There's something about living in a Homeowner's Association really amps up the entitlement of the residents. Just ask these people.
HOA residents reveal the shady reason one of their neighbors reported them to the HOA. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I live in an HOA condo building with many lovely, friendly people… and as always just a few ignorant people. I have a pit-bull type dog, Olive, who I’ve raised since she was just weeks old (along with several cats). She’s now nine, and in the years since I rescued her, I’m thankful to see how many perspectives have shifted toward the breed. She’s so happy and docile. If her temperament can change just one person's mind about 'aggressive breeds,' that’s good enough for me.
Back to the incident. There’s an ill-reputed woman (two actually) who live in the building and fully hate Olive due to her breed. Long story short, the woman (let’s call her Karen) felt Olive got too close to her and screamed and ran away (Olive had a surgical cone on at the time, so there’s that).
This was the third time she had been out of line to Lil O, so I lashed out and muttered, 'How profoundly rude,' as she scurried away.
Admittedly, loud enough for her to hear. About 20 seconds later, Olive and I (and my husband) were walking out of the lobby when Karen chased us down and started screaming at me, 'Your dog is going to hurt someone, your dog is going to hurt you, a pit bull almost took my life once…etc.'
Keep in mind Olive stood there wagging her tail the entire time.
I shouldn't have engaged, but I did. I tried to de-escalate, but the moment she said it was 'illegal”'for me to have that dog in the building and she would be contacting the HOA to have it removed, I lost it. I’ve seen so many unlawful breed restrictions, so this hit a sore spot for me.
We had words. I said hurtful things, knowing she clearly isn’t a stable person (but who is, really?). Cut to: my husband and I are beyond upset and nervous. We haven’t lived in the building for that long and were currently unaware of Karen’s reputation in the building. We immediately filed a report with the HOA because we knew she was writing one up against us. Then, two things happened.
The security personnel and doormen wrote accounts supporting Olive’s temperament, and myself and my husband as responsible, caring, obliging owners. They also told 'Karen' to kick rocks when she tried to distribute erroneous propaganda about pit bulls and other large dogs.
After filing his report, my husband was called down to the building manager's office to discuss both reports filed. He’s calm, cool, and collected, whereas I am passionate and a loose cannon (can’t help it)!
He entered the office expecting a bit of an ordeal, and the property manager said, 'Sounds like your wife really let Karen have it. (pause) Isn’t Karen such a nightmare?'
We were hysterically laughing. Her report was titled 'Dog Incident,' yet the entire report was about me. Nothing about Lil O. The manager let us know Karen is a complete nuisance, filibusters at HOA meetings, and is in general a terrible person. He asked we try to avoid each other and I avoid riding the elevator with Karen while with Olive. Interestingly enough, shortly thereafter, my husband was offered a spot on the board of directors for the HOA.
For weeks after the altercation, random people would approach me saying hysterical things like, 'Thank goodness someone stood up to that nightmare of a woman,' or 'We’ve been waiting for someone to take her down a peg.'
To me, the lesson is, know your rights, follow due diligence, and always have a paper trail to protect yourself, and of course, stay calm and be rational. People who like to cause trouble always dig their own grave. Operate on your own level, don’t devolve, and strike revenge on those who oppress or abuse others when you know you will 100% win or that you have enough people on your side."
"I was in a very nasty divorce, and my wife did everything in her power to get my home seized and sold by the court. Mainly since she knew without a house I would not be approved for out-of-state visitation with the children since I would not have a fixed address where I live in Maryland.
She almost succeeded, but at a court hearing about the house, it was not only determined there was negative equity, but my lawyer argued I had a significant need to have a home. The home was three bedrooms and, to appease my wife’s attorney, it was agreed upon I would rent rooms and report this to the court for the next five years. If I ever stopped renting before the agreed-upon time, the home would be seized and sold.
I signed up for two major programs, one for exchange students and the other for missionaries. Both were affiliated with the you-know-what short-term rental company that starts with an 'A' - the dreaded nemesis of every HOA. Anyway, things went fine for several months, but then over the summer, when days were getting longer and people were outside more, somebody noticed 'strangers' coming to my home every few weeks and reported me to the HOA.
