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?


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"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."


"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."



"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."



"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."



"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."


"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."



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"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."


Who makes up these rules? Why are they evil?

No Good

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"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."


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."


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."


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."


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."


Age Old Wood

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"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."


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."



"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."



"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.'"



"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."



"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."



"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**."


Photo Fool

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"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."



"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.'"


Car Thieves

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


The HOA people are worse than the DMV!

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