While ok in theory, there is nothing worse than a bad HOA. These are people who think they can tell you what to do in your own home, with your own property. They are evil, power hungry monsters and must be stopped. Thankfully, these redditors found ways to get revenge on these most evil of foe. Getting even never felt so good. Please note some stories have been edited for clarity.
What Do You Mean No Playhouse?
“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 (Let’s call him Rick) to make sure it wasn’t on his property.
Long story short, my dad and Rick went to a HOA meeting. They pulled all the stops for this, taking measurements and pictures, outlining the yards from aerial photos, they even got a surveyor to take a look. The HOA’s response was this:
‘It looks like a shed, so it needs to go away.’ My dad was EXTREMELY angry and nearly cussed out the board members.
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 freaking crazy. But they lost because the block showed pictures of the ‘sheds’ and also managed to vote off some of the members a little while later.”
Well Now You Have No Home
“To set the stage: I just turned 30. I have a good job, spend my money wisely, save and invest. I grew up dirt poor and had nothing handed to me in life.
Late 20s the software company I had been at went public and I cashed out and moved back home to Florida. With nothing to do, I started investing in rental properties with a good friend of mine. This started about a year ago with the president of an HOA where I purchased two condos. This is a man in his late 60s, thinks he is the second coming of Jesus. From the get go he made comments about being young and buying houses, why my parents weren’t co-signing. Or must be nice to have a trust fund.
Both properties had existing tenants. One still there one left. My business model has been to completely remodel every property between tenants to get the maximum rental income. Construction was a nightmare, literally everything was a problem. Dumpster smelled, contractors leaving at 5:05pm. Being accused of not pulling permits. You name it the HOA President tried to medal his way in.
I submitted six rental applications, all were denied. I was never given a reason but the board was happy to cash my application fees. I got my company’s attorney involved. It took six months and many wasted days in a courtroom, but we finally got the books. I had a family friend go through them and found some inconsistencies.
I’ll save the long story, but there were thousands of dollars and hundreds of wasted hours this idiot and his two crony board members were stealing from the bank account. He was writing fake invoices to his own company. My magician attorney was able to get text logs of them discussing blocking my apps; mainly they wanted me to dump the property so they could buy it.
Now to the justice part; we won a sizable judgement against him personally. The HOA’s insurance subrogated him. And today he put his house up for sale. The house he had been living in for 30 years.
To throw salt on the wound I did put in an offer for 65% of what is asking though I doubt I’ll get a response.
The best part? We offered to settle for a fraction months ago, we even were willing to include a non-disclosure. The idiot told us to pound sand at every turn. So mr HOA president eff you I won. The ‘stupid trust fund baby’ won and you lost!”
Paid The Ultimate Price
“So when I was a child we lived in Florida, and our neighborhood had a really horrible HOA. I don’t remember all the details and I don’t know precisely how this HOA worked, but I do know that the biggest problem was one board member in particular, who we’ll call Mr. Creep. Mr. Creep hated children, and had no regard for personal property. He would often yell at me whenever I went outside, one time while I WAS GOING TO A SCHOOL BUS. He kept fining my dirt-poor father for every single infraction, and inspected our house nearly daily (finding a new bylaw violation every time). The last straw, though, was when he tried to inspect the inside of our house. Without any bylaws on his side, he told my father that he must let Mr. Creep inside his home to inspect every single room by threat 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 weapon go off. Mr. Creep had waited until we were supposedly on vacation, and intended to break into our house when we were away. The bullet killed him, and it was all thanks to his hubris and those last few fines. Thankfully, this was completely legal self-defense in Florida, so Dad never saw a day in jail. And the rest of Mr. Creep’s HOA buddies seemed more reluctant to mess with my family after that.”
I Tried To Be Civil
“We live in a condo and began receiving $100 fines for not picking up dog poop. The area behind our building is a common area and lots of people walk their dogs around. I offered to submit DNA testing for my dogs, and they ignored me and continued to send notices of fines.