The HOA letter came, but ironically the 'strangers' had actually been friends of mine from out of state. There was also reference to an 'out-of-state car seen frequently in the neighborhood,' which was a very old friend from Virginia (Virginia is technically out-of-state in Maryland, but VA plates are a dime a dozen here). So, actually, none of the people who had been seen had anything to do with the programs.
I called the HOA property manager and told her exactly what was going on, including the bit about what seemed to be a nosey neighbor who reported this, actually seeing people who were my friends. I also made it clear my home would be immediately seized by the court and put up for auction if I withdrew from this rental agreement, and (as most people know) HOAs don’t like empty properties sitting for months waiting for auctions.
The HOA could have played hardball, but they did not, and the property manager said she considered the matter closed. I later suspected I knew who had contacted them, a neighbor who later on became sick, and I wound up helping him with yard work. He didn’t know about the programs with my divorce either, but after I told him he seemed to understand since he didn’t want to live next to an empty house either."
"I have lived in a high-rise condominium for about 16 years. About seven years ago, I was reported for the odor of my cats. I had two cats, one of whom was diabetic and whose urine was therefore pungent. The other cat elected to pee on some carpet rather than deal with the multiple choices of litter boxes. I fought the results with every chemical remedy I could lay my hands on.
Meanwhile, the older cat went to his reward, at which point I realized the second cat also had a serious medical problem. So, circa 2012, I was cat-free but still fighting the carpet problem when one of my neighbors complained. The person who reported this was not officially identified to me, but I knew who it was. She (graciously) used to share Publishers’ Weekly with me by bringing it down to my far end of the hall and putting it down in front of my door. Let’s be clear: You could only notice the problem if you were bending down in front of my door AND if my balcony door was open. Yet, the HOA chose to interpret this as the stench extending all the way down to the other end of the hall because that’s where the complainer lived.
The HOA called in a 'remediation' company, which insisted that all the carpeting needed to be removed, and various other things needed doing. The firm presented an estimate to the HOA, 27k to pack up all my belongings, store them, remove all the carpeting and do various other things, and I would have to buy new carpeting and have it installed before the firm returned my property (all for about two square feet of actually affected carpet that was near the door). I met with the committee and the HOA attorney and explained this was ludicrous; if they forced this, I would have to declare bankruptcy. The HOA president was going on about how I should be just able to borrow from my retirement fund, right, lady. Apparently, she’s never worked for a corporation.
I dug into my arguments, and they kept telling me what the firm they’d hired had told them. I pointed out the firm was out to maximize profits and had told the HOA what it apparently wanted to hear. At some point, we compromised at a considerably smaller amount, which the HOA loaned me. What ended up happening is I did not move out; only the living room and dining room carpet was removed, and the concrete subfloor was 'sealed; (looks like paint to me). They also cleaned my air ducts (they detected some mold in the living room—next to the window opened most often). I still don’t have carpet there; I’m hoping to get hardwood when I finish paying for the car. Large throw rugs in the meantime.
This doesn’t even count how panicked they were about the number of books I own. Certain people thought this was evidence of hoarding and actually called the fire department, among other things. The guy the fire department sent around looked at my place and wondered what he was here for. A great many books, neatly on bookshelves, lining the guest room/library/craft room, home office, and one short wall in the living room. Not hoarding. In fact, the main advice I got was just to make sure there was a path to windows (in case of fire) and not to leave anything flammable on my electric cooktop (some brands have turned themselves on and caused fires)."
"I am a volunteer firefighter and paramedic. I was signed up to cover a shift, but instead of waiting at the fire station, I brought the paramedic fly car home with me. You know, so I could selfishly be home, in my own house, with my family, while I did what would otherwise be a $50,000 a year job for free.
It is a fire-engine-red SUV, with the fire dept name and 'Paramedic Advanced Life Support' on it. It has a 'Star of life' in the windows, and the heart rhythm going down the stripe. It has 911 painted on it, and it has 'Govt Exempt' license plates, too.
My neighbor, who was the ultimate definition of a Karen, even though her name is Debbie, called not just the HOA, but the police.
'You are not allowed to have a commercial vehicle with lettering in your driveway after six pm,' was her reasoning.
