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Most of us can agree that we wouldn't want to live where someone else makes the rules and micromanages our lives.

HOA's are supposed to be there to improve everyone's living conditions - and the properly run ones can do just that. Unfortunately, HOA's have become a sort of stomping ground for Big Karen Energy.


One Reddit user asked:

Current and former residents of an HOA, what's your "I'll never live in an HOA again" story?

The intention may have been for homeowners to vent, but it turns out HOAs have managed to terrorize, annoy, harass and otherwise mess with plenty of folks who don't even live in them! So here are stories from homeowners, neighbors, employees, emergency service workers ... you get the point. There's lots of beef to be had.

They Won't Back Down

I'm being charged $400 because of a violation for a bush overhanging my walkway.

I don't have a walkway. Or a bush. The picture isn't even my house. They won't back down. I've had a lawyer on retainer for a year for other life issues. He says it'd be easy but it's not his area.

I told the HOA it wasn't my house, the complaint reappeared on my tenant portal. Then I got a second violation for the same bush.

I filed it as fixed with pictures and they came back saying that they accidentally put the wrong picture but that my bush is overgrown on my walkway. I'm currently waiting for them to respond to me pointing out that I don't have a damn bush or walkway. They're so dense and stubborn.

I also paid a fee for trash cans outside on the wrong day when the company dropped them off. Before I moved in. I want to move.

- jay_mee_d

A Delightfully Boisterous Couple From Philly

Laughing Out Loud GIF by memecandy Giphy

We got a letter because one Saturday my mom had a wheelbarrow full of mulch on the driveway. While she was planting flowers.

We also got the police called the weekend we moved in because there were "too many cars in front of the house". Mostly because we were still unloading the moving truck.

I took great pleasure in the fact that when we did move my mom sold the house to a loud and delightfully boisterous couple from Philly. We loved these people. We were certain the neighbors would not.

- Dispatcher12

We're Not Even In The HOA

My old house's backyard bordered an HOA community. Our house was built 30 years before the community was built so we weren't part of it. We used to get notices about violations and fines if we didn't correct them. Never did correct them . They finally sent legal papers to repossess our house. Went to court with a tax map that showed our property NOT part of the HOA community. Judge dismissed their suit against us and found them guilty of harassment. We didn't get awarded much, but I made sure to break every rule of theirs I could untill we moved

- Uncle_Lazlo

"Do You Know Who I Am?" 

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

The HOA president actually says "Do you know who I am?"

Then he proceeded to call her boss. She didn't lose her job, but she didn't go back the next year.

- TPhoard

I'm a lifeguard; I have no issues believing this. Hell hath no fury like someone told pool equipment is not available.

- siel04

Transmission Problems

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

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

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

- cantuseasingleone

Measuring Curbs And The Emu Upgrade

Run Away Lets Go GIF by Brookfield Zoo Giphy

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

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

- WombatWithFedora

Fines for parking too far from curb or emus in front yard? Not a tough choice.

- Stratiform

"Lost" Paperwork

HOA "lost" paperwork for change of ownership when we bought our house. They sent us letters saying there would be a lien placed on our home if we didn't pay the overdue amounts - plus over $200 of late fees.

I had to call them 3 times to even get someone on the phone who knew how to help me. Then I contacted escrow who said they had already not only sent all the paperwork, but turns out we had already paid the fees.

Called HOA again and they were insistent that we hadn't paid or sent over paperwork. Called escrow again and requested they contact the HOA themselves to sort this out.

HOA still insisted we owed a late fee. Started losing my sh*t until escrow said they would pay the late fee.

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

- sneakypandas

HOA Hazing

Moved to Florida where every neighborhood is an HOA. Upon moving in I felt like I had joined a sorority or fraternity and I had to endure the hazing from the HOA.

The final straw was when they sent me a letter that my white mailbox was dirty. So I decided to walk down one street and took pics of mailboxes with no doors and mailboxes that were covered in mildew and I emailed them all to the HOA. I told them to not send me any more notices until these mailboxes were up to code.

I haven't received another notice in a year. I guess I passed my initiation...

- littleblue0111

My HOA bullied me like this. I gave up and moved out. Paying $800 monthly was not worth the BS.

- PsychNurse6685

Every Little Thing

No huge issues, just up-to-the-minute griping about every little thing.

We were in the middle of moving in and got a nastygram about some boxes on the side of the house, waiting to go out with recycle.

Got another one about our lawn right after it was scalped and winter grass planted. They apparently didn't approve of nature's time frame on growing grass.

Moved back to the old neighborhood; no HOA, and city code takes care of 90% of the BS (weeds, general eyesores/nuisances, etc.)

No HOA ever again. I have no plans of putting a weight bench in my front yard but dammit, I want the option.

- DeadliftsNRiffs

This is a really important point, the solution to annoyances in your neighborhood should be local government, not setting up a barely accountable micro-fiefdom.

If you can't even persuade the members of your own community then it should be a huge red flag that maybe your insistence that grass over 3" should be illegal is more of a you problem that should just stay a you problem.

- kiyasu

Emergency Services

My grandparents lived in a old folks community with a zealous hoa. My grandmother had to go to the hospital, cause of her many health problems. Whenever that happened, my grandfather would go with her.

It happened once when I was visiting.

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

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

- CaptainPeachfuzz


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

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

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

- pokemon-gangbang

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