lost it. He told the tree crew to stop right now and explained to them that he was the owner, and what they did was highly illegal. They had no idea, since the board member claimed these trees were breaking the rules, since supposedly too many leaves went into the neighbor’s garden.

He had told them that was no reason to cut them down, but the board member claimed my friend had given the OK.

He looked it up later. They actually had a by-law that if a garden produces more than one 40-liter sack of leaves within two weeks, the garden owner needs to take down the offending trees within two weeks.

Anyway, he told the workers he would overlook them trespassing if they would be witnesses in court for him.

Then he called the authorities on the board members for trespassing and breaking and entering. They actually had used a bolt cutter to get into the garage.

He had it always closed with a big bike lock after they had tried to get in it twice before. The trial was glorious. Not only did they have to repay him for the lock and the tree (which was worth a ton of money, north of $50k if I remember right), plus damages for the second tree, but these idiots had to pay an additional $10-15k in lawyers and court costs.

All in all, this trial must have cost them over $120k. But he wasn’t done yet. Then he went to civil court and sued them for emotional damage. He told them how much these trees meant to him, since his great grandparents had planted them with seeds from the home country (he really laid it on as thick as he could).

Plus, he felt threatened by the HOA and could hardly sleep because he always fears they would try to get into his house.

The court actually bought it and gave him $500k plus the costs for a state-of-the-art alarm system so he can feel safe again in his own home.

So put all together he cost the HOA nearly $750k. They had to file for bankruptcy and get a person to check the books so my friend would get his money. The best came last, though.

The mediator found out that these three jerks had been defrauding the HOA for well over 10 years.

They were giving out as many fines as they possibly could so they could use it to bolster their income.

All three had to sell their houses so they could pay out my friend. Now he is for most people one of their favorite people living there, and he constantly gets invited over for grilling and whatnot.

You see, most people never wanted the HOA in the first place.

The board members practically forced them to sign the contract, claiming it would not be optional, and if they did not sign before moving in, it would be a $500 fine.

Only six of the over 50 members actually wanted this HOA.

41. You’re screwed, Mr. President


To set the stage: I just turned 30. I have a good job, spend my money wisely, save and invest. I grew up dirt poor and had nothing handed to me in life. In my late 20s, the software company I had been at went public and I cashed out and moved back home to Florida.

With nothing to do, I started investing in rental properties with a good friend of mine.

This started about a year ago with the president of an HOA where I purchased two condos. This is a man in his late 60s, and he thinks he is the second coming of Jesus.

From the get-go, he made comments about me being young and buying houses, why my parents weren’t co-signing. Or must be nice to have a trust fund. Both properties had existing tenants.

One still there, one left.

My business model has been to completely remodel every property between tenants to get the maximum rental income. Construction was a nightmare. Literally everything was a problem. Dumpster smelled, contractors leaving at 5:05 pm and being accused of not pulling permits.

I submitted six rental applications, and all got denied.

I was never given a reason but the board was happy to cash my application fees. I got my company’s attorney involved. It took six months and many days in a courtroom but we finally got the books.

I had a family friend go through them—and they came to a disturbing realization.  I’ll save the long story, but many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours later, this idiot and his two other board members were taking from the bank account.

He was writing fake invoices to his own company.

My magician attorney was able to get text logs of them discussing blocking my applications; mainly they wanted me to dump the property so they could buy it. We won a sizable judgment against him personally, and just today he put his house up for sale.

The house he had been living in for 30 years.

To throw salt on the wound, I did put in an offer for 65% of what he is asking though I doubt I’ll get a response. The best part?

We offered to settle for a fraction months ago, we even were willing to include a non-disclosure. The idiot told us to pound sand at every turn. So Mr. HOA president, screw you, I won.

The “stupid trust fund baby” won and you lost!

42. Stepping Up


Ok, so where to begin. I have been in a battle with my HOA for months. This whole mess started when I suspected a board member of receiving kickbacks on jobs. I and a few homeowners set up a sting operation.

A family friend is a licensed contractor and put in a bid for work. The president invited him over and during the conversation, the president bluntly said any job approval requires a 10% overbid deposit if you want the work.

He did record on his phone but because we are in a two-party consent state it couldn’t be used. We have sent numerous requests for financial records and have been stonewalled for months. The owner of the property management company is in on the scam as well.

I and five other concerned homeowners have been stonewalled time and time again.

We finally banded together got a lawyer, but it’s taken some time to get it through to the courts. So three weeks ago I had a major operation affecting my ability to walk.

I am wheelchair-bound temporarily. I submitted a request for an accommodation of a ramp that I would pay for. These are individual houses and it would have zero effect on any other homeowner in the community.

HOA of course denies the request. The reason was outrageous.

