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People Share Their Wildest Homeowner's Association Horror Stories

People Share Their Wildest Homeowner's Association Horror Stories
Photo by Avi Waxman on Unsplash

HOAs look good on paper, but they come with rules and unspecified cult like ownership.

They never seem to explain the depth of their involvement in your life in the paperwork.

But once you let your grass grow one centimeter too high... then the letters and lawsuits start piling up.

This is why people will pay anything to live free!


RedditorGlam_SpaceTimewanted to hear about the times the HOA has driven everyone crazy.

They asked:

I have been able to avoid HOAs for awhile... but for how long?

Trashed

Oscar The Grouch 10000 Post GIFGiphy

"HOA sued us for leaving out garbage bin out a day past garbage day… a total of five times in the three years we’ve lived here."

boardcertified*itch

"I live in a neighborhood with no HOA and do you know what my neighbors do if I happen to leave out my empty trash bins? They have the audacity to pull them in for me and I have to thank them next time I see them."

emailaddressforemail

Additions

"They wouldn’t let me add an acre of land onto my property. My neighbor owned 100 acres of land and was letting me buy an acre from him to add onto the 4 acres of land I already had. Since you can not build anything on 1 acre the HOA was refusing the purchase. However, when some lawyer said it was ok they let me buy the acre. I think they just wanted to waste our time."

TheCactusClub

Secrets

"HOA attempted to hold a 'secret' community meeting, where they'd vote on turning the large field and walking path everyone used for recreation into an RV park. It was 'secret' because they basically told no one and put up the required notice in a place where no one would see. As you can probably guess, most of the board owned RVs. Thankfully a few neighbors took notice and started knocking on doors. A crowd showed up and the proposal was starkly shot down. Freaking dirtbags."

CloudsOntheBrain

Enforcement

"HOA tried to enforce a rule that many houses in the community didn't comply with. I did some checking and it turns out that (at least in our state) if an HOA doesn't enforce a rule on everyone, then they can't enforce the time on anyone."

mypoliticalvoice

"Well that is kind of the point of a rule. If it's just used to abuse people the board don't like, it shouldn't be enforceable at all."

Painting_Agency

Useless

Angry Ariana Grande GIF by NETFLIXGiphy

"One of my coworkers got a warning from his HOA saying that he had too many boxes inside his garage. They claimed that he couldn't use his garage for storage."

BirdSh*tPie

Who makes up these rules? Why are they evil?

No Good

Angry Tyra Banks GIFGiphy

"We built a new fence around our property and told us to take it down since the other fences looked old. We built a walkway from the door to the driveway, they told us to take it out."

OkraFit3987

Let's Throwdown

"The condo association wanted to renovate the pool and pitched the cost they were moving forward with. There were a lot of developers in the building and they noticed that it was about 4 times the cost it should have been. Association says tough cookies, things get fun. People writing notices of what's going on with the association, the association writing emails about it, lots of sniping back and forth."

"Then one day I'm in the lobby waiting for someone to show up and the head of the association and one of the people calling them out ran into each other and they had to immediately get separated by security because they were about to start throwing punches."

thugloofio

A Feet Away

"HOA of my neighborhood tried to tell me that my house needed to be added onto, because houses need to be at least 1800 sq ft in the neighborhood. My house is 1750 sq ft. HOA was started in 2004. My house was built in 1989. My family took the HOA to court, to make a long story short, HOA had to back down, cuz their rules didn’t exist until AFTER the house was built. So, the HOA rules do not apply to my house."

AmaranthRosenrot

Wake Up!

"I slipped in my driveway and fell and broke my femur near my hip and couldn't get up. I was laying in my driveway calling for help for about 30 minutes and I could hear people walking past but nobody stopped for quite a while. I eventually asked someone to call an ambulance as my phone was in my car out of reach and got taken care of."

"Spent a few days in the hospital and when I got home I had a letter from my HOA saying I was in violation for sleeping in my driveway in the middle of the day. So the people who walked by and definitely heard me call for help and didn't stop were from the HOA or reported me to them."

Zonerdrone

The Punishers

"Everyone had to drag their trash bins down a hill to a curb where the garbage truck would pick it up. People would be slow to get their bins back after pick up. So the HOA went a dragged all the bins to the other side of the neighborhood and threw them in a pile in a random patch of public grass. So we pay these people to be childishly petty and antagonize us? And their 'punishment' only created more of an eyesore than bins uniformly lined up on a curb."

FireteamAccount

Age Old Wood

luther rage GIFGiphy

"A gorgeous vintage wooden sled that has been in our family for at least 100 years was laid out one winter by my family. We received a letter informing us that since firewood is not allowed in front yards, we had to remove the pile from our yard."

