October 5, 2023 | Scott Mazza

HOA Horrors

Owning a home is supposed to be one of the American Dreams—but Homeowner’s Associations can turn those dreams into nightmares. Whether it’s a nosy neighbor or a controlling president, bad HOAS take a perfectly reasonable neighborhood and turn it into a snake pit of infighting and endless revenge. These Redditors sat back and watched it all happen.

1. Just Say No

Today was a good day. As a member of my three-person board for my HOA. I helped officially dissolve our HOA. I bought my house 21 years ago. Admittedly I was rather naive about HOAs and the nonsense about “protecting your property values” etc. But I had a family on the way, it was a quiet and (at the time) rural part of the state, and it was a nice house at a reasonable price.

So I figured why not, I'd only be there a couple of years and then I could sell and move on. For various reasons, we stayed at the house. Those included the housing market crash where I was underwater on the house for a number of years and I wanted to avoid uprooting the kids out of the schools they were in. During that time, I watched some of the most messed-up things happen.

Stuff like selective enforcement of the rules, or no enforcement on really important ones. At one point, the board decided to "outsource" to a property management company that embezzled thousands from the HOA. Just a whole mess of things. So if I hate HOAs so much why did I join? Well, because I figured I couldn’t complain if I didn’t contribute. Then one day, something really odd happened.

I had multiple neighbors ask me if it was possible to “dismantle the HOA”. I told them, “Yes but it’s a LOT of work. We need at least 2/3 of the homeowners to vote on ballots saying ‘yes’ to dissolving the HOA. A ‘no’ vote or not voting were the same thing”. So the board agreed unanimously to put it up to a vote. We went door to door and collected signed ballots from each homeowner.

While there, we answered any questions they had, including; “Well, what if people vote to keep it?” We’d reply, “Then the HOA stays, that’s clearly what the homeowners want!” And of course, there was the: “Well don’t you care about your house value?? We need an HOA!” Of course, we would tell people the same thing: “If you think keeping it is the right thing to do, you should vote accordingly”.

In the end, it was clear the people living here (some of whom were the first buyers of the house and still living here from when the development was first put in) had had enough of dealing with the HOA. They all felt the same pain and frustration that I did. We got OVER 2/3 of the homeowners voting to dissolve the HOA. We’ll be working on filing the results with the state.

Today was a good day.

Vengeful woman and angry woman split image

2. Animal House

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.

Angelina Jolie factsPixabay

3. Winning The Battle

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 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.

Satellite antenna and old roof antennaMR Foto, Shutterstock

4. It’s What Inside That Counts

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.

HOA HorrorsUnsplash


5. A Simple Solution

I bought a house in a (then) small town called Round Rock, Texas back in 2007. Now for a little background context: I was born and raised in the central Texas "hill country," and throughout my entire childhood, there had never been any HOAs. Some of the rich neighborhoods had Neighborhood Associations, which are far different from an HOA.

I went off to join the forces in 2001 and when I came back in 2006, HOAs were everywhere! Even the neighborhood where I grew up now had an HOA. My parents had moved to a new neighborhood, and my father had been constantly fighting with his HOA. Things like he built a tool shed in his own backyard without permission, and parked his car in his driveway instead of his garage.

That kind of stuff. So I'm seeing his constant struggle, and being raised in a culture where your property was YOUR property and NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS, I wanted no part of this HOA stuff. Anyway, it's now 2007, and I'm home from deployment and looking to buy a house. My number 1 priority is NO HOAs. After a couple of months, I find a home in a neighborhood without an HOA.

It surprised me because it was a fairly new neighborhood and it was also a relatively small neighborhood. It definitely looked like it would have an HOA, but it didn't. I move in, love the place, and proceed to go about my life. One day I'm talking to my neighbor about HOAs. I mention how one of the main reasons I bought that house was because it had no HOA.

My neighbor, who just so happened to be one of the first people to move to the neighborhood tells me, "Oh yeah, we had one of those when they first started building this place". I was surprised and asked him what happened to it. His answer stunned me. He says, "Well, back when there were still only about 20 or so homes built, there were two people who lived in the neighborhood that ran the HOA”.

He takes a long breath and starts smirking. “Well they were just awful people, and they were constantly harassing the other neighbors about grass being too high and trash cans being visible and silly stuff like that. So some of the other neighbors and I looked up the HOA by-laws and realized we could hold an election to replace the HOA council, and that's what we did”.

“I became president of the HOA and a couple other neighbors were council members. Once we were in charge, we just voted to dissolve the HOA. So now we don't have one".

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

6. Creature Comforts

My HOA, when established in 1999, made a 20-year contract with Comcast to bundle cable, not internet, into the HOA dues. Every house has Comcast no matter what. Every home in the HOA was paying $30 towards this per month in their dues. I’ve lived in this HOA since 2015 and every year the dues slowly crept up from $190 per month to now $290 per month.

Starting around September last year, I began talking to people and bringing it up in meetings that we could save money by getting out of the Comcast contract. A lot of my neighbors said they didn’t even have a cable box or use Comcast at all and I was in the same boat. The homes voted on it (2/3 majority) and we got rid of the Comcast contract.

The dues dropped by $30 per home the following month. Fast forward to today. Now there are about three to four Karens that are just blowing up the HOA page constantly whining and complaining about how they now have to pay more to have cable. You can’t win in HOAs because the people that live there (like me) are idiots. This is the first and last HOA I will ever live in.

HOA HorrorsWikimedia Commons

7. More Than Just A Lemonade Stand

My own personal HOA Karen is requiring all residents of the neighborhood to have a garage sale. She is also requesting high-quality goods to be sold so that they "represent" the value of the neighborhood. Afterward, the HOA will be taking 10% of the earnings. We are also required to use Stripe for sale so she can verify what the 10% should be.

Petty Revenge factsShutterstock

8. Dog Day Afternoon Gone Wrong

I am a landlord with a decent portfolio of properties. I have a tenant with a major disability who requires an actual service dog. The president of the HOA was somehow convinced this wasn’t a “real” service dog. They went to disgusting lengths to “test” this theory. I wish I was making this next part up, but the president illegally entered my home and put his fingers down the dog’s throat, then struck the dog to see how we would react.

I have a restraining order against him and he has been told verbally and in writing that he is not allowed on or in any of my properties without my written permission. Long story short, mistreating a service animal is a good way to get charged, plus be investigated by the ADA and fair housing. He spent a long time in the county clinker for that one.

HOA HorrorsFlickr, Found Animals Foundation

9. Want To Tango Again?

I invited a friend to spend a few days here and the HOA considers that a "lease" even though I'm not charging my friend, obviously, who is just visiting from out of state. So I flipped the script on them. I just told them I'm posting an ad on Craigslist every day for a nightly intimate get-together, and that they can try to enforce that provision every time someone comes over.

I've sued the HOA before and won—It was glorious. They took 6+ months to return a security deposit and I got over triple damages. So they're a little skittish now. Hopefully they back off or, even better, they pay me again.