Apparently, “homeowner has not proven they are disabled.” A note from the surgeon was sent over. Denied, reason: “HOA called doctor’s office. Doctor does not exist, homeowner is making false claims.”

You can’t make this up right? So I say screw it and put the ramp up. A board member then decides to put brick pavers in front of the ramp with caution tape on it and a note saying “unapproved.”

My lawyer reached out to the board one last time before filing and accidentally got a reply meant for the other board members:

“I’m going to get him. He’s lying and just trying to be a pain in our butt. Let’s just keep denying the requests; we’re the board, and we set the rules and what we say goes.” Judge grants an injunction.

I then sort of forgot about the whole thing.

The board has been leaving me alone…until today. Two board members came banging on my door telling me they are going to kill me (thanks Ring for recording it all).

Yelling how they will make me permanently crippled. It turns out the community’s insurance company refused to pay the court bills. They were also not indemnified because it was done with malice.

The two board members are on the hook for almost $9,000 in fees plus $35k in punitive damages.

43. More Of A Drinking Club


I have a story from my aunt.

My aunt lives in a gated community in the Pacific Northwest. She’s at a higher altitude so she gets a bit of snow. She is a nice lady, very active and always helps other people.

Her HOA is a drinking club as she describes them. They have a whole bunch of rules, some totally ridiculous, heavily enforced, and always changing.

Usually, when rules are changed they get posted on some online community bulletin board from the days of dial-up.

Also, they like to fine and shame people. My aunt never attended meetings because she has “no time for drinking.” As per usual with a lot of by-laws, you have to clear the sidewalk in front of your house of snow and ice.

My aunt, being the woman she is and living in a 55+ community, always shovels her walk and salts it for ice.

A couple years ago, there was a heavier than usual snowfall, maybe over 20 inches in the higher elevations with some warm days, then freezing temperatures for a few days after.

So first snowfall she gets up early and shovels her sidewalk and her walk and sprinkles down some salt. It snows a few inches more, so in the later afternoon, she shovels the walk again and decides to salt again.

She literally said she tossed a few handfuls of salt and the neighbor across the street comes running out demanding she stops salting. It seems that a “No Salt” rule was added to their book of great HOA rules (reasoning is that salt crystals are unsightly) and posted on the unusable online bulletin board from 1999. Which at this point had been replaced by an “under maintenance” error page for the past few months, by the way.

So there was no way the HOA rule changes could be relayed to the commoners.

Well, my aunt apologizes anyway. The consequences were ridiculous. She gets a warning for the first time she salted and a second for the handful of salt she applied in the second salting, and then gets another warning for not properly clearing the sidewalk.

My aunt left maybe a strip of about two to three inches for about two feet on the edge of her sidewalk.

Not a big deal, she made an excellent effort, but the HOA neighbor didn’t think so. She also had to clean up all the rock salt with a broom.

My aunt ended up getting the new HOA rules in writing from the HOA neighbor, which she read over. She then realized they only stated salt in the sidewalk snow shoveling rule, but nothing about blue salt-free ice melt.

Also, it was stated that the sidewalk should stay free of ice at all times.

She read a bit deeper to learn that street and sidewalk cleaning is covered by the HOA twice a year or as needed.

Instead of risking the HOA’s wrath and fines and some public shaming, especially because now it’s near impossible to prevent the sidewalk from freezing up, she decides she will challenge the HOA and will use the blue non-salt ice melt to keep her sidewalk ice-free.

The next day after an overnight snowfall, she heads to the local hardware store to buy some blue non-salt ice melt, strikes up a conversation with the shop owner about her issue, and he recommends these blue ice melting pellets.

He then throws in a bag of clay kitty litter on the house so she can “stick it to them idiots.” That afternoon the temperature rises just above freezing.

There is a heavy wet snowfall of a few inches which hits the ground wet, melts, and refreezes when temperatures go below freezing at nighttime.

So instead of risking having a skating rink for a sidewalk, she clears the wet snow and then dumps a bunch of these blue ice melting pellets and a whole bunch of kitty litter. Overnight it freezes, and the next day she has the most ice-free sidewalk in all of the neighborhood.

It is, however, covered in ice melt pellets. Well, her use of kitty litter and blue ice melt pellets don’t go unnoticed by her HOA neighbor. That afternoon she is fined by the HOA officer in charge of fines for breaking the rules.

She sees nothing wrong: the road is salted and sanded and looks like a mess, so her sidewalk doesn’t look too bad all blue and grey speckled and ice-free.

She then gets a notice to clean up the “salt,” which she ignores because it’s not salt. Then that day it rained, then froze, and continued to rain, then snow—causing everything to be covered in ice and snow the next morning. It was a disaster.