Loose-Possession-68

Pay Up...

"My wife and I bought our condo almost 6 years ago and the guy we bought it from had owned it for less than a year. When we closed he said he had never got a key to the neighborhood pool when he bought the place from the previous owner but he was old so didn’t care and was never gonna use it. We said no big deal, we will just ask for a new one."

"Well the HoA wants us to pay $300 for a 'new' key because we had 'lost' our old one and it’s some fraud prevention measure to stop people from selling their pool keys or something. We had told them immediately after moving in we never got a key and after 6 years they refuse to get us a new one."

"We just pick the lock and go anyway but if it was an issue I’d be furious at the ridiculousness of making us pay into the HOA to maintain this pool when we never got access to it even though it wasn’t our fault and probably not even the fault of the guy before us."

Manly_Mangos

History

"We live in a historic district so the HOA is super strict about the exterior of our homes. Our patio door was warped so we spent forever trying to find the exact same style/color antique door to replace it. As soon as we did they got pissed we didn’t get it approved first. The only way you would even know we swapped it was if you were watching it happen."

ttrimmers

Shades

"Drones were used to make sure no one was growing vegetables in their backyards. No parking along the street in front of your house. Garbage cans had to be brought in within 15 minutes of pickup, though that was a different time each week. My neighbor was sued (and lost) after replacing their old windows. The new frames were the 'wrong shade of eggshell cream.'"

EhlersDanlosSucks

Downhill

"When I was married, we bought a house in a new construction neighborhood. When buying the home, we were informed that the developer would have full control of the HOA including funds until the neighborhood was done being built, at which time the homeowners would take control. We thought it wasn't that big of a deal, just be patient for a year or so."

"Well the developer keeps buying acreage adjoining the neighborhood to expand it. Six years later the neighborhood is still expanding with the developer in charge of the HOA. Potholed streets, weeds and overgrowth, a dilapidated pool, etc, not to mention the probable misuse (stealing) of funds."

startinearly

$125

"At the start of Covid, our 8 home HOA treasurer just… stopped collecting dues. No invoices, no reminders, nothing. It’s a three year term that’s almost up, so there’s no telling what’s going to happen when/if they change treasurers. Nobody seems to mind, or even really talk about it. Everyone just seems to enjoy the extra $125 a quarter in their bank account, and there’s plenty in the HOA account to cover the expenses and insurance for years to come. It’s me. I’m the treasurer."

HydroRyan

Visitors

"Visited a friend who lived in a strict HOA neighborhood. I was a smoker at the time, he didn't allow smoking in the house and the HOA had a rule about smoking outside. You weren't even allowed to smoke or have visible alcohol cans/bottles in your own back yard. Yep, if you drank alcohol during a cookout or whatever, it had to be poured into cups. They also had rules about parking in the driveway for more than 30 minutes, visiting the guy was a pain in the a**."

imnotacrazyperson

Photo Fool

Car Air GIF by MotorTrendGiphy

"I got six separate notices for a parked RV in front of someone else's garage. It wasn't my RV. It wasn't my garage. It was parked in front of the owner's house for about 2 hours while he loaded it up prior to a camping trip. The best part is that they photographed the violation and it's clearly someone else's stuff in front of someone else's house."

thecasualchemist

Checks

"As I bought my condo the HOA went from small local to corp management. And they are a bear to get anything done. They pay booklets out with bold cap lettering to pay on time. When I send my check (I refuse auto withdrawal ) I remind them of how threatening this language is and to stop using it. The following year it was reworded to state: 'please pay by —(date). It works sometimes on the blow back side.'"

REDDIT

Car Thieves

"Towed my car illegally, several times, because I had out of state plates on my car. Cost me around $600 total."

Slight-Hovercraft197

The HOA people are worse than the DMV!

Indigenous Americans Share Their Tribe's Best Ghost Stories And Legends

Reddit user A_KULT_KILLAH asked: 'Native Americans of Reddit, what are your or your tribes ghost stories, legends, or supernatural occurrences?'

Sasquatch
Jon Sailer on Unsplash

People the world over develop their own specific folklore, heavily influenced by the natural world around them and their own culture.

The North American continent was no different.

Reddit user A_KULT_KILLAH wanted to know about the myths and legends of the Indigenous peoples of North America.

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Every now and again, when talking to a friend or family member, a rather shocking piece of information might casually slip out.

Information one imagines they wanted to keep secret for as long as they possibly could.

In some cases, it's something embarrassing, that everyone will be able to laugh about with the passage of time.

In other cases, however, it's information that stuns us silent.

Learning something we wish we hadn't.