Bill O'Reilly factsShutterstock


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10. Over The Line

When I was a child we lived in Florida and our neighborhood had a really horrible HOA. I don't remember all of the details and I don't know precisely how an HOA works, but I do know that the biggest problem was one board member, in particular, I’ll name him Mr Creep. Mr Creep hated children, and had no regard for personal property whatsoever.

He would often yell at me whenever I went outside, one time while I WAS GOING TO A SCHOOL BUS. He also kept fining my dirt-poor father for every single infraction and inspected our house nearly daily to find things to fine for. The last straw, though, was a doozy. It came when he tried to inspect the inside of our house.

Without any by-laws on his side, he told my father that he must let him inside his home to inspect every single room by warnings of monetary loss. Of course, dad said no, and he got yet another fine. After a few weeks, and many fines, we were supposed to go on vacation, but we found out at the last minute that after the last fine we couldn't afford to leave.

That night, I heard a window break. Dad ran downstairs, and then I heard my father's double-barrel go off. Mr Creep had waited until we were supposedly on vacation, and intended to break into our house when we were away!

He never bothered us again.

white and red wooden house with white fence surrounded by treesScott Webb, Pexels


11. Closed Door Policy

My garage door was left open — an act that goes against the rules of my HOA unless you are actively working inside — and I received a note stating that I was not using my garage for its rightful purpose. Its appropriate use is for vehicle storage. “Please remove storage items so the garage can be utilized properly for its purpose”. You guys want to tell me how to furnish my living room too?

Just want to add: My garage is fairly organized. We have a car maintenance/washing stuff area, camping stuff area, and a few random boxes. We can fit one car in the garage, but apparently, the garage needs to be available for two at all times.

Caught on Home Security Cameras factsShutterstock

12. Do It For The Gram

My HOA in the last neighborhood sent out a letter saying everyone needs to have their house painted this summer because the neighborhood is looking "a little dull". The next letter that came was a petition from someone in the neighborhood that they wanted everyone to sign. It was to tell the HOA that more than half of the neighborhood hasn't fiscally recovered from the pandemic and that they can essentially go screw themselves.

I was renting so the paint wouldn't have been my problem anyway. But it's just ludicrous to me that people who run these horrible Karen commissions think that they can just do this kind of stuff.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

13. Be Careful What You Wish For

Last year at my townhouse in Washington state, I received a $50 fine from my HOA with a notice stating that I have potted plants on my (cement) front porch that need “catch basins”. The notice quoted the association rule 4.5 as stating “Potted plants on A and B Unit porches and patios must be contained within a planter that has a water catch basin”.

They gave four days to comply or get further fines. I found the requirement absurd considering the porch is cement, not wood, and my small plant pots don’t have a hole in the bottom for drainage. In addition, I noticed they didn’t state a requirement for what is commonly listed as a “plant saucer” in stores, but very specifically a “water catch basin”.

In order to avoid more arbitrary fines, I looked this specific type up in stores and online with Amazon. It appears a “water catch basin” is actually a storm drainage conduit having nothing to do with potted plants. The cheapest online being $49. The rule is written in such a way to allow the HOA to arbitrarily fine anyone for not having a specific impossible type specified in the rules. Oh, I gave them exactly what they asked for.

I have gone ahead and purchased the ugly storm drainage conduit kit and decided that I will lay it out on top of my porch this spring with a nice small potted plant sitting on top. I also hooked a bright piece of PVC pipe to it leading to my yard to make it “functional” and therefore be in full compliance with their rule as written.

HOA HorrorsPexels

14. Lost And Not Found

I'm in a condo with an HOA. This morning I found a nice lost pair of headphones in the gym. Too large to fit into the "lost and found" box slot. Our president is a thief, so I was leery of just passing them off to her and walking away. So, I found our last newsletter that was accidentally emailed to everyone instead of BCC'd. I just replied to this and asked if anyone lost a pair of headphones.

I said to give a description to me by email, and I'd return it to the rightful owner. Chaos ensues completely. Since then, I've gotten a message from the president, DEMANDING I turn in the headphones to the very same lost and found box that they can't fit in. I then got a message from the manager, telling me not to use the mailing list and to just email her.

That way she can send the information to the current residents, as several on the email list are not residents and prefer to not be bothered with emails. Uh, whaaat? I'm not making this up, and it's probably going to get weirder.

Passive-Aggressive Christmas Gift Stories factsPxHere

15. Shut The Front Door

My HOA recently changed the front door code and refuses to provide it to any tenants or owners (I’m an owner). Now we all have to access our units through the back door with a key or via the underground garage. This minor inconvenience doesn’t really bother me, however, this creates a problem for the postal service and package delivery as you must provide them a door code for entry so they can access the mailroom inside the lobby.

I’ve witnessed USPS locked out a few times, and luckily I was there to let them in. But I wonder what happens if no one is there to let them in…this week I had two packages returned because UPS and OnTrac couldn’t access the mailroom. The regulations state that all owners have a non-exclusive easement of use and enjoyment in and to and throughout the Common Area and for ingress, egress, and support over and through the Common Area.

I’ve requested the new code multiple times, but the HOA has only given me radio silence. Is this an issue I can potentially win? My thoughts are: It’s a potentially dangerous situation if you get locked out, and there’s no other way to access your unit but from inside the building unless you follow someone in/out. Also, who prohibits access to your front door?

The conversation with UPS went: UPS: we need your front door code Me: this might sound crazy, but I’m not allowed to use my front door.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

16. A Heavy Mistake

I purchased my first home, a condo. I have a dog who is about 40 lbs. As a responsible dog owner, I mentioned to the realtor I have a dog. I mentioned it at the open house to the other realtor, saying I have a dog, and I also asked him if there are let restrictions. Me knowing the area, I read the by-laws of the condo HOA to learn about their pet policy.

There was NOTHING about breed or size restrictions. Basically just, only one dog per unit, she can't be barking all night, and I have to clean up her poop. Cool. This place still works. About a week later I sign the papers, it's mine. I talked to someone from the COA yesterday. She told me horrible news. She informs me that their pet policy was changed a while ago and only dogs under 30 lbs are allowed.

I informed her I was NOT told this information—if I was I obviously would not have made the purchase—and it is NOT in their by-laws. She even admitted they need to make it clear to buyers (apparently they "emphasize" it with renters). I was seriously considering not even moving in and reselling, just cutting my losses. Leaving my dog is not an option.

So I contacted my realtor (who is also a family friend). She is willing to go with me to any meeting they force me into for breaking the by-laws (especially my dog being over the weight limit that did not exist). She looked back over the docs, and had her husband look over them (also a realtor, he's on the selling end of things) because she thought the changes in policy were weird too.

HOA HorrorsPexels


17. In The Weeds

I moved in earlier this year and amongst the chaos of moving, I did not realize the lawn was not kept from previous owners at all. There were BOATLOADS of weeds. We pulled them but not in time for our first notice. That’s fine, the letter said we needed to fix it within 14 days of the letter, which we definitely did since the letter was dated the day before we cleaned it up.

