62 People Share Their Absolute Worst Homeowner Association Stories

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A homeowner's association (abbreviated as HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the properties and residents.

Those who purchase property within its jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues—HOA fees. And while these associations can do a lot of good, some can be very restrictive.

To illustrate how ridiculous, strange, and downright infuriating their regulations can be, we at Bored Panda compiled some of the worst HOA stories we found online.


I go into work early some days to get at least some of my work done before the idiots show up. Usually before work I go on about a five mile walk with my dog. I live in a condo so I walk about a quarter mile up the road and walk around in a neighborhood.

About eight months ago while I'm walking a golf cart with actual lights and sirens pulls up in front of me. This huge old lady gets out and starts yelling before I can even get my headphones out of my ears. Turns out walking dogs isn't allowed before 7 am according to the hoa. I informed her that first of all I don't live there and second of all the streets were all public so she couldn't really do much. She responded by threatening to call the cops and have me arrested. I just told her to do whatever she felt she had too and walked away.

This really pissed her off. She started following me in her golf cart with the lights and siren going. This continued for about ten minutes until the cops arrived on the scene. I stopped and talked with them for a bit and explained my side of things. Took maybe 20 minutes before they came back over to explain what was going to happen.

In the end I had every right to walk my dog at anytime of day or night as long as I had a light when it was dark and had reflective clothing (I had both), as for her though they tested the siren which exceeded noise levels for anytime before 8 am. Then to top it off she didn't have it registered for use on public roads, and the tail lights didn't work. As I looped back around the golf cart was getting loaded onto a tow truck and I just kinda laughed the whole way back to my condo.

Image credits: dave8814


My hoa in Oklahoma required that you hire a professional company and spend at least $500 to put up lights at Christmas time. They threatened to fine me when I refused, so since I'm Jewish, I got a company to put up a huge star of David in my front yard. They removed the requirement from the hoa rules the next year.

Image credits: Bob__Loblaw_


Longish story, but it makes me smile every time I think about it

My grandfather lives in a "senior friendly" HOA, he and my grandmother lived there for about 15 years, the entire time my grandma was an avid gardener, and her favorite plants were her hydrangea bushes. The HOA allowed her garden in the back of the house, and the bushes in the front for the entire time they have lived there. A year or two after she passed away the HOA board had a huge turnover and the HOA informed my grandpa that the bushes had to go, even threatening to 'forcibly remove' the bushes. Well, grandpa is a retired federal appellate judge, he has lots of free time and he LOVES to argue. He has told my uncle and I on multiple occasions that after grandma died he really found no joy in anything, but now he is only alive to spite the HOA and loves every minute of it. A year ago he spent about 6 months drafting response letters for every single violation in the HOA that they could try to fine him on and has them all ready to go.

My uncle has told me that my grandpa has quite literally set aside 10s of thousands of dollars per year, for 30 years, to pay for legal filings, research, and fines. He will never stop, he is the terminator of HOA fine notices.

Image credits: Name_of_user_here


I was once made to resod my front lawn. In the middle of summer with average daily temperatures over 100 degrees. During one of the worst droughts on record. While the whole city was under watering restrictions.

The new lawn (which I had spent several hundred dollars on) promptly died and they tried to make me replace it again, but apparently enough people had complained by that point that before I did they agreed not to make us replace our lawns until the water restrictions were lifted.

Confession bear time: I had to get up early for work (3am), so as I drove through the neighborhood I looked for people watering their lawns in the middle of the night on violation of restrictions. Most people were just trying to avoid being hassled by the HOA, I know, so I left them alone. But when I saw members of the HOA board doing it, I reported them to the city.

Image credits: Fromager


My mom told me a great story of the vengeance one of her clients enacted after being harassed by a tyrannical HOA. The guy is a surgeon and very wealthy. He bought a piece of property, and the HOA started really messing with him bad, ripping his trees out, fining him large sums of money for infractions that were baseless, and when he would fight them and ask for proof, they would retaliate by screwing with him even more...

The revenge: Being a pretty prestigious surgeon, and having a sh*tload of money, he decided to buy every piece of property that became available in the neighborhood. This plot took over a year of buying property after property... and he would put them in names of different businesses he owned as to not raise suspicion. The HOA didn’t even see it coming.

Then one day, he showed up to an HOA meeting... and said something to the effect of, “Here’s a list of all the properties I now own in this neighborhood, and that makes me the majority owner. I’m disbanding this HOA.” They were stunned, but there was nothing they could do. He defeated them.


OH WEE!!!! My good friend had a story.

