an Oh Myyy Property

Homeowner Associations, at their core, should be a good thing. Nothing like an organized group of neighbors maintaining a close eye on each other to help keep your home values up. Without a doubt, no salacious or gossipy actions could derive from that, right? Surely, this type of all-encompassing control would never go to someone's head... right?


Reddit user, u/jepensedoucjsuis, wanted to hear about your HOA horror stories when they asked:

Homeowners of reddit. What are the most insane HOA rules you have had to deal with?


You Need To ASK FIRST!

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My parents' HOA has a rule that you are NOT allowed to cut down trees without a "permit" from them, at ANY time, for ANY reason. The first winter they lived there, there was an ice storm and a tree fell onto the neighbor's deck, taking out his entire deck and the sliding glass door that went from his kitchen to his deck.

My dad went over with his chainsaw to help him cut down the tree that was now in his kitchen, and, MID-STORM, someone from the association heard the chainsaw and came over asking if they had a permit, to cut apart the tree in my neighbor's kitchen. IIRC, he told them to get bent and they tried to give him a $1,000 fine for "cutting down a tree without a permit."

MrsNacho8000

I Pledge Allegiance...To Slippy Toad

We can only have 3 types of flags on a flag pole (that has to be approved) out front. An American flag, a military flag, or a South Carolina flag.

One of our neighbors were warned a couple times until they took their cutesy frog flag down.

Smittythepirate

Going Against The Grain

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I used to live in a HOA. One of the members on the board lived across the street from my neighbor and I. He sent a letter to us saying that we all have to mow the lawn on the same day, at the same cut height, and in the SAME PATTERN to create uniformity in the neighborhood. My neighbor and I intentionally cut on different days and in opposite patterns just to annoy the guy.

mrsheikh

"Classic" Is Just Another Word For "Old"

I had an HOA try to enforce that I had much to old of a car to be in the driveway. Mind you, no rust, always clean, never dusty/dirty.

Went to court and the judge ordered a full audit of the HOA. It was not enforceable at all, they paid my legal fees and last I knew they have yet to police anything

clem82

But...But...But....?

I was once "warned" about storing my trash in view of the street. I thought to myself, "That's funny, I'm pretty on top of the trash", so I checked the date of the infraction.

Sure enough, it was trash day.

They were upset at me about putting my trash out on trash day.

nnyx

They Control The Horizontal And The Vertical

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In order to sell or rent in my HOA, you must provide HOA docs to the new owner or tenant.

They must be bought from the HOA, otherwise the sale / rental is not legal. $200 for a three-ring binder with 150 pages of poorly photocopied documents.

The first page: These documents have not been updated since July 2002. Please see the HOA website for updated documents.

warneroo

Flags? Again?

My friends HOA fined him because the flag pole that was already up in his front yard when he purchased the house, was too tall.

He countered by flying a pirate flag on that flag pole.

They are even less happy with the flag pole now.

Becoh

Forced Payment For A Forced Change

My Townhome neighborhood has an HOA that covers the exterior of our homes (since they all share the same exterior, being connected and whatnot). My front door has developed a rotting spot on the edge, so I sent a claim in for the HOA to replace it.

They said the front door does not fall within their definition of the exterior of the home. That's fine, whatever, I'll just buy a new one.

But wait! I have to fill out an EXTERIOR CHANGE REQUEST to get a new front door. The door they said doesn't count as exterior needs an EXTERIOR change request sent to approve any external changes made. They want to control what my door looks like, but I have to pay for it

Jack_is_a_Potato

How Dare You Think You Can Play On An Open Field?!

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I lived in a fairly large 'family friendly' townhouse community. There was a community baseball field, at least it was set up like a baseball field with the fences and backstop, but essentially it was just a giant field, further down was a playground and fenced in tennis court. It was meant to be used there were dozens of kids playing baseball, football, soccer, or whatever on it all the time.

For really no reason they decided to shut it down. Overnight they put up signs to not use it and keep out. If your kids dared to even walk across it police would be called in minutes. We were playing tennis on the courts one day and police were called, the next day it was locked up with a chain and combination lock.