The second notice was sent because we didn’t pull them well enough I guess. Well, ok, we will try again. I saw a few visible weeds but nothing major. Still, I figured, ok sure, let’s just comply. Third notice. At this point, I have no idea what the heck they want from me. We pull any remaining weeds we see, which were maybe 2-3 strands and I went ahead and pulled literally anything that could be obstructive.

Fourth—fined. For weeds. The picture in the letter had no visible weeds. I ran to the spot they snapped the photo of, and to the eye of where they took the picture you couldn’t even SEE weeds. When you get super close you can see maybe two tiny weeds. I am appalled. At this point, it just feels like we’re being scammed or harassed. That, and/or their standards are ridiculously high and unreasonable.

Part of me feels like we’re being picked on for being new. But we’ve complied each time. The evidence of the picture is SO bad. I’m scared to repeal because I don’t want it to put a target on our backs. But I also don’t want to pay for a fine that is absolutely INSANE.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

18. Power-Hungry

This is quite a long story, spanning through a period of a few years. About 20 years ago, my uncle bought an apartment in a new, fancy condo. Each floor was separated into two apartments, except for the top floor, which was a single apartment more than double the size, with a private attic (all other units had a storage area in the basement). He got the top floor.

The building had a large common hall, and a large yard all around it, so the owners decided to create an HOA to maintain the common areas and protect property value. My uncle has always been an independent man, so he wasn't keen on the idea, but he recognized it was necessary. However, he proposed an article in the statute allowing any member to recede from the HOA by paying a contribution and entering a limited agreement.

People under this contract would NOT be in the HOA, but would be required to contribute to common expenses (light, cleaning, administration, etc) and maintenance, though in this case the HOA was required to confront their respective quotes for the job before proceeding. Since the votes were based on surface owned, and he thus had the swing vote, the rule was included in the statute.

A couple of years go by without a hitch, the HOA works as planned, a couple more units are sold, everything is fine and dandy. Then disaster hits. Enter Karen. My uncle describes Karen as "your worst high school teacher, with a face like she was constantly smelling sewage". In reality, she was a plain woman in her 50s, dirty blonde, single, a pocket dog, and two cats, with a mildly annoyed expression frozen on her face and the fashion sense of Dolores Umbridge.

She was one of the original owners, but never had much interaction with the others. The first time my uncle took any notice of her was when she tried to introduce a rule preventing children from playing in the common hall, because "their rowdiness and the prospective damage they could cause might decrease property value". My uncle didn't like participating in the meetings, and he didn't have kids (yet), but that time he intervened.

He said that he'd rather have happy kids around, even if that meant losing a bit of value, and proposed creating an emergency fund for accidental damage instead. Karen was outvoted. While they were leaving the conference room, she threw a look at him "like she was about to breathe fire" on him. He disliked and distrusted her from that moment on. And she started trying to get revenge.

Karen tried several times to pass more restrictive rules, but she kept getting outvoted, even thanks to my uncle's double vote. But at the same time, she was doing something else: she was buying additional units and forcing her rules onto her tenants, including those regarding the common areas, so that meant that her tenants' kids couldn't play with the other kids in the common hall, for instance.

That one was nearly impossible to enforce, and lead to complaints. Over time, thanks to her by now four votes, Karen got a seat in the HOA. That was an alarm bell for my uncle, who filed to leave the HOA, as per his own article, on the same day. And not a moment too soon. That article was canceled even before his request was even processed.

The HOA then initially denied his request, and he had to sue and go to arbitration to prove he had filed his request before the rule was expunged. But from that moment, he was free. Over the next couple of years, he had to go to arbitration twice more, once because the HOA demanded payment for a renovation without giving him the chance to present an alternative quote, and once because Karen and her newfound clique kept harassing him with fines he didn't have to pay.

He won both times, and Karen was beyond hate. Every time they met each other, she looked at him with such contempt, he actually started fearing for his safety. But it was about to get so much worse. During this period, Karen's increasingly restrictive rules had caused a high turnover of tenants and owners. Even if everything was still in pristine condition (Karen was very good at that), the HOA rules were a hard sell.

This had decreased the value of the apartments A LOT, and Karen used this to buy even more lots (she ended up with six total). When my aunt got pregnant, they decided that the condo was not really kid-friendly anymore, so they decided to sell. As I mentioned, the property value had dropped in the recent years, but evidently not my uncle's apartment.

When he put it on the market, he advertised as "FREE FROM LOCAL HOA". He ended up selling it to one of the former residents for almost double the price per square foot than any other apartment in the building. Happy ending? Wait, there's more. A couple of weeks after moving, my uncle received a call from the very distraught new owner, saying that members of the HOA are harassing him.

He said that Karen has suggested to sue him because the HOA has a (new) rule that all new owners MUST sign up for the HOA. My uncle (verbatim): "...So? You're not part of the HOA, you don't need to care about the rules they make". New owner: "...[pauses as he processes the information]... ... HAHAHAHAHA!" They chatted a bit, and the new owner, after enduring her for years, was quite happy about the prospect of screwing with Karen and the powerless HOA.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

19. Trying To Pull The Wool Over Their Eyes

These idiots. So we were trying to sell our townhome. We went through all the processes and such. We get through three attempts and months of nightmares and were finally getting there. My lender, who is also my buyer's lender, calls me up. "Hey, do you know anything about the litigation?" Me: What litigation?" Him: "Your HOA is suing the builder".

Me: “Do you have the case number?" Numbers. Computer typing. Cursing. Lots of cursing. These jerks are suing the builder and all the sub-contractors. Not suing someone who did something. No, suing everybody. Which, hey, the judge will see that. So why did this pop up? Because they lied on the documents for the loan. So here's the fun part.

Several houses have sold over the last year. My lender told me that this type of lawsuit is a hard stop on all loans. So they have lied on many documents, and it started over a year ago. Once I get my living situation sorted I look forward to snitching with all the righteous fury I have. I hate people.

Overheard messedUnsplash

20. Not So Free And Clear

I sold my house in a neighborhood with an HOA in May of ‘21. Since then, I have been contacted 8-10 times by forwarded letters, certified letters, and phone calls regarding infractions and fines that pertain to my old property. Every time, I contact them and explain that I no longer own that house or even live in that city. They apologize and tell me they will update their records, yet they fail to do so.

The last two times, I have been contacted via phone and they have warned me with fines if I don’t rectify violations. To say the least, my reaction wasn’t very nice. I explained to them that I don’t like being harassed and to not contact me ever again. Well, they contacted me again today and I’m about to lose my mind.  I was 100% paid up and had no outstanding balances when I sold my house.

The HOA sent a release to the title company that I had no outstanding balance and that there were no liens on the property.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

21. Head In The Treehouse

My neighborhood in Florida had a very good HOA. For the past 20 years that I’ve lived here, they’ve done a good job making sure the neighborhood looks nice, throwing an annual block party, and generally minding their own business. Until this crotchety old guy down the street achieved his lifelong dream of being on the HOA board.

He would take his nightly walk with his phone always out, documenting each and every infraction. I wish I was joking when I say he was out there with a tape measurer looking at how tall grass was in different yards. This is a guy that would speed up when he saw small children playing in the street, and several of the parents on the street had already lodged complaints with the authorities about this.