Her and the husband moved into this gated community. She loves having a birdbath in her backyard...and she gardens a lot, so the decoration makes sense. Turns out her HOA figured out that she had said birdbath in her backyard. Apparently birdbath=lawn ornament, which was forbidden. She told them she would remove it. A week later she gets another message saying that it hasn't been removed(it wasn't). Obviously her and the husband put it together that the HOA is snooping in her backyard.

For a week, she spends her time outside sunbathing in the nude setting her trap. Sure enough an HOA narc opens the gate to their backyard and sees her in the nude.

Instant call to the police for privacy violations. The HOA gave up and let her have a birdbath.

She is now on the board of the HOA and they leave her alone.

Image credits: Flynn_lives


I've dealt with some weird HOA's in my time. Let's see if I can remember all the weird rules.

1.) Fined 500 dollars for being seen outside wearing camo. (I had to wear it to go to work.) HOA president was seriously anti-government, anti-war, and anti-military. He pressed the issue right to the point some guys from the DoD explained to him the folly of his ways.

2.) Fined 250 dollars for not joining in on the block party. (I was asleep and had duty the next day.)

3.) Fined 50 dollars for not watering my lawn regularly. In a drought. Where the city would fine you for watering your lawn.

4.) Fined 400 dollars for parking in front of my house. No matter that it wasn't my car, but was the neighbor's. I was fined just the same.

5.) Fined 100 dollars for an unwanted display in front of my house. That display was a plastic Jack-o-Lantern during Halloween.

6.) Fined 50 dollars for putting up blackout curtains.

7.) Fined 50 dollars for putting up an electric fence to keep kids from cutting across my lawn to get to the lake.

8.) Fined 100 dollars for calling the police on a neighbor for beating his wife. (there's some context there. I didn't see him doing it, but heard it, as well as the screams for him to stop. The HOA fined me because they claimed I had disrupted the peace.)

Image credits: Kabukikitsune


Our neighborhood HOA tried to make us remove the ivy from our house. After combing through the by-laws, there was nothing stating we couldn’t have ivy.

I put my foot down hard and told them if they made me remove my beloved ivy, then I would put 50 pink flamingos in my yard because there was no rule about it.

They left us alone after that.

Image credits: bewenched


Got a letter saying that I had weeds in my flower beds. My front yard doesn't have any flower beds, so I email them and ask which ones they are referring to. They of course come back and say it's the flower bed in my back yard.

My back yard has an 8 foot privacy fence around it that is impossible to see through. When asked how they knew about it they said a neighbor reported it. Not a single neighbor has been in my back yard in the 6 years I've owned the house. I replied back and called them on their bullsh*t and told them that any further trespassing is unacceptable.

I specifically didn't do anything about the weeds and put up a couple of my game cameras (kind used for hunting) watching the gate. Caught the f*cker three different times opening the gate and walking into my backyard. He did it every other Monday.

I took the next Monday off and sat in my backyard with a camera recording. Called the cops and had him arrested for trespassing. City police were very helpful and a lawyer buddy wrote up a nice fancy letter that said that any further contact from the HOA had to go through him.


I walk my dog through a HOA neighborhood every night and I have had them follow me home in their car to personally drop off a letter saying I am to stay off the HOA sidewalks cause dogs are not allowed and I will be fined if I keep doing it.

Well it's been like 4 months and about half my bathroom wall is now wallpapered with stupid notices and "fines" that i'm never going to pay for using a public space to walk my dog!!

Image credits: itsfish20


They sent us a series of nasty notices to remove the dead tree in our front yard. The tree had lost all of its leaves and it was unsightly, apparently.

The catch is that they sent us this notice in November. You know, like, FALL. When perfectly healthy trees lose their leaves.

We pretended we didn't understand which tree they were talking about until spring, when the tree magically came back to life.

Image credits: Phoencopterus


We are specifically limited to "one large animal". It fails to state what the animal can be. I'm thinking whale, or perhaps African elephant.

Image credits: futureformerteacher


Coworker lived in a very expensive and very high monthly HOA neighborhood. They were born in the Netherlands and had a Dutch flag sticker on their front window, maybe three inches tall. They got a $75 fine in the mail. Her dad read the rules over extremely well, went out and photographed over 75 US flags, went to the head officer and said he wouldn't be writing a $75 check until the person writes up all 75 of the following addresses, as there's no exception for an American flag. They dismissed his fine

Image credits: somedude456


I got fined for having a holloween pumpkin on my patio on Nov 1st.

Image credits: sosomama


A friend of mine lived in a pretty big neighborhood with a pretty strict HOA. He asked and was allowed to add a garage onto his house and did so, siding it with cedar planks. It looked great. His HOA disagreed and told him the by-laws state all exposed walls must be painted. He tried to appeal, but was shot down unanimously. So he checked the by-laws further and found that while it was stated that all exposed walls must be painted, there was absolutely no mention of any color restrictions.

