Homeowner Associations, at their core, should be a good thing. Nothing like an organized group of neighbors maintaining a close eye on each other to help keep your home values up. Without a doubt, no salacious or gossipy actions could derive from that, right? Surely, this type of all-encompassing control would never go to someone's head...right?
Reddit user, u/jepensedoucjsuis, wanted to hear about your HOA horror stories when they asked:
Homeowners of reddit. What are the most insane HOA rules you have had to deal with?
You Need To ASK FIRST!
My parents' HOA has a rule that you are NOT allowed to cut down trees without a "permit" from them, at ANY time, for ANY reason. The first winter they lived there, there was an ice storm and a tree fell onto the neighbor's deck, taking out his entire deck and the sliding glass door that went from his kitchen to his deck.
My dad went over with his chainsaw to help him cut down the tree that was now in his kitchen, and, MID-STORM, someone from the association heard the chainsaw and came over asking if they had a permit, to cut apart the tree in my neighbor's kitchen. IIRC, he told them to get bent and they tried to give him a $1,000 fine for "cutting down a tree without a permit."
I Pledge Allegiance...To Slippy Toad
We can only have 3 types of flags on a flag pole (that has to be approved) out front. An American flag, a military flag, or a South Carolina flag.
One of our neighbors were warned a couple times until they took their cutesy frog flag down.
Going Against The Grain
I used to live in a HOA. One of the members on the board lived across the street from my neighbor and I. He sent a letter to us saying that we all have to mow the lawn on the same day, at the same cut height, and in the SAME PATTERN to create uniformity in the neighborhood. My neighbor and I intentionally cut on different days and in opposite patterns just to annoy the guy.
"Classic" Is Just Another Word For "Old"
I had an HOA try to enforce that I had much to old of a car to be in the driveway. Mind you, no rust, always clean, never dusty/dirty.
Went to court and the judge ordered a full audit of the HOA. It was not enforceable at all, they paid my legal fees and last I knew they have yet to police anything
I was once "warned" about storing my trash in view of the street. I thought to myself, "That's funny, I'm pretty on top of the trash", so I checked the date of the infraction.
Sure enough, it was trash day.
They were upset at me about putting my trash out on trash day.
They Control The Horizontal And The Vertical
In order to sell or rent in my HOA, you must provide HOA docs to the new owner or tenant.
They must be bought from the HOA, otherwise the sale / rental is not legal. $200 for a three-ring binder with 150 pages of poorly photocopied documents.
The first page: These documents have not been updated since July 2002. Please see the HOA website for updated documents.
My friends HOA fined him because the flag pole that was already up in his front yard when he purchased the house, was too tall.
He countered by flying a pirate flag on that flag pole.
They are even less happy with the flag pole now.
Forced Payment For A Forced Change
My Townhome neighborhood has an HOA that covers the exterior of our homes (since they all share the same exterior, being connected and whatnot). My front door has developed a rotting spot on the edge, so I sent a claim in for the HOA to replace it.
They said the front door does not fall within their definition of the exterior of the home. That's fine, whatever, I'll just buy a new one.
But wait! I have to fill out an EXTERIOR CHANGE REQUEST to get a new front door. The door they said doesn't count as exterior needs an EXTERIOR change request sent to approve any external changes made. They want to control what my door looks like, but I have to pay for it
How Dare You Think You Can Play On An Open Field?!
I lived in a fairly large 'family friendly' townhouse community. There was a community baseball field, at least it was set up like a baseball field with the fences and backstop, but essentially it was just a giant field, further down was a playground and fenced in tennis court. It was meant to be used there were dozens of kids playing baseball, football, soccer, or whatever on it all the time.
For really no reason they decided to shut it down. Overnight they put up signs to not use it and keep out. If your kids dared to even walk across it police would be called in minutes. We were playing tennis on the courts one day and police were called, the next day it was locked up with a chain and combination lock.
We called the hoa and were told we would have to give them proof we actually played tennis to be given the combination. My parents and a lot of other parents got in long arguments on the phone and at the hoa meetings about why they made these ridiculous new rules, they were essentially told 'because we can.' It became a war in the community against the old ladies that ran the hoa and the younger families with kids.
Names Have Power
Um. Does, "you must address us as 'Boardmember NAME' or you'll be fined," count?
That is neat. I would have addressed them in many ways. None of which would have been suitable for broadcast...
We were renters but the HOA sent us a letter one time about us having too many cars in our driveway.
Legit, IN our driveway, not even on the street or curb or anything. We had like 4 or 5 cars the week we moved in because we moved long distance and had friends and family come down to help.
Toy Cars = Real Cars
My niece when she was a toddler had a toy car that you can get inside & drive around using your feet. It was sitting in the back yard for a good 6 months when we were given a compliance notice about it being unauthorized on the property and must be removed.
I was using my dads truck for a side job once a week, and one week it was cancelled. It was sitting in our driveway 'too long' and had a police officer knock on the door telling me I have to move it.
Each house has a small tree planted out front (was a new neighborhood). Ours was broken into two due to strong winds one day which the HOA replaced for free. It proceeded to snap in half THREE MORE TIMES, but the HOA only covered the first one so we had to pay for it.
Have a few others but HOAs are garbage, although it didn't help we were next door to the VP (which was a total d-ckhead). Why buy a house and have someone else tell you how to live in it?