My father always wanted us to have a tree house to play in when we were children. Sadly, he passed when my youngest brother was only two, and the one he built in our backyard had to be torn down due to hurricane damage. Luckily, my family planted an oak tree in our front yard right after we moved in, and about 15 years later it was big enough to put a small treehouse in.

I built a simple platform with some supporting legs and a wooden ladder for my youngest brother to play in with his friends. One day, while I was washing my car, an official from city code enforcement shows up. He mentioned he was called upon by the HOA due to an unauthorized structure being established. After talking with him for a bit we came to the conclusion that not only was the treehouse fine, it was none of the city’s business.

The guy honestly seemed rather annoyed that he’d been called out for this. But it wasn’t close to over. Next, we started getting letters in the mail from the HOA’s lawyer, suggesting big fines for the perceived damage to the property value in the area. It was something to the tune of $100 a day for every day that the structure wasn’t taken down.

My mother not being able to afford a lawyer and me not knowing better, we eventually complied when the letters started coming daily. I’m glad my brother got to enjoy it for a little bit, but I was so bitter at that old guy down the street. A few months back, My mother called me and said that the old guy finally passed, alone, with no family to speak of. His house is scheduled to be demolished by the new owners.

I honestly couldn’t be happier that any trace of his presence is erased from this neighborhood. My brother is too old for a treehouse now, but I might just build one to spite his memory.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

22. The Fine Print

We put in an offer on a house. Got accepted, had a closing date, put in earnest money. Two days later, their lawyer sent over an email stating they forgot to disclose the HOA, and if we could just initial and send it back to add to the contract. We said send the by-laws. Long story short, the $70 dollar annual payment meant we can’t park a truck in the driveway, have unapproved flowers in landscaping, have a guest for more than seven days… the list goes on.

So just a PSA, read everything. We were only able to back out free and clear because it wasn’t in the original contract.

School Genius FactsPixabay


23. Your Own Worst Enemy

How ridiculous. I got a letter stating my grass needs to be maintained between 2-4 inches and they are going to start assessing fines after X days and pay for a company to come mow my lawn at my own cost and expense. There’s just one thing. The HOA already pays a company to mow all of the grass. So the landscapers must have forgotten a patch and now some Karen on the board reported it.

Not The Brightest Kids FactsPixabay

24. An Unwanted Visitor

Every few weekends, my manager comes over to my house to help work on a side project for the company. When he comes over, he parks in front of my house. The house across from mine just happens to be one of the HOA volunteers. She tends to take her job a bit too seriously. Anyways she complains to my wife and I every time she sees the car like clockwork.

She will either call or wait until she sees us outside. The first time she even took it upon herself to write a letter about how it’s better for everyone if we can keep up a certain image in the neighborhood. I explained to her that he is my manager after the letter about a year ago. She accused me of lying since I drive a nice truck and have a nice house, so she knows I bring in a decent salary.

She assumed that my manager made more therefore he "needs to own a nice car". I then explain that my manager makes 250k per year and drives a beater because he does not care about his image. She goes on some rant about how she goes into massive debt to keep up the right image for the neighborhood and that it’s ignorant of my manager to save his money and buy a beater when people like her are paycheck to paycheck to keep up with the Joneses.

Lucky for me, I can’t get fined but I still find it quite annoying that she is worried about the cars that my guests drive. I told my manager about her constant complaining every time he is over. He joked that he will spray paint his car with chalk next time he comes over to make it look as trashy as possible. I told him to dress in his worst clothes as well and slowly get out of his car to make sure she notices.

WORST Parents factsShutterstock

25. Not Who You Say You Are

Our HOA president is being a jerk and sending out violations like crazy. But I just had a genius idea. It dawned on me that long ago, I overheard him say that he was renting from his brother. I looked up the deed to his property, and yes, in fact, he is a renter, and the HOA covenants state that only owners can be members of the association and thus the board.

I'm curious if I should pay our president a visit and let him know or have my lawyer send him a nice letter.

La Toya Jackson FactsShutterstock

26. What A Load Of Garbage

Our HOA has FORBIDDEN anybody from putting our garbage and/or recycling cans to the curb before midnight, but the garbage collectors come between 6-7 AM. We have requested to be able to put our garbage to the curb at 10 PM because of health issues within our household. Their response: "We cannot allow garbage out before midnight because there is a potential for bears to be drawn to our neighborhood".

They have also “allowed” us to place our garbage cans on the side of our garage (as opposed to the sidewalk) as long as we pay the garbage collectors extra money to walk to our garage to obtain the cans and return them to the garage door. So for some reason (that they have yet been able to provide evidence to support), the bears will only be attracted to the garbage if the cans are at the sidewalk and not if they're next to the garage door.

Goodness in your heartShutterstock

27. Keep On Trucking

I do some accounting work for an HOA management company on the side. There is an HOA board president who wanted an association member's tenant fined for a truck. He said it violated the regulations as it was a commercial truck because it had a ladder rack. The maintenance manager disagreed with the president but couldn't quite think of an articulate way of expressing it, so he asked me to help him out.

I reviewed the regulations and they didn't define the term, so I checked the state definition. The definition was narrow enough that even if the tenant used it for business purposes, it still didn't meet the commercial vehicle definition. I let the president know that it didn't meet the criteria. He said that didn't matter because it was unsightly (shifted goalposts) and that I needed to fine the member.

I knew full well these criteria didn't actually matter to him and that he was simply being vindictive at this point. I came up with a plan to get him good. My response was "Well, give me the exact definition you're using for unsightly and I'll fine any owners whose vehicles meet it". At that point, he knew I had him, as his good friend and fellow board member had a total beater.

We're talking about a mobile rust pile here. The truck he was complaining about was a Rolls Royce by comparison. He knew that he couldn't give criteria that would exclude his friend. So, did he give up? Nope. He simply DECREED that we fine the person and that his word is final and the matter isn't to be discussed any further. At this point, he had stopped CC'ing the board.

So, what did I do? Well, I CC'd the entire board my response along with the email chain up to that point. It was simply "[HOA President], Committing such an action would expose the HOA to unnecessary financial risk. You, the board and I have a fiduciary responsibility to the HOA members to not expose the organization to such risks”.

“This is an extremely ill-advised action, so should you not respond, I will execute it in an ethical way that eliminates this risk. The only way I can think of to do this is to fine any and all vehicles that match (or are worse) how unsightly this truck is. I have prepared a list of members' names and unit numbers that will be fined along with this truck".

On the list, of course, was his friend and fellow board member. He decided that the matter wasn't resolved and that he would respond one last time, to drop the subject. I wonder what his friend thought when he caught up on the email conversation and saw that the president had gone down a path that could've led to his being fined.

Website BuildersShutterstock

28. Taking Him For All He’s Worth

My HOA cut the lock off of my storage unit, which is in the common area of the basement. I had some TV boxes, golf clubs, and camping gear in there with a padlock. I go down to put something in my storage unit—and made a chilling discovery. I realize that all of my belongings have been removed and there is a new thick chain and padlock attached to the now-empty storage locker.