By the time he was done, each plank was a different primary color, and there was nothing they could do about it. They were furious with him, and he laughed his butt off.

Image credits: procrastinator3000v2


Had an HOA which regularly complained about petty things. I did fix them, but was super annoyed. I made a sign (very cheaply, white with black text) which said "Yard of the month" or something like that because it would annoy them greatly and wasn't technically against the rules. Later, they actually made a really nice and expensive official sign "HOA OFFICIAL yard of the month." (lol, really? I was joking) Nice graphics and nice metal frame. Really official looking. I noticed it on a walk at night when most people were already inside. I grabbed the sign and moved it to someone else's yard which was obviously crap with lots of weeds etc. Ya, that sign never showed up again. lol.

Image credits: Aardopossadillo


My family had a really nice but old Mercedes Benz parked in our lot. It didn’t run at the time, and we couldn’t afford to fix it up quite yet, so we never renewed the tags on it. Again, it was a really pretty silver car simply parked in our driveway. A neighbor called the police/HOA and basically anyone else who she could complain to about our car. The town then approached us and said we must cover the car, so we begrudgingly did. But not before painting a bunch of d*cks on the cover in bright neon colors. It was just about the most hideous thing that you could look at.

Image credits: Yellatmejoerogan


I briefly rented a condo with some friends. The landlord told us that there was a HOA, but didn't tell us about all their crazy rules.

We got fined $60 for leaving a snow shovel on our front steps overnight. We weren't allowed to keep anything on our front steps or lawn.

We Also got fined $80 for putting our trash on the curb at 7pm the day before garbage day. Turns out that 8pm was the earliest we were allowed to put it out.

We all broke that lease and went our separate ways after a few months of living there. The fines and constant threatening phone calls weren't worth it.

Image credits: stopstaringatmeswan4


I was threatened a fine for not having my landscaping done before the end of 2007. I moved in the house Feb 2014... I had to go to the committee meeting and present my case, then 5 or 6 of my neighbors needed to discuss my fate. It took them until the next day to agree that I should not be fined.

I'm moving as soon as I can.

Image credits: proROKexpat


not me but my sister. her front door broke because some delivery people f*cked up and she had it replaced. apparently it was the wrong color according to the HOA and she would be fined $500 a week unless it's corrected or REMOVED, because it's totally fine to not have a front door in LA.

another is from a sweet old lady that invited me in for tea and cookies when i was house hunting. the HOA there was $285 a month (below average for socal) and she told me that while she didn't mind the committee so much, she wasn't happy when 2 of her potted plants were shattered by kids playing ball around her house and the HOA wanted to fine her $65 a day until she has them removed from her front yard.

i ended up buying a home without HOA.

Image credits: Unfeelingzeal


When I was a kid I remember our family had just moved into a new neighborhood. The first person to come greet us from our neighborhood was there to hand us a fine because the moving people left a small tire mark on one of the curbs.

Image credits: IronBagel


Before I moved to my new house, without an HOA mind you, I tried to plant a Japanese Maple Tree in my front yard. In reviewing the HOA rules and addendum, I discovered I had to submit the new "design" of my front yard to the HOA. To do this, I had to hire a professional landscaping firm to prepare a design showing the proposed location of the tree and tender the design with a fee to the HOA.

The HOA then reviewed the design, made a comment that they thought the tree should be located slightly right to the proposed location, I had to resubmit a new design matching the HOA's recommendation, get approval, all before I could plant a mother f*cking japanese maple tree in my mother f*cking front yard.

Image credits: The_Shadow_Monk


Fined multiple times and threatened with a lien by the HOA because we would not water our grass during a major, major drought season.

It was cheaper and easier to fight the HOA since the City AND State passed regulations banning constant watering and green grass. The City had Google like vans with cameras that’d be driving neighborhoods to catch violators and fine them.

Image credits: poisonivvy13


When we moved in we got permission to build a fence. They said cedar treated pine was fine. Well a neighbor didn't like that and called HOA. We got an email shortly thereafter from HOA Pres that there were some concerns about our wood (ha) so he came by real quick to give it a good sniff to see if it was, in fact, not cedar.

He is now King Fence Sniffer.