I began taking my phone with me on every walk and took photos and videos of me picking up poop with timestamp evidence. I sent a folder full of photos to the HOA with photographic evidence that I was picking up after my dogs.
We continued to receive fines. I got a small trash can and kept on my patio and began saving my bags of dog poop for two weeks. I did tie the bags, but they were still obviously smelly as poop bags are very thin plastic. I then mailed a box of poop to the HOA office along with copies of timestamped photos showing I had picked it up. I told them that I had better not ever receive another fine for dog poop because I had provided more than sufficient evidence that it wasn’t us. Miraculously, the fines stopped, and we haven’t received any for over two years.”
They Broke Into His House
“A good friend of mine inherited his grandparents’ old house. Not even a week after he moved in, he got a visit from a neighborhood committee. They said they are members of the HOA, and are here for him to sign his membership papers. They were extremely nosy and rude, and tried to get into the garage without so much as asking. When my friend stopped him, the man had the audacity to say: ‘I need to check your garage, if everything there is in order. I have a right to do this biweekly, and denying me access is a an offense that will cost a fine.’
My friend had enough of their audacity and kicked them out of the house. One of the board members shoved some papers into his face and told him he needed to sign this right now. Once they were gone, he took a look at the papers. They were ridiculous, and gave the HOA rights that were simply unreal. For example, they had a right to visit your home biweekly. You had to mow your lawn every week, snow had to be shoveled every two hours when it snowed (starting at 5 o’clock in the morning). You could not park more than one car on your grounds (except inside the garage), and a ton of other drama.
A few days later they came back, and asked him why he did not sign the papers yet. They also wanted to check the garage again. This time he would not even let them in, and told them he would never become a member of their stupid club. To them that meant war. Within a week they had sent him fines north of $1,000 (several of which were for denying them access to his home, each worth $250). My friend simply did not take them serious, and used their stupid letters to help fire his grill.
Then came the day when they went EXTREMELY TOO FAR. One of the board members broke into his garage, stood in it and was writing things down on his notepad. But that was not even the worst part. He had two wonderful oak trees in the front of the house. They had been planted by his great grand parents, when they were newlyweds and moved into the house. The HOA WAS IN THE PROCESS OF TAKING THEM DOWN. One was already so damaged it was just a stump that was left. The other one they had just started with. My friend absolutely lost it. He told the tree crew to stop right then and there, and explained to them that he was the owner, and what hey did was highly illegal. They had no idea, since the board member claimed these trees were in violation of the rules.
He told them he would overlook them trespassing, if they would be witnesses in court for him. Then he called the cops on the board members for trespassing, breaking and entering (they actually had used a bold cutter to get into the garage).
The process must have been glorious. Not only did they have to repay him for the lock and the tree (which was worth a ton of money, north of $50k if I remember right), plus damages for the second tree. But these idiots actually thought the trial would have been unfair, and tried to fight it, which probably cost them an additional $10-15k in lawyers and court costs. All in all this trial must have cost them over $120k. Then he went to yet another civil court and sued them for emotional damage. He told them how much these trees meant to him, since his great grand parents had planted them, with seeds from the home country (he really laid it on as thick as he could). Plus he felt threatened by the HOA, and can hardly sleep, because he always fears they try to get into his house. The court actually bought it, and gave him $500k plus the costs for a state-of-the-art alarm system, so he can feel safe again in his own home.
So put all together he cost the HOA nearly $750k. They had to file for bankruptcy, and get a person to check the books so my friend would get his money. It gets better. The mediator found out that these 3 pricks had been defrauding the HOA for well over 10 years, and were giving out as many fines as they possibly could so they could use it to bolster their income. All three had to sell their houses, so they could pay out my friend. Now he is, for most people, one of the favorite people living there, and he constantly gets invited over for grilling and whatnot.
You see, most people never wanted the HOA in the first place, but the board member practically forced them to sign the contract, claiming it would not be optional, and if they did not sign before moving it would be a $500 fine. Only six of the over 50 members actually wanted this HOA.”
“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 made her furious. 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.
