Why I hate my HOA

I realize “hate” is a strong word but I do believe it justfied here. Let me tell you why:

When we decided to buy a house in this neighborhood, I was excited to see there was a Homeowners’ Association. I was excited because in our last home there was not one and my biggest pet peeve was people parking on the side of the street when they had plenty of driveway space. Parties, fine. But daily? It really got annoying having to weave in and out of cars just to get home. I’m sure there are other reasons I was excited too but I have blocked these from memory, due to the horridness that the HOA actually brings to a neighborhood (my neighborhood anyway).

– Shortly after moving in and putting up a fence, we got a knock at the door from a neighbor. She was in tears because she did not get her fence approved by HOA before putting it up, and they were making her tear it down. Seems she had more frontage than was in the rules. She knocked on our door to ask what was up because we had the same frontage she did, and our fence was approved. Apparently the difference is we had a side-entry garage door and she did not. So our fence could go farther up in our yard than hers. After spending thousands of dollars on a fence, she had to fix. Granted, she didn’t go through the “proper channels.” But does her fence really look worse than mine because she has no side entry on her garage and I do? Should I also mention she was about 75 years old?

– HOA Nazis clearly have nothing better to do than drive down the street and look for infractions. Case in point: While out of town and having a friend watch the house the trash was left at the curb one extra day. We got a warning letter.

– While renting the clubhouse for a bridal shower I was told I could not get my deposit back due to “cobwebs” in the corner. They must have grown in the 2 hours during the shower, I suppose. All my fault, clearly. This is why I will never rent the clubhouse again.

– Cars park on the street in this neighborhood also. Apparently that rule, the ONE rule I was excited about, is one they don’t care about.

– Another one they clearly don’t care about: Leash laws, as is evident from a recent post.

So, to sum up: If you don’t have a side garage door your fence has to be within a certain number of inches from the edge of your house or else you have to pay hundreds of dollars to fix. A trash can on a street for one day is a terrible, terrible thing; however, cars parked on the street daily so that driveways can be turned into basketball courts are not a big deal. Cobwebs in a corner must have appeared in 2 hours and cost $70 to clean up and dogs running around with no leashes are no big deal, even if they want to fight with dogs who are on leashes.

I will say most of this stuff happened right after we moved in, which was 5 years ago, and it was a brand-new neighbhorhood, still under construction. Since then the board has chilled out (after getting dropped by a property management firm due to the firm’s not wanting to deal with them) and the rule-sticklers seemed to have calmed down.