There are other empty storage units that have no lock whatsoever. The previous owner left a vacuum and screens for the windows for me in the unit. The vacuum was removed but the screens remain. When I ask my board I get no response to my emails. This is also the unit the previous owner told me is mine. There are now rules in the by-laws that say the board can relocate my storage unit.

Is there any justification as to how this is not breaking and entering? Fortunately, nothing was stolen or damaged so that's good. I can't afford a lawyer and don't think I even have anything to go after them for as nothing was damaged and I have no proof it was the board who cut my lock and removed my belongings.

HOA HorrorsUnsplash

29. Look Before You Leap

So my neighbor (brand new to the neighborhood) put up a campaign sign. Less than 24 hours later, the president walked over and told him it needs to be removed and showed him a vague item in our regulations. Unfortunately, he took it down. But knowing I served on the board and know my stuff, he asked me to take a look. Well, the president was referencing the by-laws in the section about easements.

Not our governing residents. I told him that they are flat-out wrong and this does not apply to lots. I told him he can put it back up. He even gave me a sign so I can put it up. Then I started to fight them HARD. I emailed the board reminding them that they are incorrect. A day later, they walk to his house with a letter from the lawyer. And it is GOOD.

It’s basically saying, "We are in really HOT water, please forgive the oversight and pretty please don't sue us".  Our president has such a god complex and always puts our association in potential litigation. She is such a liability to our association. I am pretty sure she NEVER talked to the other board members before she told him to remove the sign, nor our association attorney.

She thinks she is the landlord to everyone’s property. It was nice seeing them have to go over there and grovel to him!

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

30. No Garden Of Eden

This happened to my girlfriend’s parents. Her father wanted to plant a vegetable garden. HOA rules state that a garden can be no larger than 8'x8'. Plants can't grow taller than 4' so it limits what he could plant. He measured out an appropriately-sized patch in the backyard. I came over with a few buckets of compost and my tiller to help him set it up.

Turns out that the old hag next door was angry the garden was bordering her property and complained to her friend on the HOA board. Two men from the HOA came by last night for an inspection and measured the garden as 8'-4"x8'-2". We must have accidentally expanded it when tilling. They fined her parents $350 and told them that they have to buy sod and cover up the garden by end of the week because they "lost the privilege to have a garden this year" and will be fined again every week they don't comply.

HOA HorrorsUnsplash

31. Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

I’ve been in a condo for eight years, even served as treasurer, but haven't been on the board in four years. I went under contract when selling my condo, and inspection found moisture above all the windows/doors in the condo. It seemed like a siding issue—no worries, it's a condo association that regulates and is responsible for the exterior, they'll take care of it right? I soon found out how wrong I was.

Buyers wanted written assurances it'll be handled and any mold mitigated. The agent who gets in touch with the HOA gets the runaround, I get a phone call. Supposedly they just that week got a study that said no homes were properly wrapped and they need to do a massive siding project. My agent then gets an email stating that if it’s the windows, it's my responsibility to fix it.

But it’s not the windows. There is also a big battle over what happens with theoretical mold remediation. The HOA manager didn't want to commit to anything. Buyers though are understanding, they ask for an increase in seller’s assistance, so I am willing to take a $2,500 hit to be done with the HOA. We sign and are happy and great...NOT.

Today I get a call from my realtor. The buyers met with the HOA over the weekend to talk about this project and reportedly were spooked by the need for a special assessment, bankrupting the HOA, mold, etc. The HOA manager, in my agent's words, scared the heck out of them so they withdrew their offer. My HOA has a rental cap, and I have no idea if I'll be able to rent.

I doubt a lawsuit will get anywhere, I'm moved into my new place, I just hate that I made an HOA my starter home, I don't think I'll ever be rid of it. My agent wants to relist, but I needed some time to process.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock

32. Too Close For Comfort

My in-laws live on a golf course that is a private membership. The weird thing is living on the course does not get you a membership to it and you still have to pay HOA and membership fees to do both. In any case, my in-laws have an in-ground pool that is right below one of the greens and a hole. Think a 10-12 foot hill up to the green from the pool level.

So many entitled people will yell at my in-laws as well as us when we are over that we have to be quiet when they are putting. We just ignore them. The HOA and the club have sent letters as well as attempted to walk into the locked backyard while we were out in the pool to yell at us but were only told to leave the property. Nowhere in the HOA laws does it say you need to accommodate golfers while on your private property.

They once had a Karen who was both on the HOA board and part of the golf club yell and fake choke on the green while my father-in-law was grilling.

HOA HorrorsPexels

33. Something’s Fishy

About 10 years ago, my dad bought a condo in Orlando to rent out to theme park goers, and he used the HOA’s recommended rental management company (RMC). After a year, he reviewed his costs/profits and found that he more or less broke even, which surprised him because the condo was only vacant for two separate weeks that year. He tried to get in touch with the RMC to see if they could go over his unit’s costs, but the owner seemed to dodge dad’s calls.

Dad looked to see if the HOA recommended any other management companies. He made an alarming discovery. He found that the HOA by-laws restricted them from using any others except RMC. That raised a red flag for dad, so he went and dug up information on RMC and found the HOA board chair (HBC) was a co-owner of the company.

Dad emailed HBC, pointing out the conflict of interest and insisting the board needed to allow homeowners to use an alternate company. The guy replied back with something like, “Sorry not sorry. If you’re unhappy with the HOA leadership, you can attend the meeting on this date, when we will hold a vote for the other three board positions”. Oh, it was on.

Dad was mad and while digging through emails to build evidence for small claims court, he stumbled upon an email that had been sent to all the homeowners. However, HBC had forgotten to BCC the mailing list, so all the homeowners’ emails were visible. Dad sent a mass email and found lots of similar frustrations, and he walked into the election meeting with an insurmountable voting bloc.

They replaced all three members, who had all been enabling HBC, but they had to deal with HBC still because the board chair was not up for re-election yet. HBC was angry but was still trying to play innocent. Dad then recommended to the three new board members that they vote to hire a forensic accountant to go over the HOA’s books. HBC said, “Why should we waste fees on that?”

And Dad replied with, “So we can put you behind bars”. He said they eventually voted HBC out but never got anywhere with court repercussions; HBC cowered away and the drama fizzled. The end result was good though, because dad has been making good money off the rental in the years since. And he was a hero to that community.

They wanted to make him the new chair, but he declined since he lives out of state.

Cringey Family FactsShutterstock

34. Taking Matters Into His Own Hands

I live in an HOA neighborhood that has a big common space in the middle with a gazebo. The HOA fees go mostly towards maintaining this space, however, there are two bushes planted right beside the road that the HOA has let grow to the point that the bushes hang out into the road. Due to how tight the road can be when people are parked on the street, you have to scrape your car down these bushes to get out of the neighborhood.

Today, this madlad of a neighbor came through and just screwed the bushes up in order to force the HOA to do something about them finally. He is my new hero!