I told the HOA guy, 'That's not a commercial vehicle, that’s a government vehicle, an emergency vehicle, and it can be anywhere it needs to be, and until 8 a.m., it needs to be at my house unless somebody in this town in any way before then.'
I showed the HOA guy the license plates, and then the cops basically told them the same thing.
Well, she kept pushing and pushing. She called the police chief, the fire chief, the captain of EMS. Eventually, the fire district lawyer firmly put his foot down, making it clear anyone authorized to be in possession of a district vehicle can take them anywhere in the district for any purpose at any time, and anything other than quiet acceptance of this constitutes 'Interference with governmental administration' and/or 'obstruction of a public safety official.'
She fumed and complained and passed around petitions. It was hilarious because the other neighbors kind of dig the idea a paramedic response is like a minute and a half away. Like when the guy across the street had his heart attack, I was literally 'on scene' before the tones went out because the teenage kids ran and fetched me while the mom was calling 911.
But now that I knew it bothered good ole Debbie so much, and because she persisted in giving me the stink eye, I decided to be a total prick and sign out the fly car whenever it was not otherwise covered.
She was so mad."
"My daughter was a competitive equestrian. It is wickedly expensive, so we saved money wherever we possibly could. We quickly realized a camper with a $120 per month payment (and also a tax break!) and forty dollars per night camping fees were way less expensive than getting hotels. Plus, we could cook our own meals and not rely on expensive take-out.
We lived in a neighborhood with an HOA. Campers/RVs were not allowed for a 24-hour stay.
We went to shows two or three times per month. The night before we left, my husband would back the camper into the driveway. We would stock the food, sheets, etc. We usually left at four a.m. the next morning. After we returned from the show (usually in the middle of the night), we would clean the beds, clean out the refrigerator and food cabinet, and leave it. We kept it hitched to the truck. The next morning (usually around 9), we would haul it back to the storage area. The camper was never parked for more than 12 hours on our property. We stored it at a lot a couple of miles away.
I can’t tell you how many times in two years we got threatening letters with threats of fines from the HOA. We were 100% within the rules, but 'people' were complaining. I don’t care who they were, it was so annoying. Besides, it was one of those neighborhoods where nobody knows anyone else.
Not because of this, we moved. My daughter was graduating and we were selling the horse, so we downsized our house in size, but upscaled the house and neighborhood. Without an HOA.
When we moved into the new neighborhood, almost every new neighbor came to say hello. It is a small neighborhood, with only 14 houses, but everyone was lovely. We asked them if they minded the camper parked in the back by the garage. Nobody had an issue.
Fast-forward to the first hurricane, and our neighborhood was without power for over a week. We had the camper’s generator running and put power strips and a coffee pot outside. We told everyone the microwave and refrigerator were theirs for the asking. We have an elderly couple across the street and they got to sleep in the master bedroom with the AC blasting. This neighborhood is a delight.
I am sure there are probably some HOA communities that are lovely, but in my experience the ones without are so much nicer."
"Some nosy person complained to the HOA and called the police because my boyfriend parked his car on the street in front of an empty lot. My driveway was full, and he didn’t want to park in front of someone else’s house or block anyone’s driveway. He was just trying to be courteous.
My HOA has a rule that cars aren’t allowed to be parked on the street, but it isn’t illegal, so it can’t technically be enforced. The whole community is guilty of parking on the street, but they see one older slightly beat-up vehicle with out-of-town plates, that isn’t up to their pretentious tastes, parked in front of an empty lot, and they call in the cavalry.
Within 20 minutes of the car being parked, rumors were spread all over the neighborhood about these cars coming from bigger cities to case houses, stealing cars, and rob people. The neighbors looked up the license plate number and claimed it was a stolen tag and the car was used in other robberies. All of it was false, but my poor boyfriend was read the riot act and had to defend his right to be in the subdivision.
The sheriff even said the thinly veiled, 'I better not see you in the area again,' threat.
The complaints and rumors continued to happen every time he visited. Even after he moved in, my neighbors got their panties in a wad at the sight of his car in my driveway. He wound up having to get a new car because of the continued harassment. The car did need some engine work done, rather than fix it, we decided a new different vehicle was prudent. The complaints and rumors stopped almost immediately."