Image credits: PadaWINE


My HOA mailed us a letter stating the color red I painted my front door wasn't approved. They required me to submit the paint color name, brand and sample to the architectural committee for review and approval. I did. It was denied. I wrote a letter stating there was a neighbor 2 blocks over with a red door- who had been approved. HOA says "paint it the same color as your neighbors, and we'll approve it." I let 2 weeks pass. Wrote a follow up letter informing this very particular HOA that I had completed the repainting of my door from the red I originally chose (which was denied) to the exact same color as the neighbors. I get a letter which thanked me for repainting and (finally) approves my red door. Their letter even stated that my door was visited and inspected prior to approval. Jokes on them. I never repainted it and they couldn't tell the difference.


When my sister was hit by a drunk driver, the insurance took a few days to decide what to do with her car since it was a weekend. Neighbor called the police and said it was abandoned and had been there for months. Luckily, the police took our side. They pulled up an accident report showing that car across town 2 days ago, then told her to f*ck off.


They vetoed a cell tower because it would be ugly and we still have garbage service at home because of it.

Image credits: [deleted]


Had a friend who moved into the suburbs and upon moving in received the thickest f*cking rule book I've ever seen from the HOA. The majority of it were allowed/banned lists; here are the flowers you are ALLOWED to grow and what colors of them you are allowed to grow and here are how many of them you are allowed to grow and what kind of pots you're allowed to plant them in and where in the yard you can plant them and how tall you are allowed to have them and so on, so forth, etc.

They had these lists for not only plants but things like statues you'd put in the yard (gnomes are allowed but they may not be more than three feet tall and may not depict any inappropriate material), the color you could have the house painted (it may be yellow but only THESE SPECIFIC SHADES OF YELLOW), what kind of wreath you could put on the door (wreaths may not be bigger than ___), when you could have BBQs or parties in your yard and what kind were allowed, how tall your grass could be, the kind of mulch you were allowed to use in your garden, and just so much.

You know how you sometimes step into a person's house and it's the kind where you feel like you can't sit down because you're afraid you'll ruin something? I felt like this as soon as I rolled into this neighborhood. Friend is still living there, I don't know how she does it.

Image credits: LemonFake


My parents have a terrible HOA. They live in a neighborhood where some of the houses are along a golf course for a country club. The country club shut down two years ago and no one is maintaining the course.

Most of the HOA board live on the golf course and they are all complaining that their property values are going down. So they concocted a scheme where they were going to raise the dues by $2000 a year and use the money to buy the golf course and country club then reopen them.

I went to the meeting with my dad for entertainment and it was crazy. Someone asked if they would at least get a country club membership or access to the golf course because of the fee. They were told no, they would have to join the club. The base membership fee was going to be $30,000 and top out at $80,000.

It did not get done.


I got a notice in the mail in December that I need to plant more trees in my front yard. And I have one month to comply. In December. With snow on the ground.

I have a total of 7 trees on my property, and 3 of them are in the front yard. Well 1 of them in between the sidewalk and street, so apparently that tree does not count. The covenant says I need 3 trees in the front yard. This house is 7 years old and was this way when I moved in 1 year ago.

I wrote them back and said I would plant another tree in the Spring and they will need to wait for better weather. They said I should plant it in December anyway, and I just never responded.

I hate HOA.


My family moved to a new neighborhood when I was in kindergarten. My dad had built an amazing playhouse for me and my siblings. It had miniature windows, an miniature door, working lights, even AC. It was basically a tiny house before tiny houses were a thing. It was beautiful. He had built it on cinderblocks so that we could move it to our backyard of our new house once we moved. Perfect, right?

Nope. The homeowner's association refused to let us bring it, citing that the neighborhood doesn't allow "toolsheds" because apparently they are an eyesore. Backyard playgrounds are fine, but somehow our playhouse didn't qualify as a playground.

Me and my younger sisters were f*cking devastated. I remember crying and crying because I couldn't keep the playhouse that my dad worked so hard on. Hell, I'm 24 years old and I still tear up when I think about it. Why did anyone care so badly that they'd deny some kids their playhouse?

I still drive by our old house once a year or so. The new owners haven't taken care of it and it's fallen into disrepair.

I have other stories about our HOA-- such as how we were frozen out for having a "nontraditional" house color (gray. It was f*cking gray) and a woman who used to walk around the neighborhood with a clipboard to write people up for offenses that shouldn't matter.


Everyone in our neighborhood received fines for leaving garage cans at the road. It was trash day.

Image credits: ileefull


Cant wash our cars in the driveway. Cant have any of the bushes or plants in our yard touch the fence. Got a giant sticker slapped on the side of my window for parking in the wrong "zone" even though it was in the same cul-de-sac.

Image credits: [deleted]


Until a recent coup, our HOA was run by some of the pettiest people alive. Some of their hijinks over the years included:

--sending us a nasty letter telling us that we were in violation of their covenants due to bare places in our lawn. We were in the midst of totally replacing the sod in our yard as part of a landscaping plan the HOA approved.