They Were Given A Chance
“I had massive water intrusion from a common area leak. HOA denied, denied, denied. Gave me the run around and even flaked at my meeting. Did everything in my power to ‘reason’ with the HOA. However, I was forced to hire a law firm.
I went ahead and hired the most aggressive law firm in California. Short story – my lawyers whooped the HOA. Absolutely walked all over them at trial and won. The HOA’s insurance company ended up paying my attorneys fees and costs, compensatory damage for the damage caused to my home, and paid ALL of my out-of-pocket costs having to deal with this nightmare.
Basically we ended up first attempting mediation. However, at the mediation, the HOA refused to give me a dime and denied that the water intrusion came from a common area. The mediator even told the HOA that I had a strong case, but they refused to settle. Then we were forced to file suit. Went through a long period of discovery where we deposed the HOA president, management, landscaper, etc. We then did another mediation ordered by the court. At that mediation, the HOA agreed to compensate me for the damage to my unit but refused to pay my attorney’s fees. However, the HOA refused to pay my attorney’s fees. I thought that was ridiculous because they were significant. So we went to trial, and they were hung out to dry by the jury – who were furious that I had to suffer through this process.”
They Wrote Their Own HOA
“So about six years ago, my wife and I bought a townhouse in a small town. A condition of the purchase was to join the HOA, sure whatever it is a small town surrounded by farmland, cheap dues, not a big issue.
Living there for about a year no big issue, we have our first son. Two years later we are expecting our second son. We decide to switch places with my single sister who is living in my childhood home (5 bedrooms vs our 2) easy decision since we will have a newborn and a 2-year-old.
So we make the switch, two months later. I get a call from Clar (husband) and Dorthy who live across the street from our town house. Clar built all the townhouses in the 80’s and still owns 4 off them which he rents (his buddy also owns & rents 4, one of which we share a wall with). Clar informs me that its against HOA rules to rent units unless you own 4 (conveniently the HOA was written by Clar). I told him I know and that I am letting my sister live there rent free (which I am). He says that that is highly irregular and insists I come to the HOA meeting. I am like sure, not breaking any rules.
At the HOA meeting he demands proof that I am not receiving payment for my sister. I have to inform him that I can’t prove something that doesn’t exist and that the burden of proof lies on him. I also may have told him in front of all his neighbors that I thought I moved to xburg not Soviet Russia.
He wanted to put it to a vote, I said go ahead and have the vote but if it didn’t go in my favor I wasn’t going to abide by it. The vote went my way and the only dissenting votes were him and his buddy trying to protect their monopoly.
He insists I go to every meeting still to defend my case, I don’t but sometimes I lay awake thinking of ways I could make his life hard if I did.”
The Sweetest Revenge
“My wife and I purchased our first home when we were 24 and 25. We spent months looking at houses and areas and tried to find a ‘forever’ home in a good school district for our future kids. We finally found a perfect one at a decent price.
At first everything was great, super nice neighborhood and decent neighbors. A few months after buying the house we rented an RV to go on a trip and parked it in the driveway for the three days leading up to the trip to pack it and for me to learn how half the things in it worked.
Well this is when we learned that HOAs are absolutely crazy and our neighbor was on the board of our local HOA. Within an hour of it being parked he got home and stormed over demanding we remove it from ‘his’ neighborhood, or he would have it towed and fine us for every hour it was there.
I told him kindly to get bent and get out of my driveway and told him if he returns I’ll call the cops because he was screaming like a madman inches from my face.
About three hours, later a big rig tow truck shows up, and he walked up like he was a god and handed me a plain envelope with a letter inside that pretty much said ‘by order of the HOA this RV is to be towed’ and a fine of $1,500 for violating their rules.
While Mr Crazy Board Member might not listen to reason, the tow truck guy they found wasn’t so fond of entering my driveway and towing a vehicle when I told him if he comes on the property I’ll call the cops.
I call up my attorney, write him a $500 check and bring along all the papers I received when purchasing the home and the current letter I just received.