HOA HorrorsUnsplash

35. David And Goliath

I live with my parents in a large (~500 house) gated community. For the past 20 years, the HOA has done a good job keeping the roads, sidewalks, pools, and small clubhouse maintained. A large number of houses overlook an old and well-loved city park, where a number of ducks, geese, and the occasional lost pelican or stork live. The park is completely unconnected to the HOA or gated community.

Early this year, park management announced they were going to be doing extensive deep maintenance, like cleaning and restocking the lakes, pruning trees, cleaning the gravel paths, etc. Included in this was a complete teardown and reconstruction of the restrooms, which my dad swears were from the 70s. Enter “Lucy”, a 30-something who got elected to the HOA board last year.

She somehow thought that the park was administered by the HOA, and thus all plans needed to be seen by her for approval. She was very vocal about her feelings on this on Nextdoor, and got together a small posse of supporters, ignored all the naysayers, and tried to shut down the operation via calls to the original community developer. When that failed, Lucy dreamed bigger.

Her next target was the city, but the city the development is not the same city that runs the park, thanks to legacy city limits. Obviously, construction and renovation have been going on without a hitch, so Lucy takes matters into her own hands and uses the tiny fragment of authority she has as a board member to file a lawsuit on behalf of the HOA against the government agency responsible for the park.

One problem: While the park is on the other city’s land, it’s actively run and managed by the state, because it was designated before the city was incorporated. So Lucy filed a lawsuit based on HOA policy against the state of California. There was an emergency board meeting called to deal with it, but due to scheduling errors, not enough members showed up to achieve quorum, although plenty of residents did.

Lucy refused to concede, and she couldn’t be removed from her position, so everyone went home angry. Yesterday, at the regular board meeting one week later, the residents learned the lawsuit had been tossed out of court, much to everyone’s relief. But the community is now on the hook for an unknown amount of fees. Lucy wasn’t at the second meeting, nor has she been active on Nextdoor, so we’re all hoping it’s over.

Montgomery Clift factsShutterstock

36. It’s A Dog’s Life

For context, I live in a condo complex and often walk my dogs in the subdivision across the street. I’ve been walking them there at least a few times a week for the past two years. They are always leashed and I always pick up their poop, and I have a friendly relationship with several residents in the community. Yesterday, a real-life HOA Karen basically stalked me.

She then chewed me out for walking my dogs in the neighborhood. She was upset because her yappy little dog barks when we walk past her house. In a very nonsensical rant, she told me I’m not allowed to walk my dogs in her neighborhood because she “pays fees”. It’s not a gated community and the streets are not private, according to the county website.

I know every community is different, but I couldn’t find their by-laws online. I would have been more than happy to stop passing her house, but she was so unbelievably rude that I’m considering passing by once or twice more before I find a new route.

HOA HorrorsPexels

37. Judgy Judy

This lady Judy thinks she is the judge and jury of the pool in our HOA. Her methods are ridiculous. Not only does she lock the pool for a day as punishment if someone from the renters’ side jumps the fence after hours, but she also sits and watches people, particularly racialized people. She goes so far as to follow them to their townhouse to make sure they actually have a key and aren't just faking.

Very strange that she doesn't watch my white husband, but she watches me and our neighbors. This is happening almost weekly. She also put a padlock and writes passive-aggressive notes as to why we can't swim in the pool we pay for. The only people she's punishing are the people that actually pay for the pool keys. She is the HOA vice president and has nothing better to do than marshal the pool.

I called the management company to get to the bottom of this. Their response stunned me. They had no idea about it, and were baffled as to why she took this upon herself. They are sending out an email soon with updated pool hours and rules but I'm not sure if this will deter Judy. I just don't understand. Is this normal?! It seems over the top to me but this is our first (bought, paid, have the deed, no mortgage) home.

We always pay our fees on time. We've lived here nearly a decade and I regret voting for this woman on our board. The pool is open today and I took several neighbors that didn't pay for a key because Judy is on vacation. We had a great time with no Judy. I talked to some of the teens (16 and up can swim without supervision) that came to the pool and suggested they record Judy if she follows them, and they can come to my house if they don't feel safe.

I will be taking my phone to the pool from now on. I didn't before because my house is right next to it.

Home owner's horrorShutterstock

38. See Ya Never

A number of years ago, we moved into a subdivision with what seemed like a pretty-laid back HOA. Now, the former owner was a first-class jerk who would never win the good neighbor award. Among the worst things he did was pave most of the front yard because he got tired of the neighbors whining at him to cut his grass. About six months later, I got a letter from the HOA telling us the driveway was "out of compliance".

I called the number in the letter and asked what they meant. They said it was far too large and needed to be reduced in size. Me: "Okay, so just let me know when the contractors will be here so I can move my cars". HOA: "No, you're the one who needs to pay to have it reduced in size”. Me: "Sorry, there were no covenant violations listed in the settlement papers, so there was no problem then, which means there's no problem now".

HOA: "But, but…" Me: "Let me know when they'll be here and I'll move my cars". Never heard from them again, and that was 17 years ago.

Man using gas powered aerating machine to work on a lawnThe Toidi, Shutterstock

39. Stormy Weather

I received an email from my HOA saying each unit owner will be assessed a Reconstruction Loss Assessment of $12,700 for replacing several units’ roofs. Following a hailstorm in June of 2021, the HOA filed a claim with their current insurer, which was ultimately denied, and their insurer attributed the damage to a storm in June of 2018.

The reason each unit owner is being assessed $12.7K is because the claim did not meet the deductible to allow for any payout. I bought this property in August of 2020 and was not made aware of any damages that occurred to the community prior to moving in. My insurance policy covers up to $15K for Reconstruction Loss Assessments.

However, since the damage was attributed to a storm that occurred more than two years before I bought my property, I cannot file a claim under my policy as it was not active at the date of the incident. The insurance agent said that it would need to be filed under the previous owner’s policy as it was active during that time, but I don’t have any means to contact the previous owner.

I sent an email to my HOA management stating that since I was not the owner of the property at the time of the damage, it would be on the previous owners that are responsible to file the claim. I asked if they would reach out to the previous owners to get that claim filed. The HOA management responded that the only information they had on file was a phone number that was disconnected and that they were sorry they could not reach them...

The HOA posted the $12K to my account and I told them I am changing my auto-pay setting to the flat monthly fee and I’m ignoring the full balance. It doesn’t make any sense to me that I would be liable for $12K for damages that occurred 2+ years before I bought the home. They also said, “You are not the only owner that is in this situation. They have had to look at financing options with their lenders or other financial institutions to deal with the assessment”.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

40. Target On Your Back

Our condo association is evil and power-hungry. A few years ago, they called Child Services and tried to get my sister and I to go to foster care. Now, I have a service dog for my disability. It was fine for the first year, but then they turned downright nasty. They started issuing fines, and we are up to $6,000 dollars now. I know exactly why it’s happening, too.

One of our neighbors is on the board and for the past year, she has been taking photos and videos of me and my dog. Yesterday, I was leaving the car and I saw her in her window recording me. Someone put up a paper saying no dogs in our unit. I took it down and they fined us for destroying their property. Oh, and the cherry on top?