--sending us a violation letter because the trash can had not been moved back inside until 10 minutes after the deadline (6 p.m. on trash pickup day, because no one has a commute or an emergency or works different hours than the HOA board members. This was sent with a timestamped photo of the trash can.

And my personal favorite:

--sending us a violation letter that we needed to replace our mailbox because it was damaged and we would be fined $25 a day until we did so. The mailbox was fairly new so I went out to look at it. It was absolutely covered with bird poop. Cleaned it off and noticed that there was no damage, shrugged and emailed the HOA that the problem was rectified. They came out to verify that it was and I got another letter. More bird poop. A few hours of observation revealed that a hawk was perching on the mailbox stalking a chipmunk that was living in the garden around our mailbox. So I went to the garden store and got a bottle of 'predator pee' stuff that scares away small animals and sprinkled it around the mailbox, causing the chipmunk to relocate. Problem solved. Sadly, I did not send the HOA an envelope full of the stuff.

Image credits: cronelogic


I know someone where his HOA prevents you from taking the trash out the day before pick up. Like if taking your trash out on sunday night for trash day monday was worthy of a $50 or $100 fine. 12:01AM Monday is fine, but 11:59PM sunday wasn't

Image credits: increasingrain


My son kept getting sh*t because he had a '50s pickup he was working on in his garage that he would move outside during the day and put away at night. The HOA president had the truck towed from his driveway. He got it back, as it was an illegal tow. A few weeks later, the truck was towed again, and the HOA had it crushed (she must have paid extra, they don't crush a truck in 45 minutes).

He called me and asked to borrow some cash... got ahold of 20 wrecks and had them put on the street all down his cul de sac. He took my torch and tanks and cut every tie down and hook point he could find just to make it cost more for the tow man. The cost of the tows almost bankrupt the HOA. He moved a few weeks later.


My friend lives in a homeowner's association and they have a very strict rule on lawn ornaments and decorating. They have banned pink flamingos on their own (this is important later), and for Christmas, they require the house to have a theme. My friend was looking for a way to screw with them, and I found it for him in the Bahamas.

The theme he chose was Christmas in Paradise. He sold it to the association by saying it would be bright colors to off-set the dreary winter we were having. They enthusiastically approved it.

He found some plastic palm trees, borrowed nine of a friend's pink flamingos, and built a sled for Santa. The flamingos had reindeer antlers, and the one in front had a red nose stuck on. It looked something like this. He also had lights on the house, fake palms, and a sign that said Christmas in Paradise. The HOA couldn't do anything because I had found a painting in the Bahamas that inspired the whole setup and bought it for the friend with the flamingo collection, and it fit in with his theme.


My parents built a playhouse for my younger siblings, and our local HOA claimed it was a storage shed and that it was on our neighbor's property. My dad knew it wasn't because he had worked with the neighbor to make sure it wasn't on his property... The HOA's response was this: "It looks like a shed, so it needs to go away." So he went home and hatched a plan.

He convinced all the people on our block to build playhouses, or "sheds." Most people did. The HOA went batsh*t crazy.


My HOA decided that my trim needed to be painted RIGHT NOW. Threatened a $100 a month fine if it wasn't. The trouble is that it was January, and I live near Chicago.

As I was buying the paint, the salesperson keeps telling me that the paint won't dry, it will just freeze, and fall off within 6 months. I was selling in the spring anyway, so I didn't care. Painted the trim in a temperature of 7 degrees F.

Image credits: Allthenamesareregone


Not mine but one of my good friends has a rather insane HOA. They actually used rented surveying equipment to determine that his clothesline was 1 inch taller than his fence and fined him several hundred dollars for some stupid "structure beyond the fence" rule they had.

Same HOA has someone walking around actually measuring the length of grass with a ruler and issuing warnings for mowing.


“Only plant oak trees” even after multiple arborists & botanists informed the board that doing so would give all of them various diseases and all would need to be cut down. 10 years later? All have been cut down because they have diseases and mites.

Image credits: SonofByford


The fake HOA in our neighborhood! Started off as a neighborly gesture. Cheap 75.00 a year. Cleared the roads, some Spring dumpsters, a Summer BBQ.

Then the bored housewife who had nothing better to do became President of the HOA. They "elections", meetings, and of course raised the HOA fee 200%.

She talked about new street signs, new roads, sidewalls, and gates into the entrance of the neighborhood. Mind you our home was the original property back in the 1940s. I assume the owners sold off land for the homes around us. No common areas, neighborhood pool, park, trails, NOTHING. I refused to pay or be any part of the little HOA club.