My aunt cleared the snow from her sidewalk and applied more blue pellets and kitty litter, which wasn’t a huge task because luckily she already had applied so much that there was already no ice on her sidewalk or snow.

Everyone else in the neighborhood, meanwhile, had to chip the under layer of ice after they risked a horrific fall while clearing the top layer of snow.

She then was fined again, while neighbors had to actually walk in the messy street in some parts because sidewalks some spots were unwalkable. Warnings and fines were given to other unsuspecting neighbors who couldn’t attend the HOA meetings and had mistakenly used salt or had not chipped and cleared all the sidewalk ice in an acceptable amount of time.

The next few days were blue skies and below freezing with ice everywhere. The sidewalks had been chipped but iced up over time with a thin layer of slick ice called black ice. People were falling and my aunt now had a couple rogue neighbors using all types of non-salt ice melt.

One guy made a solution of brine and molasses that he sprayed on and got great results.

Others used sand, brine, non-salt ice melters, anything they could. The HOA’s drinking probably increased as one officer fell on a patch of black ice out front of his home, breaking his elbow. This happened while he was returning from delivering fines, warnings, and general nastiness.

Eventually, the weather returned to above-freezing levels and rain.

This washed away all the various ice-melting substances. The rogue neighbors then gathered at my aunt’s house, enjoying tea and snacks. Amongst them was the man who used brine and molasses, who happened to have a license to practice law.

He was retired—but now he had a mission. He had nothing else better to do than to “ruin the useless HOA at the next meeting.”

He then invited himself to the next meeting with a file folder of all the fines and warnings with a statement of dispute for each one.

He also brought his tablet to prove the online bulletin board wasn’t working, which helped the case that the HOA wasn’t providing proper means of communication to the residents. This meant the residents could sign a petition to fire the standing HOA members and appoint an interim HOA until the election.

My aunt was appointed treasurer, the retired lawyer became president. He then went after the previous HOA for funds spent on drinking…and they lived happily ever after.

44. No Thanks


Last month my wife and I (newly married) moved into a community that had no HOA listed. We are both the DIY types and take care of our own property.

Part of the reason we picked our house is it had a large corner backyard with RV parking on the side, plus a fair amount of workspace. The community was also in great condition considering no HOA was involved.

One week in, we started redoing the kitchen cabinets. They were from the 70s and we wanted more hardwood instead of the cheap wood that was installed. I’d say the saw was on for five minutes when one of the neighbors came up to say it’s against HOA rules to do DIY improvements on my home…I obviously wondered what he was talking about.

I had made absolutely sure there was no HOA before signing and moving in. He replied that they have a community HOA and that it would be in our best interest to join. I obviously said NO and went back to my day.

An hour later, the guy is back with a woman in business attire to hand me “THE RULES” and to have me sign the acknowledgment/entry papers.

Also to retain my $289/month fee. Once again, I explained I’m not interested nor do I care about their club.

I see no reason to abide by their rules. I simply stated that I will keep my property maintained and that’s all they need to know. She gave me a few choice words and left.

I thought all was done, but I was so wrong.  Today I received a fine for a leaky sprinkler.

It leaks for all of five minutes past the timer…at 4 am…which means one of these prunes has been watching my house at 4 AM!

! I’m up at all hours of the day for work so I was able to check. I know this is just the beginning. The HOA has not registered, at least from what I can find.

The board members’ names and signatures are listed in the back of the Rules Book.

I’ve already started the paper trail just in case it gets worse.

45. High Expense, Low Return


In the time I’ve been working on this housing development as a construction worker, the HOA was constantly driving up costs and causing delays. Still, they kept stringing us along—until one day, after many meetings between my bosses and their representative, we straight-up lost the contract. I’m not going to lie, it hurt eating hours of hard work to get cut off the building, all because someone changed their minds.

46. Best Piece Of Advice


Here’s the best piece of advice when dealing with an HOA.

If they ever start giving you trouble, just threaten to put up a radio tower in your backyard. Like, let’s say you just got a trampoline for your kids to enjoy and your HOA tells you that you have to take it down.

Send them a letter back saying “Okay, but with all of the extra room I’ll have in my yard, I’m planning to install a 40-foot HAM radio tower.”

Due to the HAM Radio Parity Act, as well as the Local Community Radio Act, both issued by the FCC, it is entirely within your rights to install infrastructure on property that aids in the use of private and public radio communications.

The FCC’s jurisdictions take precedence over local and community policy, and a fine of up to $300,000 can be charged towards any entity that attempts to impede on the right to install the tower.

Then end with, “If there are any input or concerns you have on my decision, please don’t hesitate to contact me.” This is basically the easiest way to tell your HOA to screw off and leave you alone.

