Homeowners Association Spends $300,000 In Legal Fees Over A Pick-Up Truck

A homeowner in Florida was awarded $187,000 in legal fees from a years-long court battle over the right to park a pick-up truck in his driveway. Now the homeowners association is going to have to pick up the tab for $300,000 in fees.

The homeowner first moved in in 1997, and it was years before the association decided he couldn’t park his pick-up truck in his driveway. Not having a garage that could accommodate the large truck, he decided to fight.

The homeowners association lost in 2008, but then appealed the decision.

“They just didn’t care,” the homeowner told FOX 13. “It was like, ‘our rules overrule what your community says because we’re a master association and, you know, we’re right and you’re wrong.’ I couldn’t believe I had to go hire an attorney just to defend myself against this, what was a meritless lawsuit.”

“I think what people should take away from this is that homeowners should be left alone unless it’s a very serious issue,” the homeowner’s attorney said. “And, certainly, requiring a homeowner to spend over two hundred thousand dollars to defend themselves simply to park a vehicle in the driveway just doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Homeowner wins right to park truck in own driveway [Fox 13]

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  1. Alvis says:

    I mean – just don’t buy a house in these horrible areas – does anyone LIKE HOAs except the power-tripping housewives on the board?

    This is ridiculous, sure, but what do you expect?

    • AstroPig7 says:

      The areas without HOAs are becoming less prevalent every year. New construction is typically accompanied by them.

      • VermilionSparrow says:

        Blame the cities for that. Lots of cities won’t allow developers to build a housing subdivision without requiring a HOA, ostensibly to protect property values and prevent crime. Which they might actually do–I don’t know, since my only experience with this is helping a Hindu friend put up Christmas lights the weekend after Thanksgiving every year to avoid a fine from the HOA.

        • OnePumpChump says:

          Wow, if the HOA was required by the city, then that sounds like lawsuit material.

        • TouchMyMonkey says:

          Your HOA requires Chirstmas lights? Isn’t that kind of an Establishment Clause issue?

    • leftturnonred says:

      I’m on the board of our HOA. Basically, we exist to pay the guy that mows the grass in the common area. We get random complaints from people all the time though. Somebody’s trashcans sitting next to their house; a car parked on the street instead of a driveway; something ugly in somebody’s backyard; the neighbor’s cat is outside; etc.

      I always tell them to just talk to their neighbor. I’m not going to sue somebody for having their trashcans outside.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        I, as a potential homebuyer, do not know going in that your HOA is chill as fuck. More importantly, even if I were to get reports of this fact, I would have no assurance that it would stay that way.

        Even if your HOA represents the majority (I am not convinced that it does), should I be willing to gamble HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS on that?

        What do you get when you mix a spoonful of shit into a barrel full of ice cream? A barrel full of shit. This is the situation regarding outsiders’ perception of HOAs.

    • LuckyLady says:

      I live in an HOA neighborhood, and I’m sure glad I do. Our volunteer HOA people are wonderful, and keep our neighborhood rules enforced so that no one has to live next door to the Bumpasses.

      • Jayhovah says:

        The Bumpasses aren’t so bad.. Their dogs though — completely different story!

      • econobiker says:

        Until you’ve really seen a fairly new cookie cutter neighborhood with the one white trash house with an overgrown trash strewn yard, broken windows, screens, garage door, with 4 cars parked in the 2 car drive way hanging into the street and two dirt bags working on a truck on the front lawn/sidewalk, you’ve never seen the need for an HOA. I felt for the people owning homes on either side of this slime hole.

        Seen in a new development in Ft Olgethorpe GA circa 2000-2001…

        • TouchMyMonkey says:

          I think I would insist on the HOA if I lived in Georgia. Good thing I live in Upstate New York. In an unincorporated area overlooking a cow pasture. I get to burn my yard waste.

    • slim150 says:

      i kinda like my HOA. i live in a 32 story condo though.. and the fees go towards a 24-hour concierge working the door, the pool and gym areas, internet, and cleaning and so on.

      theres weird rules like you aren’t allowed to work on your car in your parking spot, and i was asked to take down my steelers banner on my balcony when they were here for the superbowl. but i feel like im getting my money’s worth.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        Condos and HOAs are two different beasts. Most the HOAs my friends are in don’t have a gym, pool, or even a guard gate to pay for. With condos, you at least get some extra stuff to make up for the rules and extra money spent.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        That no working in the parking spot would be a deal-killer for me.

      • RickN says:

        “i was asked to take down my steelers banner on my balcony when they were here for the superbowl.”

        So you had the option to leave it up? Or is ‘asked’ a nice way of saying ‘forced in order to avoid a fine’?