We called the hoa and were told we would have to give them proof we actually played tennis to be given the combination. My parents and a lot of other parents got in long arguments on the phone and at the hoa meetings about why they made these ridiculous new rules, they were essentially told 'because we can.' It became a war in the community against the old ladies that ran the hoa and the younger families with kids.

Truedeal

Names Have Power

Um. Does, "you must address us as 'Boardmember NAME' or you'll be fined," count?

TheRealJackReynolds

That is neat. I would have addressed them in many ways. None of which would have been suitable for broadcast...

jepensedoucjsuis

Auto Overload

We were renters but the HOA sent us a letter one time about us having too many cars in our driveway.

Legit, IN our driveway, not even on the street or curb or anything. We had like 4 or 5 cars the week we moved in because we moved long distance and had friends and family come down to help.

tucosmom

Toy Cars = Real Cars

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My niece when she was a toddler had a toy car that you can get inside & drive around using your feet. It was sitting in the back yard for a good 6 months when we were given a compliance notice about it being unauthorized on the property and must be removed.

I was using my dads truck for a side job once a week, and one week it was cancelled. It was sitting in our driveway 'too long' and had a police officer knock on the door telling me I have to move it.

Each house has a small tree planted out front (was a new neighborhood). Ours was broken into two due to strong winds one day which the HOA replaced for free. It proceeded to snap in half THREE MORE TIMES, but the HOA only covered the first one so we had to pay for it.

Have a few others but HOAs are garbage, although it didn't help we were next door to the VP (which was a total d-ckhead). Why buy a house and have someone else tell you how to live in it?

Alpr101

Pool Duty Is Serious Business

I had a friend in college whose parents bought a house in a gated community, then they moved back to China and left the house for him to live in. He had 6 friends over (maximum amount of guests allowed) one day. We hung out in the house for a bit, and went into the pool while nobody else was in it. Pool max was 6 people, so when a couple came to sit by the pool (didn't bring towels), they kicked the whole group out because we were one person over the limit (even though we were being respectful). This caused enough of a community outrage that another neighbour came over at 10:00 pm (the weekend noise curfew was 11:00) and told us we couldn't be up talking all night (we were at a respectful noise level).

I guess the host had already gotten in trouble because he previously rented a room out to a classmate, not realizing the rules, and the whole community was watching like every step of his ever since.

cronin98

Cameras In The Oven, Maybe?

Live in an HOA where you aren't allowed to do dishes or laundry after 9pm

cruleworld

Like... how the f-ck is that enforceable?

jepensedoucjsuis

Don't You Tell Me How To Use My Bubbles!

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Can't wash your car with too many bubbles. My dad's friend lived in a strata (same thing as an HOA) and had a guy come by saying that he was using too much of the wrong soap. He sprayed him with his hose and the guy never came back until his wife was home alone.

Then he proceeded to harass the wife about having window boxes full of flowers to help the bees, and the wrong shade of white ("two shades off") for her curtains. He moved about half a year later.

jwc1995

That's Right. Blame The Kids.

My house flooded 2 months after I bought it. HOA got involved and blamed my kids putting toys down the toilet (they are too old for that). I spoke to neighbors, found out 5 houses in a row had flooded.

We all got together and demanded an investigation by an independent plumber. Long story short, our HOA owns the sewage and water lines under all the houses that connect to city water. They had not been repaired for years or flushed out, and were made of a material that eroded underground, it backflowed raw sewage into the 5 houses affected and flooded the grassy areas with sewage also.

All my neighbors are senior citizens. The HOA admitted responsibility and held an emergency meeting to repair damage. My house was done last and I agreed with that because the other ladies are 70+ and wheelchair bound or disabled, I'm under 40.

By time my house was done, the sewage had been wiped up from tile floor and treated with fungal chemicals, but mold was growing in master shower and carpet was destroyed. They had to replace brand new carpet in bedrooms, drywall, paint new drywall a color I chose, and re-tile my whole shower. When old shower tile was torn out, plumbing wasn't to code, so that was done too. They spent about $15k on my house alone. I also told the HOA never to accuse my kids again

cityloveboy

They Have That Kind Of Power?

In my city they enforce "dark sky" compliance.