The best part is that if they try to call your bluff, you can apply with the FCC to get the construction of a HAM radio tower subsidized. They have absolutely no power or authority to stop you, so they’ll let just about anything slide if it means their property values don’t plummet as a result.

47. House Pet


Back in the 90s, my wife and I bought a new home that was part of an HOA. We made sure to read the HOA rules in advance, and thought we understood them. We kept a snake as a pet and wanted to be sure that there were no issues.

The only pet restrictions stated were no livestock. Since we didn’t intend on owning chickens, cows, pigs, or other farm animals, we thought we were safe.

Soon enough, we found out we were so wrong. After living in the home for a few years, we expanded our animals to include additional snakes and assorted reptiles.

Since they all were in locked cages, the neighbors never really knew about them. Eventually, the HOA board found out and sent us a letter demanding we get rid of them. Very stupid idea.

This is because this was in an area of north Phoenix, AZ, and wild snakes, lizards and other reptiles abounded.

The people of the area were far more likely to run into a rattlesnake on their own front porches than to ever even see our ball python or bearded dragon. Still, the HOA board members viewed our reptiles as livestock, because they were a bunch of idiots.

Yee haw, let’s round up them corn snakes and herd them along! Bottom line, we were facing a big fight with them, one we couldn’t financially afford. Not ready to back down and lose our pets, we decided to reread the HOA paperwork again.

That’s when we came up with a genius revenge. We discovered that, as HOA members, we were entitled to all financial records of the HOA.

So we sent them a registered letter requesting ALL financial records.

All of a sudden, the board backed down and let us keep our livestock AKA reptiles. We never saw a single financial record, but we took the win. Not too long after, we moved out of that house and into another that didn’t have an HOA. We will never, ever buy a home that is part of an HOA again.

48. Helpful Neighborhood Tips


Apparently, one of the members of our board, who into 10 years of living here and we’ve NEVER met, thought it was appropriate to stop by while prospective buyers were here. They wanted to let the realtor facilitating the open house know that our house was priced too low and that we needed to raise the price immediately.

Oh, but she was just ramping up.

She then proceeded to be rude to a group of prospective buyers and to point out that we live very close to a major roadway. She then apparently treated them as if they would be idiots to think that you couldn’t hear any road noise (you can’t, but that is beside the point).

I have her picture from my video doorbell. I am going to another board member’s house with it to find out who she is and where she lives.

I am then going to knock on her door and calmly tell her that if she ever sets foot in my house again, she will be trespassing and I will call the authorities.

Can you imagine being so entitled that you feel like it’s acceptable to interfere with someone trying to make the best home buying/selling decision for their family?! I am LIVID at this woman.

49. What Matters Is What Is Inside


I hate this woman in my neighborhood. I have thrown her off my property twice over the eight years I’ve lived here and she has fined me twice for “visible trash cans from the street” because she could see them through the 1 mm gaps in my fence. I had to build my trash cans a shelter to finally appease her ridiculous interpretation of the HOA rules.

So it’s Sunday night and I put my trash cans out on the street. I have to do this after 6 pm because I don’t want to get fined, which I don’t think was an issue. We have two trash cans, one for normal garbage and one for specific recycling items.

About 30 minutes after I put them down, I noticed a white SUV stopped in front of my house in the middle of the street.

By the time I went outside, I watched her get back in her vehicle and drive down to the next home that already had trash cans on the street.

I watched her get out of her vehicle, take a picture of the bins in front of this house, open the recycling can, and snap another picture of its contents. She got back in her SUV and drove away.

She definitely did the same thing at my house because she left my recycling bin and the other recycling bin open.

As far as I know, she has no authority to enforce the contents of a recycling bin as that is a city issue.

But I guess we’ll see.

50. Beating The Enemy


This story was shared with me years ago by a late family friend. He was an avid ham radio operator and had numerous antennas scattered around both his front and back yards. His subdivision was an older construction and did not have an HOA, so there were no issues with this.

However, his lot backed up to another subdivision that was newer and did have an HOA.

You can probably see where this is going…One day he gets a knock on his door from one of these Karen types.

She had just bought the house behind him, and needless to say, she was not a fan of all his antennas. She starts rattling off all these supposed HOA rules he’s violating along with the typical “They’re a safety hazard, eye sore, lowering my property value, hurting my feelings, etc” arguments.

He tried to politely explain that his house was in a different subdivision and was not part of their HOA, but she was having none of it. After a few weeks and a few more interactions that went just like the first one, he got a threatening form letter in the mail from the HOA’s lawyer. But they didn’t know one crucial thing. Coincidentally, his lawyer was a partner in that same firm.

One phone call got that line of communication shut down instantly. With that defeat, Karen finally gave up and he was able to go back to living in peace. Karen moved about a year later.