    • tbax929 says:

      I wouldn’t buy a house that wasn’t in an HOA. My HOA assures my neighbors won’t turn the neighborhood into a dump by putting sofas out front or having junk cars in front of their houses.

      HOAs are fine for people like me who like rules and order. HOAs are not fine for people who want to do whatever the hell they want because it’s their property, and their neighbors be damned.

      BTW, my HOA allows cars in the driveways. They do not, however, allow cars in the street overnight. It’s not really enforced, but I knew the rules when I signed the contract for the house.

      • Alvis says:

        “people who want to do whatever the hell they want because it’s their property”

        We used to call that the American spirit.

        • SugarCubesAndHandcuffs says:

          AGREED! It is utterly bizarre to me that Americans have somehow got it in their head that they can tell other people what they can and cannot do with their property. My husband and I are saving up so we can purchase the biggest chunk of land that we can possibly afford. Montana is our #1 choice at the moment. Not only do we not want to be told what we can and cannot do on OUR land… I don’t even want to be able to see ANYTHING that’s not ours from our house. Not traffic noise, no neighbors lights… nothing. No one to bother and no one to bother me. Cannot wait.

        • tbax929 says:

          You only need to have one really bad neighbor experience to appreciate the value of an HOA. My neighbor across the steet moved to Florida and rented the property out to some seriously shady characters. My peaceful enjoyment of my home declined significantly. I only wish I’d had my HOA back then to do something about it. Lord knows the cops didn’t give a shit.

        • newfenoix says:

          I am really beginning to like you….

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        *Eye roll*

        That’s what city ordinances used to be for. My city has ordinances against parking cars on your front lawn or having a dumping ground in your yard, but we don’t have a Gestapo HOA walking around measuring how long our blades of grass are or sending us nastygrams for having the wrong shade of green on our front door.

        HOAs are fucking ridiculous.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Absolutely.

          Most of the growth in our country over the past 30 years has been in unincorporated areas, with no zoning laws or ordinances on the books. People choose to live in these areas because taxes are typically lower. People who buy houses in the new subdivisions typically don’t want to risk their neighbors property turning into a junk yard and they also need a way to pay for repairs to common areas, so they charter a HOA.

          I personally think it makes more sense to incorporate but people hate the idea of giving money or power to local government, so they’d rather just give both to a HOA.

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            Their choice I guess. One of the more attractive aspects of my neighborhood is that it does not have an HOA. We like it that way just fine. And it’s not a trash dump. I find it so insulting that people think that their neighbors must be DICTATED TO in order to maintain their homes properly. It’s crap. People in my neighborhood manage just fine without an HOA to boss them around.

        • barty says:

          Good luck in trying to get the county or city to enforce them though.

          I lived in once city that would have warnings on your door if you let the grass go uncut for more than a week. In the last city I lived in, you had to pitch a fit to code enforcement to get them to come out and do something about someone’s home that was clearly in violation of code. The surrounding county was even worse, it took a call to my county commissioner’s office to finally get code enforcement to check out a house that was in a horrible state of repair, had numerous vehicles parked all over the lawn, street, etc..

          Problem is that it only takes one person moving into a neighborhood to make everyone elses’ experience miserable and drive down property values. It is probably situations like the one I portrayed that push people towards an HOA. Most are formed with the best intentions, but are unfortunately hijacked by stay at home moms and retired people who have nothing better to do with their time than run the HOA.

          • Alvis says:

            I feel really bad for anyone so fragile that seeing someone else keep their property on their lawn makes them “miserable”.

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            Uh I have no problem with the city enforcing its residential code. I myself have been on the receiving end of two nastygrams from the city since moving in (both justified). However, the city itself is much more accomodating and will warn you prior to fining you, and they will also work with you on things like tree branch removal. I was told my trees’ canopies were too low at the rear of my house so I tried to find an arborist to come out and trim them. The city had gone on a spree of tree violations so it was hard to find anyone. I called the city and explained the situation and was given an extension with no problem.

      • Marshmelly says:

        “HOAs are not fine for people who want to do whatever the hell they want because it’s their property, and their neighbors be damned.”

        You make it sound like non-HOA dwellers are all belligerant trashy anarchists. I can assure you that there are no sofas hanging out in any of my neighbor’s front lawns, and we’re all pretty respectful of one-another without having a board of uptight nitpicky control-freaks telling us what type of car we’re allowed to park in our own driveway. If you enjoy living in an HOA, then fine…I respect that (and I understand all HOAs are not as ridiculous), but why the sense of animosity and brash generalization about those who don’t?

        I’m also not entirely sure about what is wrong with having a car parked in the street overnight. Is it just that it is not aesthetically pleasing or is there an actual practical reason behind it?