My neighbor upgraded his exterior lights from ones that point down to ones that point up and he received a threat from the HOA that they could put a lien on his mortgage if he did not change them back.

LumpySurprise

Here's A List For Ya'

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- any change to front or back yard has to be submitted on an application with $25 fee for small changes, and $50 fee for large changes. fee doesn't guarantee your application will be approved.

- house can only be painted from list of 7 paint colors from specific brand that isn't available at normal hardware stores.

- you forget to submit application before doing any landscaping? spend the next several months having to leave work early to go to HOA meetings to essentially beg the board to give you permission to do something all your neighbors already have.

- threatened with a fine for having a section of the house (on the SIDE) unpainted after having windows replaced because HOA doesn't understand that painters have waiting lists.

- threatened with a fine for having a dumpster on the lawn despite this never actually happening.

- threatened with a fine for having a thin tree branch sticking out over the sidewalk (my mom's power move after this one was to have the tree cut down the next day, then immediately call the HOA to tell them it was no longer a problem; they were smart enough to let that one go).

- get told by a board member that none of the plants on your landscaping plan for the backyard are "on the approved plant list" and start to feel like you're in hell until someone in the audience at the meeting points out that there is no "approved plant list", only a "suggested plant list"

- not a rule but related: get woken up at 1 am by the 19 year-old armed security guard that patrols the neighborhood (aka the stupidest waste of HOA fees they've conceived of yet) to inform you that he's "doing you a favor" because your car is parked on the side of the road and he's gonna have to give you a citation and he "knows how hard the sticky stuff is to get off" so he thought he'd just wake everyone up to let you know instead of sticking it on the car. then call his supervisor to complain, know she's about to ream his a--, then lie awake afraid that the guy with a gun who knows where you live and who exactly it was that just got him in trouble is going to come back very, very angry.

bonertootz

...Wow...

They had someone go around and check if the dogs are leashed, if not the they call animal control to have them taken away.

HOA has called animal control on people who have their dogs leashed, their reason?

The length of the leash was either too long or too short.

They tried to take away one guy's dogs for that reason and that sparked a war between the HOA head and the homeowner who was a former Marine (I think) and all around madman.

HOA head did not stand a chance against a retired crazy person who had a lot of time and money.

Crazy guy built a pool and let everyone used it for free, making the $20/month pool the HOA set up useless. Crazy guy also held a giant all inclusive party that had menus for everyone and any police that came to check on it left with to go bags. He also had a Halloween party, as the HOA did not allow trick or treating.

Crazy guy was well loved and the head was ousted from the HOA after she tried to break into crazy guy's house.

The ban on trick or treating has been there way before the former head took charge, the neighborhood had only white people living in it until the 90s and it became diverse after that. I guess the ban was put so the people that had it put didn't want to be disturbed, and it was enforced, their reasoning was that it was to protect everyone. Bullsh-t.

Crazy guy was seen as crazy by these HOA cultists because he didn't follow their rules and more often than not he was the most well liked guy in the neighborhood.

The former head was the trophy wife of this big shot doctor and her father owned most of the land in the neighborhood. She wasn't crazy, just power tripping and stupid.

The crazy guy never ran for HOA, but he did start a restaurant, sponsor a drag competition, and possibly took up karate.

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel

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Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.

calypsodweller

We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.

cookiearthquake

A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest

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Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.

FrankDrakman

Damn! That's smart. Wow.

fangxx456

Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.

DankeyKang11

The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.

oddstodd

Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.

Subwoofy

I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed

draculacletus

Sleeping Beauty

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I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.

DrMethusael

Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.

All-Seeing_Elon

I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.

smerter

A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.

Augumenti

This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.

blackbird77

Put This To The Taste

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My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.

turkeypr0

So what was the candy?

Poster_Main

Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."

turkeypr0

This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.

GodOfTheThunder

The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"

NO!

"Does it go on my head?"

NO! IT GOES ON ME!

"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"

NO!

"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"

NO!

[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.

insertcaffeine

Some Foot For Thought.

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My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.

Splittsky

That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.

PJQueen

Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.

SheaRVA

I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.

laik72

This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.

Galaxy_Ranger_Bob

The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.

AppealToReason16

The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'

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I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.

pedanticProgramer

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