"A few years ago, I borrowed a utility trailer from a buddy to haul dirt bikes. I parked it in my driveway in preparation for our weekend trip. The following day, I received a notice on my door from the HOA stating the trailer had to be removed today!
I quickly moved the trailer to the street in front of my house, and promptly received a similar notice the following morning. I was aware the HOA has no authority over public streets, so I let it sit.
The next morning, a cop showed up at my door asking about the trailer. I explained my situation, and he let me know the HOA called to complain. I inquired about specific rules, and he stated trailers can be parked on the street, but they must be parked 15 feet from the property line and moved every three days.
Needless to say, rather than return the trailer to my buddy after the weekend, I kept it for the next couple of months. My kids marked the curb 15? from the property line for reference, and they became very good at pushing the trailer back and forth every few days. Oh, and they also took pictures for verification, which they would show the police once or twice a week. It took a little effort to keep up the charade, but it was worth every single minute."
"A woman lived across the street from me and we were friendly. She had a tough time and didn't always make great choices.
One day, I was walking my dog, Emma, and was trying to get her to pee. I needed to get going and she was not accommodating. I admit I was yelling at her. The next day, I found out through one of our board members who I am also close with she had written an email to the homeowner association, and also called Animal Control to say I was abusing my dog.
My friend who's on the board said, 'We know her and we know she's not abusive to her dog. Besides, there's nothing we can do.'
Twelve days after she made the call, Animal Control came to my house. I asked them what took so long. He seemed surprised that I knew about it. He still needed to see Emma and of course could see how well-loved she is. Nothing was done about it, and that was the end of it.
One week later, the girl who reported me came over for sugar. I kid you not. I just stared at her.
She did not get any sugar."
"I lived in Texas for about nine years. I bought an old home that was an eyesore and began restoring it. Still had a ham radio tower in the back.
Deciding to leave the tower up, I used it as a flag pole for US and Texas flags. A new HOA reported me for the flags. I was also well into upgrading the house and adding a self-filtering water system, as everyone knows the drinking potable water is horrible in the DFW area. So, I retaliated.
The neighborhood snitch lived next door and was the sister of the HOA leader. I was not a member and opted out. Her drainage system was actually linked into mine illegally on my property before I bought the home. And she always had these Tupperware parties where the cars parked in neighboring driveways, often blocking them. Including mine. Three of us reported her for the cars and started towing them off our properties.
So, I reported her. And, a newly installed camera caught her dumping her garbage at night in the back corner of my yard. Reported that too and she was fined.
As the restoration of my home was nearing completion, I learned it was originally designated to be torn down because it was vacant for a decade. The new HOA wanted to convert it or tear it down to put in a community clubhouse and pool for its members. Though they did neglect to inform me of 'their' plans.
A nice family bought the home for triple what I purchased it for. The upgrades elevated its financial value as well. The new owner actually liked my defiance of the HOA and chose not to join. He actually improved the old ham radio tower and set up a ham radio station, as it was a passion of his. It now has a new flag pole in the front yard showcasing the US and Texas flags."
"Over the years, I had repeated anonymous complaints about a trivial matter no one would be aware of unless they were snooping on our private backyard by either peering over our fence or from standing in an area that’s off limits except for emergency workers. It was not visible from any public area or from any neighbor’s yard or window. It was actually something that had already been there when we moved in. I had a suspicion of who it was making the complaints, though was never officially told. He and I used to chat regularly, during which time he’d frequently complain about ridiculous issues he was having about how other neighbors lived their lives.
One day, he was particularly aggrieved when he received a violation notice from the HOA about a potted plant that was near his front door. According to him, it had been there since before he owned the place. It was rather inconspicuous, and I suspect it was noticed during a particularly vigilant routine inspection and not a complaint from another neighbor. He vowed not to move the pot and raised quite a stink about how unfairly he was being treated. Not long after, he decided after all these years it was time move far away.
After he left, we never received another complaint about that trivial issue I mentioned. Could just be a coincidence, but I’m pretty sure that it had been him being a busybody and filing complaints behind my back rather than just expressing his disapproval to me directly."