She called as I was "past due" on my HOA fees. I politely told her there is no HOA here that is why we bought this home. She asked if we use the roads and I said yes of course. Her response was well you need to pay to use my roads. I told her I do, it's called Property Tax. I asked her to NEVER contact me again.

Funny some participate in the HOA. They just put in $15,000 worth of Stop signs. We have 5 intersections!! She wants to resurface the over 1 mile road now!! Good luck with that, I'll gladly be the one they hate who hangs her laundry out to dry!! Do NOT buy in an HOA!!


A few from our condo:

No motorcycles even from visitors. So my buddy cant ride his motorcycle over to hang out. Has to take his car.

No pets at all. No cats, no fish, no living creatures besides plants on your unit.

I got in trouble for walking around "suspiciously" God forbid I I stretch my legs around the grounds without looking like I'm up to no good.

Also the condo mafia changes and makes up rules as it suits them. I have a copy of the original HoA agreement andany of the rules are simple not in the original HoA.


So a while back, I was given a UGA Bulldogs flag and a flagpole to mount it on my porch. Our homeowners association (HOA) restrictions say that sports team flags can only be flown on a day in which the team is playing. My intention was to only fly it on Saturdays when the football team was playing. So I put the flag up on a Saturday the Dawgs were playing, but forgot to take it down until Monday. On Friday, I get a letter from the HOA stating that I am in violation of the restriction and could be fined. Okay, fair enough, they are correct on this one. I then noticed that the date of observation was on Wednesday. I called and said that couldn't be true because I took it down on Monday. Instead of admitting her mistake, she lied and said that she had seen it up on Wednesday. Now I was mad.

I printed off a schedule of every sporting event the Bulldogs had in every sport, even club sports, and then proceeded to fly the flag every single day there was any kind of game, match, regatta, etc., which was almost every single day.

I then started getting letters stating I was in violation again. I would call on each one and explain that the water polo team had a match, or the rowing team had a regatta on those days. After about a month or two of this back and forth, they finally gave up.


Regulated the color of flowers in the front yard. No kidding.


A neighbor within the HOA had a giant, ugly satellite dish in his backyard. The HOA rules stated that you couldn't have one of these on your property since it was ugly, and took away from the value of the house. So what does he do? He buys the ugliest hearse he can find, attached the satellite to it, and parks it on the street. HOA board calls the cops on cars every 24 hours (law is your vehicle has to move every 24 hours or you get a ticket/towed). So to spite them, every day he moves his hearse, with the satellite, to avoid a ticket or getting towed. And they couldn't do anything about it.


They refused to let us have garage sales. My dad protested at a meeting, and the president said it was because they didn’t want “undesirables” in the neighborhood.

My dad said, “Oh so you mean anybody who isn’t white, right?”

And the president threw him out of the meeting.

We had a garage sale anyway.


Let me paint you a scene: a young married couple finds their first apartment and although it is far from perfect, it is spacious and 2 minutes away from work. Mind you this is the beginning of August...in South Florida.

On the day we move in we see a letter posted for the HOA stating that someone HAS to be present in our unit while the workers are there to work on the central cooling unit. Okay, no big deal, I have the ability to work from home sometimes, so I did. Well, at the end of those two days (workers were to be there from 8AM-5PM) we were told that the project “was bigger than expected,” and found out exactly what was happening. They were replacing the piping of all 22 units in our complex, and we were lucky enough to have 1 of 2 points of access to the roof (in our bedroom closet).

That roof access was utilized for 24 days out of the month of August anywhere from 1-14 hours a day.

TL;DR: Newly weds spent first month of marriage alongside AC repairmen. Also, we still don’t have functioning central air.


While I was helping my buddy move stuff out of his house to a new house, my mom called me saying there was a family emergency with my father and I needed to come home right away... I drive home as fast as possible without getting pulled over.

My neighborhood has a 25-mph speed limit. We live in a pretty diverse neighborhood, so quite a few people don't pay attention to it. Well, as I'm pulling 30-mph going up my street, I spot one of the HOA enforcers standing on her lawn and sprint into the middle of the street at the last minute. I slam on the brakes, and she runs up to me screaming about how dangerous it is to drive that fast and how I need to slow down because there are children (children are usually inside or monitored by parents when they're outside) and what I could have done.

I simply gaped at her and said, "Normally, I'd expect a stupid child to run into the street without looking first. Guess I was right."


I was a kid, and we moved into a subdivision with an HOA. My father was painting the front door a gorgeous burgundy over this ugly puke green, and our neighbor, who we called PoodleHead for her dog and her haircut, comes rushing over to tell him he can't do that, and all colors must be approved by the HOA color board.