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I lived in a non-HOA neighborhood for many years, as have my parents. Somehow, in all those years I never once saw a sofa or chair on the lawn, massively overgrown grass, or distasteful flower pots brazenly displayed on the front porch. Luckily though, my overnight guests were allowed to park on the side of the street (the horror) so that they would actually have a place to park. I’m really glad I didn’t have to have them park their car up the road at Tom Thumb so some stupid sociopath housewife wasn’t offended.

      • Voxxen says:

        The point a lot of people are (correctly) making is that many HOAs are batshit crazy.

        I’m a fan of rules and order (my fiancee would say i’m anal) but I really wouldn’t appreciate some post-menopausal sociopath telling me that i’m not allowed to put up a fence, paint my house, park my car in my driveway, plant some pretty flowers, play music they don’t like, open my garage for more than the time it takes to get the car out, have guests park on the street, go outside without a shirt, use a riding lawnmower, have a dog, be outside at night, open my windows…

        Rules are nice, but crazy is crazy.

      • Pinklette says:

        I love my HOA and would be a board member if I could. Most of our rules are pretty lax and easy (such as parking overnight on the street: totally ok.) I’ve already had to use my HOA to assist me with a neighbor problem. Our house was built 9 months ago, and our only neighbor was ignoring our pleas to stop soaking the common wall when she watered her plants. One notice from the association and no more wet wall! They also help us organize the block parties and other community events. Over all a very chill situation here.

      • Shadowfax says:

        Presumably your HOA is a mellow one, however.

        How about mine:

        I have a picket fence in front of the house. It’s wood. Had to get that approved, and even though it was well within the requirements (4 feet tall, requirements say max of 5, etc) they still held hearings and committee discussions. . They held the freaking Warren Commission about my damned fence. They finally, grudgingly approved it, and so I had it built.

        Then I went out to paint it. Everyone knows you prime a fence before you paint it, and primer is white. Sure enough, one of the HOA morons walked by, and then literally broke into a run after she saw the fence. Turns out she was running to the president’s house, and they both ran back and told me to stop.

        “Why?”

        “You can’t paint the fence white because it has to match your house.”

        “Number one, I’m not painting it white. I’m priming it. The actual paint color will match the house. But number two, the rules don’t say anything about not having a white picket fence.”

        “We know, but we think it looks better if it’s not white, and you have to do what the HOA says.”

        So here they are, giving me crap about a fence that’s perfectly legal, and then giving me crap about the color I was *not* painting the fence, and yet they let the guy down the street have an 8 foot fence painted barn red, and he has a rusty trailer and various snow mobiles scattered throughout his yard, and they don’t say anything to him.

        HOA’s are great as long as they are run by people who are not morons. But once the morons get in, they do their best to make life hell for people. I won’t say I’d never move to a neighborhood with an HOA again, but I won’t say I can guarantee that an HOA won’t make life miserable if I do.

    • Bativac says:

      No kidding. I bought my house last year in a old, 1950s-era, non-HOA neighborhood. Yeah, the neighbors may let their grass go for a couple weeks, or somebody might park on the street overnight, but at least I can work on stuff in my driveway and leave it there for a couple days without some tiny fascist government trying to tell me what to do.

    • dolemite says:

      Meh. I live in a neighborhood with no HOA. Neighbors are great. No problems. I do what I want with my house, plant the flowers I want, park what car I want in the driveway, paint the house however I want. Friends can stay overnight and park on the street if they want, I can listen to my music at full volume if I desire.

      If there are problems, I’m sure the neighbors will ask me to do something differently, or call the police. We do have rules and regulations in the town, and it is the police’s job to enforce them. Not some old biddies telling you your house is too light a shade of green.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        In your situation (and my own), we don’t need HOAs because we already have ordinances on the books.

        In many parts of the country, subdivisions charter HOAs because they are located in unincorporated areas, with no zoning and no ordinances at the county level. If it weren’t for HOA rules, there would be nothing (legally) stopping neighbors from turning their properties into junk yards, porno shops, or hog farms.

        • kujospam says:

          And who cares if they do that?

        • Bob says:

          So unincorporated areas have no ordinances? Many of our ordinances are county wide, which cover the developed and undeveloped. Does someone live outside of any county or parish in the US?

          Also why MUST we hand over power to do with our property to those who think they are above the law (some HOAs)?

      • JMILLER says:

        That is fine until Jethro Bodine moves in and starts wanting to paint his house next door to your a great pink with purple polka dots. HE also wants to have his cars up on blocks for 9 months so he can make his 1965 Stang cherry. He also puts his size 48 inch waist underpants with skid marks out to dry on the line in the front yard.
        Some HOA;s go overboard, but living in the community makes you a member. All you have to do is get involved and run for office to change the rules. If your neighbors agree it works. HOA’s are not some dictatorship that determines the rules. They are voted into office.