Redditor DarthAbhinav11 was curious to hear the most disturbing information people have ever been casually told or overheard, leading them to ask:

"What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?"

An Acquired Taste

"I work in a deli and some lady asked me to cut her ham extremely thin to the point of seeing through it."

"I heard her justify it as 'so you can get rid of the ham taste'."

"I still think about this one."- Alternative_Net8931

Utterly Horrid

"When I was walking to my front door."

"My neighbor had their window open and was scolding their 3 year old adopted child."

"She was howling crying."

"'Do you want mommy to send you back?'"- BoredBSEE

It Arrives Sooner Than You Think...

At Macy's, two teen girls: 'Women over 30 have the ugliest elbows'."

"'OMG. I know'."

"'Very disturbing'."

"'I always ask my mom to wear long sleeves when we go out to eat'."- CapitalPhilosophy513

Never Too Late

"I when younger I worked at a pool and had to lifeguard senior aerobics classes."

"Most participants where 65+."

“'Where’s so and so'.”

“'Oh he won’t be here, his wife was put into hospice'.”

“'Well I feel bad for him, but we do need some more single men around here'."

"'He’s not bad looking, has a retirement too'.”- CuriousOne9320

Round And Round It Goes...

"'If the Earth is spinning, then why my front door is always facing east?'"- SuvenPan

"Something I once heard a passing stranger say for which I have no context: 'He wears a scarf around his neck so you can't see where he's decaying'."

"I've been curious for years and it annoys me that I'll never know."- xyanon36

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

"An ex after I ended things 'I don’t understand, if I want to be in a relationship with you but you don’t want to be in a relationship with me why do you get to win?'"- TinyFurryHorseBeak

Not His Decision To Make

"Was at an end of season event for my kid's baseball team when he was little."

"The coaches brought Italian ice for everyone."

"Mom has just served her kids and husband and comes back with her own."

"As she's sitting down to eat, I hear her husband loud whisper behind her something like 'absolutely not'."

"'You don't need any more calories'."

"I just watched her face fall."

"I can't imagine what their marriage must look like behind closed doors and what life must be like for her."

"Heartbreaking."

"Note that this woman was already probably a size 2 at most so this was not a scenario where there were serious weight-related health problems."

"This guy was just a jerk and this really wasn't the first time that season, but his reminders that they aren't living up to his standards were usually aimed at his kids on the field."

"I try to assume the best of people but that guy sucked."- littleirishpixie

The Truth Hurts

"I was in an accident once and was hospitalized."

"The accident left me severely disfigured."

"I was out of my mind on pain meds when I arrived at the hospital and told my family to call my girlfriend and let her know what happened and where I was."

"My mom called my girlfriend and my sister not knowing the particulars of my life called my ex."

"Neither knew the other had called and both ended up showing up."

"They arrived within an hour of one another while I was asleep."

"Since someone was there with me it gave my family a chance to go home and take a break."

"So I woke up to my ex and my girlfriend talking to one another."

"Obviously my girlfriend was mad my ex was there and things got heated between the two."

"My ex being level headed suggested they step into the hall since I was half awake and in no condition to deal with the drama."

"As they're arguing in the hall voices are being raised until finally a nurse comes to reign the situation in."

"The nurse breaking them up made my girlfriend leave."

"As she was leaving she yelled 'you can have his a**'."

"'It's not like I wanna be with some burnt up scarred dude anyway'."

"'He's f*cked'."

"At this point I was still bed ridden and hadn't seen a mirror."

"I was aware my body was f*cked but had no idea what I actually looked like."

"Hearing that was such a gut punch and it really messed with my head at the time."- Burnvictim49percent

Where To Even Begin?

"I am a tutor."

"I heard some of my students say ;What's the point in learning history? We should live in the present'."

"We are German."- GentlemanPirate13

Most of the time, when a friend or family member warns us or apologizes for sharing "too much information" or "TMI", what we've heard isn't that shocking in the grand scheme of things.

Indeed, as evidenced by the sad and shocking stories above, when people really share TMI, they often have no idea they're doing so.


A hand adds a yellow post it to a wall of yellow post its
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

There are rules in life where people are expected to just know how to operate without being told.

For instance, if someone falls down... help them.

When you like a sweater in a store... get money to buy it.

Just leaving with it won't go over well.

And there are more rules, or guidelines to adhere to...

Redditor christygl7 wanted to hear about what is expected in people's homes without words, so they asked:

"What's an unwritten rule in your household?"

If you have to pee... lift the seat cover.

The people in Port Authority always miss that one.

