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Is your homeowner association sucking the fun out of your life and taking away your freedom? Find the best ways to legally get back at them in this article.
Here are 3 ways to legally annoy your HOA:
- Praise yourself if the HOA never will
- Find loopholes in holiday decorating restrictions and go wild in the yard
- Wait for the HOA to break their own rules then file a complaint
Is your HOA making your life a living hell? Then you may think that the only way for you to get some peace is by packing up shop and never look back. But, sometimes a bit of light-hearted revenge is all you need to keep persevering.
Do you fancy hearing how these methods were put into practice? Then check out how some people got back at their HOA in the story section below.
How to *Legally* Annoy Your HOA
Is your HOA quick to complain about petty yard problems?
- After a 2 week vacation in the spring, do you return home to a red warning about long grass?
- If you leave the trash cans out overnight on a miserably wet evening are you threatened at daybreak with a fine?
- If your spring bulbs aren’t having much success are you sent reminders about good gardening?
Are you receiving complaint after complaint from your HOA about your yard? Then you might conclude that your HOA has got a bit of a vendetta against you. So what can you do to fight back without getting yourself into trouble? Consider what these clever neighbors have done to rub their HOA’s up the wrong way.
May the Best Sign Win
“My HOA was constantly sending me alerts about the state of my yard. They were minuscule changes that I needed to make. But I made them, begrudgingly of course. So I concluded since the HOA wouldn’t give me the praise I wanted for working hard in my yard, that I would give it to myself.
I found a scrap of doggy-eared A4 paper and printed out and laminated what I must say was a really naff-looking sign. I placed it in the front yard, it read “Yard of the Month”. I even went the extra mile and swapped the t and the h around in ‘month’ so that the sign would really draw some attention.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before the sign was plucked from my garden overnight. A far more professional, embossed, and might I add properly spelled “Yard of the Month” sign then appeared in the front yard of one of the members of the HOA. Now I had them right where I wanted them.
On one of my evening walks, I returned the favor and took the “Yard of the Month” sign from the HOA’s yard. I propped it in the most unsightly part of our HOA community. Nestled between a patch of unkempt grass and a dog pee-stained fire hydrant. The sign never appeared again.”
Christmas in the Jungle
Is your HOA putting a damper on your creativity?
You see, some people just don’t like to think outside the box. They like their food seasoned with salt and pepper and complain if they can taste any garlic. These kinds of people like their plain white picket fences. They wouldn’t dream of putting anything in their front yard beside a couple of perfectly cut box hedges.
Do you dream of adding a sprinkle of personality to your garden? Are you reluctant to do so because of rigid HOA regulations? Then it’s time to get festive.
Most HOA regulations are pretty strict about what you can have in your front yard. But they are sometimes more lenient during the holiday period. That’s when you can really let your hair down. Check out what this quick-thinking neighbor did:
“Our HOA is really strict about how we can decorate our gardens. They are probably writing up width restrictions for individual blades of grass as we speak. And as for having any garden animals besides the traditional, boring garden gnome. Forget it.
The HOA goes all out and decides to give us an inch of freedom when it comes to decorating our yards at Christmas. Last year they made the mistake of saying that we could add anything to them as long as it stuck to a theme. Anything? I thought. Then I had one of those lightbulb moments you see in cartoons.
So what Christmas theme did I choose? Christmas in the jungle. For my jungle theme, I got hold of every garden animal I could. These were actually surprisingly inexpensive over the internet. People are selling garden hyenas and baboons cheap and chips, funny that!
I sprawled my collection of garden animals around the yard. They were out every second of the Christmas period that is allowed in our HOA restrictions. Yes, that means that at midnight on the 15th of December the animals took over the front lawn. My front lawn was a porcelain zoo until 11:59 on the 6th of January.
How did I make it Christmasy? Simple. I stuck a red nose on each of the garden animals and trailed some fairy lights around their necks. The most awesome part was that the HOA representative couldn’t say anything about it. He did say that we could do anything that would stick with our theme and mine was Christmas in the Jungle.
That Christmas I got the best gift of all. I got to ruffle the HOA’s feathers as he walked past my yard every day to walk his dog. I also finally got to have some garden animals of my choice in the front yard. I mean, most of the animals were rather unconventional and not quite to my taste. But that didn’t matter.”
HOA representatives often like to state rules that they themselves do not stick to. So a great way of getting back at them is to lay low and wait for them to inevitably break their own rules. Here’s how one neighbor got back at the head of HOA in his community.
“There was a drought for a couple of weeks in the summer so the city council put up a hosepipe ban. The sun was really giving my west-facing yard a pounding throughout the day. And with almost 5000 square feet of lawn in front of the house alone, I had my work cut out.
My HOA has strict rules about keeping your lawn looking healthy all year around. But our county was facing the longest drought season in 10 years and a hosepipe ban. So any normal person would realize that keeping a lush green lawn was kind of impossible. Like I said, any normal person.
It didn’t take long for the HOA to send warnings at the first sight of a yellow blade of grass on my property. I explained that there wasn’t much I could do because of the hosepipe ban. They didn’t care.
There was something strange happening though. My grass was looking more scorched with every passing minute. But the HOA representative’s grass was lusher and more rainforest green than ever. So I set my alarm for 3 am and decided to investigate.
The 3 am wake up call was not pleasant, but boy was it worth it. I went out in my car and drove past the home of the HOA representative. What did I see? He looked like a firefighter, he was literally blasting his lawn with a super soaker hose. His yard looked like an aquatic park. There was water everywhere.
So what did I do? I snapped a photo of him super soaking his lawn then took the photos to the other HOA representatives. I later took them to the city council. He was soon removed from the list of HOA reps. That summer, his lawn turned a shade of parched yellow not dissimilar to mine.”
An HOA community looks really pretty when you drive past one. But actually living in one is a completely different story. An HOA representative has the power to make your life miserable. Unfortunately, without incurring massive legal fees, there’s not much you can do to get out of one.
I hope this article has shown you some ways in which you can mess with your HOA without getting into trouble.
Have a great day!