So my father apologized profusely. PoodleHead returned to her domicile. My father began putting everything away. He'd been about halfway through the job, and now our front door was a wonder of half burgundy and half vomit.

PoodleHead trundled back over and told my father he couldn't leave the door like that, and he said she said he couldn't paint it, either. So it could stay like this, or she could tell him to keep painting.

The front door color was approved on the spot and was still that color when I drove by the house 10 years later and after two ownership changes. It did really suit the house


A guy across town put up a flagpole. The HOA told him the only flagpole allowed was a small flag hanging at an angle on your porch. He took the pole down. He did some research on his contract and painted his garage door in an American flag pattern.


So the HOA in my parents' neighborhood sent my mother a letter to take down her two pink plastic flamingos because "they clashed with the architectural aesthetic" of the neighborhood (upper middle class sort of place). My mother formally complied, but made game flouting the rules after that. There were no restrictions in the bylaws against any sort of temporary seasonal decorations. So the flamingos come out for every holiday imaginable, redressed for the season. Flamingo witches and mummies for Halloween, pulling Santa's sleigh for Christmas, football players for the all-important Clemson/Carolina rivalry game. It has gotten to the point where her flamingo dioramas are a neighborhood institution with people looking forward them.

On a related note, costumes meant for small dogs fit plastic pink flamingos pretty well.


My parents HOA is pretty typical, but there's one guy who's on the board who is crazy. For instance. Pretty standard rule, all extrtior paint colors have to be from this list of like 10 shades, or be approved. About 6 months after my parents moved in, they got a different color approved. Then they went out of town for a week, left me home to house sit (home from college for the summer)& hired a company to come paint while they were gone.

No problem. Painters show up, do some prep work and then paint one side of the house. At about 6pm, someone starts pounding on the front door. It's this late sixties aged man, basically frothing at the mouth who instantly starts tearing into me about being in violation of HOA rules since I didn't get color approval& am I a renter, the HOA didn't approve of rentals, and 'no one has seen an adult home in days, just a rotating stream of teenagers (I was 19, looked about 16& had had a few friends over the night before to watch movies, and had a girl I drove to work every day get dropped off). I told him the homeowners were out of town, but as far as I knew, it had been approved& shut the door on him.

He came back the next day and sheepishly apologizes for bothering me. He had personally approved of the paint, but had somehow missed that my parents house was the one being painted (he didn't know any addresses, just what families lived in what houses). Idiot.


This is actually something that is ongoing battle between my friend's mom and her HOA, or more specifically one member.

She lives inside this circular complex full of townhouses with a roundabout in the center that used to have a lot of trees and looked really nice, almost like a minipark. The HOA decided to cut down all of the trees without giving notice and my friend's mom was pissed. She went to complain about it and they basically said, "Sorry, too late."

In protest of them doing that she decided to buy this big inflatable palm tree that she stuck on her balcony for all to see. One of the neighbors, who was in the HOA decided to file a complaint because it looked gawdy. She knew exactly who it was and it upset her more that this person did that instead of coming to talk to her after years of living near each other.

She was able to keep her tree and when Christmas came around she even decorated it. She decided she was going to wage this war against the HOA and this neighbor by having annoying inflatable decorations on her balcony. When it started warming up she bought a flamingo, which she likes to dress in Chicago Cubs or Blackhawks gear depending on the season.

I told my friend he should get her a 6ft wacky waving inflatable tube man to put on there next, which I think would be hilarious, but I don't know if she wants to take it that far.


Didn't happen to me personally, but I guess I can tell you about my parent's experience with their HOA.

Dad retired and decided that he really wanted to buy a camper and travel. Mom was all about it, both of them very excited. So dad runs off and trades his F-150 truck for a F-250 with a bigass diesel V8, buys a gooseneck camper, and waits for spring. Camper in the back yard, truck in the garage, no big deal.

Not long after he gets a visit from a lady. She's got a list of rules from the HOA (that was established long after my parents had built their house, something like 15 years later when the subdivision really took off) saying that dad couldn't have the camper on his property because it was an "eyesore." Mind you this camper is in the backyard, behind a 6' privacy fence. You could still see it, sure, but it's not like it was old and in disrepair either.

So here's my retired parents, living in a subdivision that has an HOA that was established long after they built their home, and the HOA is expecting them to abide by rules they didn't agree to.

He never moved the camper.


My family lived under the dictatorial regime of a HOA for about a year and a half...

My dad, who is into ham radios, put up a small but hardly visible antenna on the back of the house. The top of it could be seen from the front, but only just the very top. Well, the HOA president told him that he had to take it down. He told them he would (although there was nothing in the bylaws forcing him to do so).