The next day my attorney had a very friendly letter sent to my neighbor and the HOA board. Basically telling my neighbor to get bent in legal terms and to leave us and our property alone.
Despite this, I then continued to receive fines of $1,500 a day in plain envelopes not postmarked stuffed into my mailbox that I then turned over to my friend’s father and each time he sent another set of letters and contacted USPS to report the incidents. Turns out putting mail into people’s mailbox is a crime, who knew.
Well here’s where the fun really begins, turns out Mr Crazy finally gives me a ‘summons’ to appear before the board. My attorney said this is crazy illegal because what they’ve done is use what looks like an actual legal document improperly to ‘summon’ me to the board.
Another $500 to the attorney, and we wait for the date they made (a Tuesday at 10AM). They attempt to keep my attorney out of the room on some ‘board privacy’ rule but quickly shut up when he begins going over their own rules that they are violating to them.
Deep in this HOA book are some very nicely worded rules and stuff outlining about what makes board members ineligible, and how they cannot serve if they commit certain infractions. Well guess what Mr Crazy neighbor has done? Committed several of them, all documented.
The cherry on top is that if 51% of the HOA members vote to dissolve the HOA, it all goes away. Well it happens my wife worked part-time from home during this mess and had all the free time in the world to begin a ‘Disband the HOA’ campaign.
The HOA attempted to stall everything by holding no meetings (another HOA violation) and began their own campaign trying to change HOA rules to keep from being ousted and a fairly awful flyer and letter to everyone explaining the ‘dangers’ of not having an HOA and all the bad people (blacks and Mexicans) that will move in and take over/sell illegal substances etc. That our houses would become much less valuable and everything else they could try.
A few weeks after their fear campaign failed, a vote was called for and went our way. The HOA was no more and all remaining funds were to be dispersed back to the homeowners and members equally (this never happened, turns out somehow the HOA used all their funds in the course of the last two months).
About half the former board members sold their homes and moved, including Mr Crazy Neighbor. I’ve spent 3 hours trying to find old news articles because it was reported on mostly due to the prejudiced letters by the HOA but it was too long ago to find anything.
Moral of the whole mess, don’t buy a home in an HOA and if you do, plan on hiring an attorney.”
This Is A Real Rule
“I worked as a team supervisor for DirecTV at this time. Most of my duties were administrative, but if anyone on my team had an escalated call (supervisor requested) then those were my job too.
One of my agents got a call and from what he told me the customer immediately requested a supervisor, that he needed someone with more authority than a front-line service rep (even though my agent could have handled this).
So I take the call and the guy is frantic and asking me for help. He’d been going rounds with his HOA over the placement of his satellite dish. As it turned out, due to various obstructions, the only way his dish could be installed and maintain a quality signal was to be was pole-mounted. So it’s on a pole in his side yard instead of on the roof/side of the house.
The HOA had deemed that a violation and fined him. They then threatened further proceedings against him when he refused to pay. Something about violation of the HOA covenant agreement or some such nonsense like that.
They had shown up this day to further the issue and he decided to call us and see if there was anything we could do. Oh yes, there was.
I asked if I could speak to the HOA rep that was in his home and he was more than pleased to let me handle it. After introducing myself and whatnot, I inform the HOA rep that it is a violation of federal law to deny the homeowner the placement of their dish if that is the only place it could be installed to get a high quality signal.
The HOA rep instantly starts trying to tell me what’s what when I just rattled off ‘Over the Air Reception Devices Rule’ of the Telecommunications Act 1996.
‘The OTARD Rule. It’s a part of the act I just named that explicitly forbids the restriction of placement of a signal reception device if that is the only feasible installation option. In short, you can’t make him remove it and if you force it he has options.’
I couldn’t literally say he can take you to court since I’m not one of the corporate lawyers, but the point was made clear enough.
He just handed the phone back to my customer and left the house. The customer was so freaking excited. ‘You have no idea how much of a hassle this has been, fighting with them over this for months!. The threats of fines, etc. Thank you so much!’
A victory for the little guy””