Routine

Cleaning Chores GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"Either my wife or I can do any chore when noticed. We thank each other for routine chores as we appreciate each other."

cwsjr2323

"That’s how my fiancée and I handle chores. Whoever’s around when the core needs to be done does the chore, typically. I find she does more regular cleaning of the whole apartment while I do more dishes and cooking."

radtech91

Trashed

"Replacing the trash bag IS PART OF taking out the trash."

UndiagnosedReptard

"Similar to this, in my house, the rule is if the toilet paper ended on your turn (or there’s barely enough for the next person) then it is your job to procure the next roll and put it in the bathroom. It is NOT acceptable to let it run out for the next person."

wavesnfreckles

"We have extra stored in every bathroom. I make sure of it. However, if it runs low/out on the roll, my wife will 100% of the time take the new roll and set it on top of the empty tube on the spindle, refusing to replace it. I actually called her over and shamed her into changing it in front of me the other night (not in an abusive way - we were both laughing about it)."

on_the_nightshift

Finder's Keepers

"If you find money in the laundry while you are doing the laundry, it's yours."

Rich1926

"Yep. My boyfriend learned that lesson the hard way when we first started living together. He had a bad habit of just crumpling up bills in a big wad in his pocket, usually just ones, but sometimes he accidentally leaves a twenty in there. I tipped myself the twenty. It took him a couple of days of trying to figure out where it went before I took pity on him and told him."

"He now both turns out his pockets and washes his own clothes. I still find the occasional single dollar in the dryer."

Head_Razzmatazz7174

Dropped something?

"If food is dropped on the floor it becomes the property of the dog. The dog knew this rule before we did."

Altruistic-Bit-9766

"That was one of the hardest things after our family dog died. Dropped something? Who cares! Riley will get it. But then he didn’t."

"Also, I don’t live at home anymore but coming home to him barking and crying out of excitement and greeting me always made my day and I looked forward to it every time I opened the door and could hear him wiggling in excitement on the side hahaha. It’s a little less exciting coming home now."

ohno807

Obligations...

Water Stay GIF by Kinda FunnyGiphy

"If the water you take from the Brita pitcher leaves what’s left below a certain line, you are obligated to refill the pitcher on penalty of death."

halcyon3608

If you stay in my home and don't refill the Brita pitcher...

I'm setting your hair on fire at 3 AM!!!

Flushed

Go Away Pink GIF by HacklockGiphy

"Check the toilet after you flush."

NANNYNEGLEY

"This. My brother-in-law never does this. It's annoying and disgusting! You don't want to clean up after yourself because you think it's gross? How do you think it makes me feel to clean up after you?"

purplestarsinthesky

WAKE UP!

"Wake someone up if their alarm goes off. It's a pretty weird one but setting up alarms is a conscious and deliberate decision for all of us and you want to wake up when it goes off, so we just help each other out."

DonMartiniMacaroni

"I'll do this a few times, but my roommate needs to learn not to hit snooze because he's taught his body that alarms don't need to be woken up to. I don't wake him up anymore. He started waking up to them."

stumblinbear

"I’ll wake them up because it annoys me when people snooze especially if I’m next to them in the bed and I don’t have to get up."

chill90ies

No Exceptions!

"Shoes off at the door. No exceptions."

Next-Dark-4975"

"Shoes-on people must not be using the same public bathrooms that I do. 100% of them have a lake of dirty urine in front of the urinal. They must also be amazing at finding two urine-free spots that are shoe-sized on the shores of said lake. It’s fine if they want to bring that into their homes. It’s not allowed in mine, though."

Bmadray

Table Manners

"No tech at the table."

"Even with a teenage daughter this has proved eerily easy; we all love food though!!"

"Also murder is out of the question, it is non-negotiable. If any of us kills another then they are outlawed in the true sense."

"Other than this, we are pretty cool."

Dante2005

Woof

Well Done Applause GIF by MOODMANGiphy

"Let the dog out to go potty before you use the restroom. (Seriously, the dog is asking to go out and you think she can wait while you take a 30-minute poop first? Not cool.)"

InfiniteBackspace

Always let the dogs go first.

If you wait, you won't like the surprise they leave!

person using laptop computer to make a credit card purchase
rupixen.com on Unsplash

Sometimes we look at a product and think "who would buy that, and why?"

For me the "Flowbee" home haircutting tool comes to mind. If you're unfamiliar, it's a shaver you attached to your vacuum cleaner so you hair was pulled past cutting blades.

It was sold on late night infomercials in the 1990s.

Who wouldn't want to style their hair like this?

Flowbee infomercial GIFGiphy

As fabulous as that looks, results did vary with most veering toward "yikes!" yet by 2000 the company reported 2 million were sold.

And *surprise* you can still buy one—for about $150.

It seems no matter how bad a product is, someone will buy it.

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