They violated HIPPA and talked to my therapist without my consent. They now send angry emails to us every day and send warnings to foreclose. This association will harass anyone who doesn’t fit their mold.

Bad Guests FactsShutterstock

41. Hello Entitlement, My Old Friend

Years ago, I moved into a new house in a fairly new development and foolishly thought it was the right thing to do and went to the first HOA meeting. The outcome was my worst nightmare. I somehow came out of that meeting the newly elected HOA president, a position I loathed for the 18 months I put up with it. As president, I was pretty lax on what was allowed.

As long as you aren't asking to paint your house all black with a giant middle finger on the side, we are cool.  My main concern was keeping the common areas maintained (eg stormwater runoff pond, a couple of green spaces), everything else was just noise. Now the development one street over from ours had a much more, let's say "aggressive" HOA, but to be fair they had a lot more houses and common property to maintain including four different playgrounds.

In my community, we didn't have any. Somehow the president in that other neighborhood got my number and I had to have this conversation with her: Me: Hello? Her: Hi, I'm the HOA president for XXXX community, I need to talk about a problem that affects both of us. Me: Ok........ Her: We have had a lot of kids that I know that aren't a part of our community playing basketball at one of our playgrounds and it's very disruptive and keeping our kids from using it. I know a lot of those kids are probably coming from your neighborhood.

Me: What am I supposed to do about that? Her: Well I have asked them many times to leave, but they just don't listen to me. So here is what we should do, next time this happens and I know they are from your neighborhood I am going to call you and I need you to go over and tell them to leave. I literally didn't say anything for a minute, I was so stunned she thought this was a good idea.

Me: No, I will not ask some kids to leave your playground. If those kids are not leaving the playground when you ask what makes you think they are going to leave when I ask? Her: (getting huffy now) So you are saying you are not going to help with this problem, what do you propose we do then? Me: Get rid of the basketball court, if there is a basketball court, kids will go there to play.....period.

Her: Well, that is not acceptable! Me: Well short of hiring private security or calling officers every time you think someone is trespassing, I don't have any solutions for you. Her: I can't believe you won't help your fellow HOA president! . Ironically, my wife and I moved into that same neighborhood recently and this woman was one of the first people to greet us.

I am pretty sure she doesn't realize it was me she was talking to years earlier.

Karens Behaving Badly FactsShutterstock

42. It Wasn’t Me

When my wife and I were first married, we lived in a condominium complex with a very stupid and uptight HOA. Our condo was owned by my parents who rented it to us (the only reason we could afford it), and most of our neighbors were retirees. Most of our neighbors were actually very sweet, and many we even considered almost adopted grandparents.

However, there were also a bunch that had nothing but time on their hands to nitpick every tiny problem with the place. Unfortunately, these are also the types of people who apply for HOA positions, and the “wonderful” part about being the only young couple in the building was that we got blamed for EVERYTHING. Here are a few incidents.

After we were living there for a couple of months, I received a knock on the door from the HOA head. He at least was reasonable but often uninformed and would act on rumors spouted by his crazy board). He was asking to come in. He then proceeded to give me a lecture about the noise our dog was making, how they had received several complaints, and how we would be fined if we did not calm it down more. Here’s the outrageous part.

We didn’t own a dog. When he realized this, the guy apologized and left; however, we still received two more written warnings from the HOA board until they finally figured it out. The second frustrating incident was shortly after the birth of my son. My wife had had a c-section and was sleeping in the living room because she could not climb into our tall bed.

One evening while she was sitting there, she smelled a strong smell of smoke that made her nauseated. When I walked outside our condo into the lobby to check, I noticed a heavy haze there. My wife was very sensitive to smell at the time and the c-section made puking agonizing. Since the building had strict indoor smoke rules, I actually reported the issue via email to the HOA hoping they would do something about it.

And what do they do? I couldn’t believe the outcome. Two days later we get a written letter citing complaints resulting from the haze, demanding we stop otherwise we get fined. Even though we were the first ones to complain! We then get no response when we reply and proceed to get two more warnings (the smell became a regular evening occurrence).

They eventually did send us a fine which they quickly dropped once my dad (the actual homeowner) gave them a very angry phone call. The smell never stopped. Finally, when it was time for us to move out, we informed them two weeks in advance that we would have a moving crew (a bunch of friends) coming through. This was in compliance with their rules so they could notify residents and provide covers for the elevator so they wouldn’t be damaged.

I never hear a response. Two days before the move, I ran into the new HOA head and remind her of our weekend moving plans. She acknowledges that she received my email and says she will provide me with the equipment the morning of the move. She never does and so we move without it, and we do it without damaging the elevator. And what do they do?

Try to fine my parents for not providing advance notice of the move. That one also didn’t go down well for them…There were also tons of other petty things, too. Comments about us being noisy late at night even though we both worked and went to bed early, lots of accusatory questions about things out of place, etc. We were essentially the first pick to blame whenever something went wrong without an immediate explanation.

I’m so glad we no longer have to deal with them.

Nightmare Neighbors FactsShutterstock

43. We All Know One Of Those

So we're sitting in the cafeteria having breakfast just talking and my co-worker brings up how his neighbors are being a pain and he took pictures for the HOA. This dude literally walked on everybody's property and took the most ridiculous pictures. No joke, he took pictures of a single weed sprouting up in a driveway. Halfway through this roll of 50 pictures, it gets better.

He starts complaining about people having trash cans in front of their houses. I ask him why it's a problem and he tells me he doesn't want to look at them and having the cans there will devalue his house. I tell him a simple fix is to just not look at them and mind his own business. Honestly, I was floored. This guy seemed like a decent dude but after this, I am just dumbfounded.

Who the heck complains about stuff like that? He literally walked up onto people’s porches to take pictures of some green mold on their railings. It looked like it hadn't been cleaned in maybe two months, that’s it. I honestly can't believe these people exist.

Meet The Parents FactsShutterstock

44. Unfriendly And Dangerous

This happened about three years ago. I was living with my dad before moving out. This is in central Texas a little north of Austin on a county road. My family had lived there for almost 30 years, long before any thought of a neighborhood even existed. We have our two gate posts painted purple, which means keep out for anyone who doesn’t know.

We also kept the gate dummy locked to avoid unwanted guests. The most recent neighborhood at that time had a rather strict HOA that luckily up until that point we had the pleasure of never dealing with as we lived two miles down the road from the back entrance to said neighborhood. One day on my day off while my dad was at work, I heard a knock at the door.

I looked through the peephole to see a woman in her mid-40s dressed like a businesswoman. I assumed it was someone offering to buy the property as we live on 20 acres. I opened the door and she said, “I’m blah blah blah with the neighborhood HOA, I just wanted to speak to the property owner about the purple posts. It doesn’t really match the aesthetic of the neighborhood”.

I was so lost. I started to talk and then was left speechless. Her reply floored me. This witch snaps, “Can you speak?” in the most malicious tone I’d ever heard. So I said “Lady, purple posts mean ‘keep out’ and that gate was dummy locked. "I'm not sure how long you've been in Texas, but your behavior in the past five minutes would be seen as a reckless provocation by many people on this county road, including my dad."