The next day, the antenna is 15 feet taller, as my dad had raised the extension in response. The HOA president put a fine in our mailbox immediately and gave my dad a stern talking-to at our front door.

The follow day, the antenna was raised up another 10 feet with an extension added in. At that point, it was clearly visible all over the neighborhood. Another fine showed up in our mailbox, and my dad had to go to another meeting. They threatened to begin eviction proceedings if he didn't take it down immediately. He acquiesced and agreed to take it down.

The next day the antenna was still there, with my dad on the roof first thing in the morning, waving at the HOA president as he predictably came around to inspect.

In a furious huff, he went to the council, called my dad in, and told him that they would begin eviction proceedings since he was not only violating HOA rules, but making a mockery of them. At that point, my dad pulled his ace card and had my uncle lawyer come in and explain that where we lived, HOAs could not regulate the use and transmission of ham radios and licensed operators due to their use for emergency communications and transmissions. My dad knew this all along, but just decided to mess with the HOA regardless. He kept his tower, and the HOA caved in on the fines and punishments and realized they couldn't do anything unless they wanted to take us to court and prove that what my dad had was unreasonable (which it clearly wasn't).

It's his favorite story to tell at parties. I still think ham radios are boring, though.


Not my story, but my dads.

He moved into a new townhouse in summer of 2013. It was a foreclosure property, as the previous tenants were kicked out for not paying their mortgage and for not paying their HOA dues.

They gave everyone in the HOA new patios and decks the summer prior -- it was required, and you had to get a new deck/patio. Buuuuuuuut...the tenants had to pay for 'em in monthly installments in the next three years along with their HOA dues.

As I said, the previous tenants foreclosed on their home. However, there was one rule placed when they got the decks, which was that you couldn't move out without paying off your deck first.

He was told by HOA that he would not have to pay off the deck because it was foreclosed and he was not responsible at all for paying it off. Sweet, free deck! He signed off on that.

He moved in, but then he started getting assessments from the HOA for the deck. But -- wait -- he wasn't supposed to be paying for the deck?

He fought it with the board. Even with the signed thing saying we didn't have to pay for the deck...the board went against him.

He ended up having to pay off the remaining balance on the deck. To this day, he refuses to speak about this topic. It's a trigger for him.


My mom was always arguing with HOA, and once spelled out "FU" on the lawn in bricks and left it there until they gave her what she wanted.


My ex bfs father was part of the homeowners board for their townhouse community. His wife would walk their dog around the entire neighborhood every day and carry a notebook to write infractions to report back to her husband. Ridiculous stuff. Neighbors have a window a.c. unit? Reported and fined. Have a garden that's a square foot too big? Reported and fined. Some people have absolutely no lives.


My mother died in September of 2016. My disabled father went into the hospital and then long term rehab until the present. The house was in my mom’s name and their neighbor across the street is the treasurer of the HOA. He knew my mom died of cancer within a year of her diagnosis and that my dad was in the hospital. He billed my dead mother for a year and when the bills were unpaid, he took it to court to begin foreclosure proceedings. At this point, I received a certified letter and contacted a lawyer to help. It was originally $1700, but increased to $4200 with late fees and attorney fees. Our lawyer is confident we can settle for far less than $4200.

*Edit: * Thank you for all of the kind words and encouragement. I wanted to do some type of harm or vandalism, but that would not be good for my dad and I have too much to lose. As for sending notice, it was an automatic type of withdrawal that my mom took care of when she was alive and cancer free. I was naive and should have been on top of it, but I was taking care of my dad, grieving for my mom, and being a father/husband. When I went to the HOA to pay the fees, they told me I could only contact their attorneys, so I couldn’t go in that direction. I would love to provide you more specifics, but legally that would not be advisable. My attorney is very confident that this will end well for us. Thank you for the encouragement.


I was renting a house that was part of an HOA and the landlord dropped by to show me a fine notice for weeds in the front yard. He had told us how strict they were and I thought I'd done a pretty good job of it, in fact, I had weeded less that two days before the date on the letter.

The landlord told me that before he knocked on the door he had looked over the yard and didn't find anything (bear in mind we had a typical AZ yard, I.e. 4 tons of crushes rock.)

After 10 minutes of us both searching we eventually found a weed that was growing across some rocks maybe 3" long and less than 1/4" wide. You could only see it if you were right on top of it and it was in the middle of the yard. He was convinced someone was paid to check all the yards to find excuses for fines.

As soon as we moved out he sold the house to be rid of that HOA.


Only one basketball goal allowed in the neighborhood.

"Basketballs are too loud." -Old people

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