Pool Duty Is Serious Business
I had a friend in college whose parents bought a house in a gated community, then they moved back to China and left the house for him to live in. He had 6 friends over (maximum amount of guests allowed) one day. We hung out in the house for a bit, and went into the pool while nobody else was in it. Pool max was 6 people, so when a couple came to sit by the pool (didn't bring towels), they kicked the whole group out because we were one person over the limit (even though we were being respectful).
This caused enough of a community outrage that another neighbour came over at 10:00 pm (the weekend noise curfew was 11:00) and told us we couldn't be up talking all night (we were at a respectful noise level).
I guess the host had already gotten in trouble because he previously rented a room out to a classmate, not realizing the rules, and the whole community was watching like every step of his ever since.
Cameras In The Oven, Maybe?
Live in an HOA where you aren't allowed to do dishes or laundry after 9pm
Like... how the f-ck is that enforceable?
Don't You Tell Me How To Use My Bubbles!
Can't wash your car with too many bubbles. My dad's friend lived in a strata (same thing as an HOA) and had a guy come by saying that he was using too much of the wrong soap. He sprayed him with his hose and the guy never came back until his wife was home alone.
Then he proceeded to harrass the wife about having windowboxes full of flowers to help the bees, and the wrong shade of white ("two shades off") for her curtains. He moved about half a year later.
That's Right. Blame The Kids.
My house flooded 2 months after I bought it. HOA got involved and blamed my kids putting toys down the toilet (they are too old for that). I spoke to neighbors, found out 5 houses in a row had flooded.
We all got together and demanded an investigation by an independent plumber. Long story short, our HOA owns the sewage and water lines under all the houses that connect to city water. They had not been repaired for years or flushed out, and were made of a material that eroded underground, it backflowed raw sewage into the 5 houses affected and flooded the grassy areas with sewage also
All my neighbors are senior citizens. The HOA admitted responsibility and held an emergency meeting to repair damage. My house was done last and I agreed with that because the other ladies are 70+ and wheelchair bound or disabled, I'm under 40.
By time my house was done, the sewage had been wiped up from tile floor and treated with fungal chemicals, but mold was growing in master shower and carpet was destroyed. They had to replace brand new carpet in bedrooms, drywall, paint new drywall a color I chose, and re-tile my whole shower. When old shower tile was torn out, plumbing wasn't to code, so that was done too. They spent about $15k on my house alone. I also told the HOA never to accuse my kids again
They Have That Kind Of Power?
In my city they enforce "dark sky" compliance.
My neighbor upgraded his exterior lights from ones that point down to ones that point up and he received a threat from the HOA that they could put a lien on his mortgage if he did not change them back.
Here's A List For Ya'
- any change to front or back yard has to be submitted on an application with $25 fee for small changes, and $50 fee for large changes. fee doesn't guarantee your application will be approved.
- house can only be painted from list of 7 paint colors from specific brand that isn't available at normal hardware stores.
- you forget to submit application before doing any landscaping? spend the next several months having to leave work early to go to HOA meetings to essentially beg the board to give you permission to do something all your neighbors already have.
- threatened with a fine for having a section of the house (on the SIDE) unpainted after having windows replaced because HOA doesn't understand that painters have waiting lists.
- threatened with a fine for having a dumpster on the lawn despite this never actually happening.
- threatened with a fine for having a thin tree branch sticking out over the sidewalk (my mom's power move after this one was to have the tree cut down the next day, then immediately call the HOA to tell them it was no longer a problem; they were smart enough to let that one go).
- get told by a board member that none of the plants on your landscaping plan for the backyard are "on the approved plant list" and start to feel like you're in hell until someone in the audience at the meeting points out that there is no "approved plant list", only a "suggested plant list"
- not a rule but related: get woken up at 1 am by the 19 year-old armed security guard that patrols the neighborhood (aka the stupidest waste of HOA fees they've conceived of yet) to inform you that he's "doing you a favor" because your car is parked on the side of the road and he's gonna have to give you a citation and he "knows how hard the sticky stuff is to get off" so he thought he'd just wake everyone up to let you know instead of sticking it on the car. then call his supervisor to complain, know she's about to ream his a--, then lie awake afraid that the guy with a gun who knows where you live and who exactly it was that just got him in trouble is going to come back very, very angry.
They had someone go around and check if the dogs are leashed, if not the they call animal control to have them taken away.
HOA has called animal control on people who have their dogs leashed, their reason?
The length of the leash was either too long or too short.
They tried to take away one guy's dogs for that reason and that sparked a war between the HOA head and the homeowner who was a former Marine (I think) and all around madman.
HOA head did not stand a chance against a retired crazy person who had a lot of time and money.
Crazy guy built a pool and let everyone used it for free, making the $20/month pool the HOA set up useless. Crazy guy also held a giant all inclusive party that had menus for everyone and any police that came to check on it left with to go bags. He also had a Halloween party, as the HOA did not allow trick or treating.
Crazy guy was well loved and the head was ousted from the HOA after she tried to break into crazy guy's house.
The ban on trick or treating has been there way before the former head took charge, the neighborhood had only white people living in it until the 90s and it became diverse after that. I guess the ban was put so the people that had it put didn't want to be disturbed, and it was enforced, their reasoning was that it was to protect everyone. Bullsh-t.
Crazy guy was seen as crazy by these HOA cultists because he didn't follow their rules and more often than not he was the most well liked guy in the neighborhood.
The former head was the trophy wife of this big shot doctor and her father owned most of the land in the neighborhood. She wasn't crazy, just power tripping and stupid.
The crazy guy never ran for HOA, but he did start a restaurant, sponsor a drag competition, and possibly took up karate.
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.