I paused, then said, “We’re not a part of your stupid HOA, we live TWO FREAKING MILES down the road from it. If we want to spray paint our trees red and grass blue, we can. So turn around, close the gate behind you and screw off”. She started to talk some more, so I slammed the door in her face and watched her leave from the window.

A few months later, a friend of mine moved into that neighborhood and told me that my dad and his property are regularly posted on their Facebook page as “unfriendly and dangerous”.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

45. Not A Smart Thing To Do

I've never had a problem with my HOA before, as they usually stay out of everyone's business. My HOA has a nice park that our HOA fee (only $10/month) funds, which is really the whole point of this neighborhood having an HOA. It's a nice green space with a canal, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a large open field. Recently, a breeding pair of burrowing owls made their nest there.

As per Florida law, they protected the nest by putting up some caution tape. Annoyingly, people have been letting their dogs into that area, but generally, the owls have been fine and happy. They had chicks this summer; I'm not sure if they have left the nest yet or not. On Friday, I was walking my dog and saw some landscapers in the area, so I turned around and walked the other way to give them space.

Saturday, I took my dog out and saw that they had clear-cut the whole nest! I'm furious. Those owls are an endangered species and have state protections. Rationally, it may have just been a miscommunication between the HOA, the landscaping company, and the guys who actually do the work...but I'm still mad. I reported them and hopefully, some action is taken and the nest is better protected.

HOA HorrorsRawPixel

46. The Shoes Are Coming Off

My reject hall pass monitors are at it again. We’ve had a number of issues with the hypocrisy of our HOA board. Conflicts of interest to be specific. A petition went around to remove the corrupt board, but not enough votes were put into place due to her strong-arming residents into signing a counter-petition. So, now the board is going after anyone who signed the petition.

See, the management company told the board who signed it, another conflict of interest. My wife is a Buddhist. Every place we have lived unfortunately has had an HOA, but none have ever bothered her for following her rituals. As a Buddhist, your home is your temple where you pray. Your shoes do not come into the home. We live in an 18-unit condo complex.

Each unit has a deep alcove. My wife and I leave our shoes in our alcove. This has started a total firestorm. Just constant warnings of fines. We had to go to an appeal and for the fourth time had to explain this is due to our religious observation. We pointed out the hypocrisy of the board members keeping things in common areas, as where we keep our shoes are not even common areas.

The alcove is not cleaned, but they keep redefining what is a common area and what is not. The president lied about who filed the complaint (we have a recording of her telling us who filed the complaint) and they signed an affidavit saying they never complained. The rule they are attempting to enforce is a very vague, up-to-interpretation type rule that changes constantly to benefit themselves.

We have a lawyer and previously gave the president a cease-and-desist order. So she now has her lackeys coming after us. We’ve spoken to everyone in the community, and they are beyond angry. We informed them (both the board of directors and the community) that we will not be paying their fines and if they want to hurt the community by being bigoted, court action will be taken.

Learned Too Late in Life factsShutterstock

47. All Bark And No Bite

I posted on my neighborhood Facebook group this morning about a person who lets their large dog outside to bark constantly from 6:30 to 7:15 am every morning. It wakes me up every day. It has been going on for months, but I also pointed out it has been well below freezing outside most of the days this has happened in the last two weeks.

I do not know which house it is coming from, and every house has a fully fenced-in backyard. I do not hate dogs, and we also have one. Within an hour, my post was deleted, I received a message chastising me, and a four-paragraph diatribe about my post and how our neighborhood is full of nothing but great people and our Facebook group is for uplifting and positive comments.

It also said the entire HOA board discussed my post and decided to take it down. At 8:30 in the morning within 30 minutes of it being posted. I would like to thank my HOA for teaching me a valuable lesson: posting on Facebook is actually more disrespectful and offensive to your neighbors than letting your dog bark incessantly every morning for months. Who knew?

Animals’ Biggest Power Moves FactsPixabay

48. A Sign Of The Times

So there I was driving at about 45mph in between neighborhood exits when a 15-year-old kid pulled out in front of me even though he had a stop sign. I had to choose: slam into his driver-side door, or swerve—so naturally, I swerved. When I did, my brakes locked up and I lost control slamming into and over a curb and smashing into a granite sign.

The car was totaled. I was bleeding, but we were right next to a cop shop, so I figured officers would be there soon. Well, I was very wrong about that. The first person to arrive was some old guy who immediately told me I had damaged the sign and would have to pay for it. Mind you, I hit the corner of the sign and there was not even a scratch on it.

I could not believe he had the audacity to not even ask if me and the other driver were ok or anything. The old man then called his HOA rep, who was all dressed up in a suit, so that she could tell me the same thing. Months later, they kept making claims on my insurance and trying to sue to get their fern replaced. Long story short, they are scum who don’t care about anything other than exercising what little power they have.

For what it’s worth, even the 15-year-old kid did the right thing and pulled a U-turn to see if I was ok. He also admitted fault to the authorities. He had a permit and was driving his older friend to his job.

Creepy Things Witnessed factsShutterstock

49. Just Say No

Today was a good day. As a member of my three-person board for my HOA. I helped officially dissolve our HOA. I bought my house 21 years ago. Admittedly I was rather naive about HOAs and the nonsense about “protecting your property values” etc. But I had a family on the way, it was a quiet and (at the time) rural part of the state, and it was a nice house at a reasonable price.

So I figured why not, I'd only be there a couple of years and then I could sell and move on. For various reasons, we stayed at the house. Those included the housing market crash where I was underwater on the house for a number of years and I wanted to avoid uprooting the kids out of the schools they were in. During that time, I watched some of the most messed-up things happen.

Stuff like selective enforcement of the rules, or no enforcement on really important ones. At one point, the board decided to "outsource" to a property management company that embezzled thousands from the HOA. Just a whole mess of things. So if I hate HOAs so much why did I join? Well, because I figured I couldn’t complain if I didn’t contribute. Then one day, something really odd happened.

I had multiple neighbors ask me if it was possible to “dismantle the HOA”. I told them, “Yes but it’s a LOT of work. We need at least 2/3 of the homeowners to vote on ballots saying ‘yes’ to dissolving the HOA. A ‘no’ vote or not voting were the same thing”. So the board agreed unanimously to put it up to a vote. We went door to door and collected signed ballots from each homeowner.

While there, we answered any questions they had, including; “Well, what if people vote to keep it?” We’d reply, “Then the HOA stays, that’s clearly what the homeowners want!” And of course, there was the: “Well don’t you care about your house value?? We need an HOA!” Of course, we would tell people the same thing: “If you think keeping it is the right thing to do, you should vote accordingly”.

In the end, it was clear the people living here (some of whom were the first buyers of the house and still living here from when the development was first put in) had had enough of dealing with the HOA. They all felt the same pain and frustration that I did. We got OVER 2/3 of the homeowners voting to dissolve the HOA. We’ll be working on filing the results with the state.

Today was a good day.

HOA HorrorsShutterstock



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