        • Alvis says:

          Live and let live.

        • OutPastPluto says:

          If a guy wants to paint his house pink or have 4 MGs in his driveway, that’s his business. It’s HIS house. It doesn’t impact YOU or ME in the slightest. It does not infact drive down property values. This is just nonsense perpetrated by the clueless.

          Sometimes I suspect that what these HOA fixated types really want to do is to restrict WHO can live in the neighborhood rather than what color they can paint their house.

    • eli says:

      At least around here (DC), it is basically impossible to get a place without an HOA. Certainly nothing built within the last few decades.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      *Loud sigh*

      Read the actual article please.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        What is he supposed to have gotten from that that he missed? Also, there were 7 minutes between the original post and his post, so he very well could have done.

      • LadyTL says:

        *Loud Sigh*

        Read the actual post please.

    • Silverhawk says:

      HOAs are evil. After living in a townhouse with an HOA run by power-tripping housewives, I’ll never do it again.

      Constantly targeted by busybodies that didn’t even live on our street for having my garage door open while working on my race car. The horrors! I never did anything inappropriate, like revving the engine, or working late at night. And I even cleared it with my neighbors on both sides & across the street, who were all cool with it, and would even come over to chat with me while I worked.

      They even got so anal as to pass rules about the number & color of flower pots you could have by your front door. It wasn’t because there was a problem resident – they were trying to predict future ‘issues’ to head off. There’s more, but I get riled up just thinking about it.

      When we moved, we specifically opted to buy an older home in what we thought was a non-HOA neighborhood. The realtor swore there was no HOA, but I discovered 6 months after moving in that there had been one for 30 years. Luckily, it’s voluntary, and I opted out.

      And I don’t leave a sofa or cars on blocks in my front yard. ;)

      • OnePumpChump says:

        “And I even cleared it with my neighbors on both sides & across the street, who were all cool with it, and would even come over to chat with me while I worked.”

        This is the only situation in which front-facing garages (particularly ones that dominate the frontage) do not have adverse social effects on the neighborhood.

        BUT OH NO CANT HAVE THAT. You will stay inside and not speak with your neighbors, thank you.

      • Marshmelly says:

        “They even got so anal as to pass rules about the number & color of flower pots you could have by your front door. It wasn’t because there was a problem resident – they were trying to predict future ‘issues’ to head off.”

        I am trying to think of “issues” that could arise relating to the color of flowerpots…but I am at a loss.

        • SJPadbury says:

          Think Fluorescent.

        • Silverhawk says:

          Conformity.

          When I questioned the need for such a ridiculous rule (among a couple of others being proposed at the time), one of the people pushing the rule said, “If I could make it so every home in the neighborhood looked exactly alike, I’d be happy.”

          Keep in mind this was a townhome community – duplexes mostly. So all homes had the same color siding, shingles, shutters, etc. They already looked exactly alike.

        • YdoUthinkURright says:

          The ideal of HOA’s was great but like everything that involves giving over power of your possessions, people can’t help but want to excercise power over others. Having a decorated exterior is a beautiful thing but those folks probably don’t want anything different in their neighborhood. One step away from fascism.

          If you live in an HOA area, you better get involved in the meetings so that you can see what’s on their agenda and get your voice heard. I would also recommend recording the meetings.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Bentley Little wrote a horror novel about one called The Association. The homeowners planted really nice flowers and the HOA came and ripped them out, no warning or anything. It went downhill from there.

        It was a gross exaggeration, but it freaked me out just the same.

      • supernummy says:

        The ones on mine are freakin nazis about ridiculous stuff. You can’t have your trashcans in the front yard more than 45 minutes before trash pickup, yet the trash pickup is VERY random. sometimes not until 4 or 5 pm. you also cannot store your trashcans in the backyard. If you want to paint your house, it must be one of three approved brands and colors, and even then they want to have a meeting about it. And the fees are pretty ridiculous. Yet they see no problem with having a video camera as a lifeguard, and almost no way to get a hold of them.

    • Bohemian says:

      I wouldn’t live in an HOA ever. I would rather put up with the few neighborhood issues we do have than the kind of crap HOAs do. My mom lived in an HOA for a while and hated it. They had the stereotypical board of bored nasty people who got a thrill out of hassling everyone else.

    • bhr says:

      I like my condo assoc. if not the fee. They are pretty quick on getting things fixed, the lawns and parking lots are always mowed/plowed and I don’t know of anyone ever getting fined/harassed

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        HOA’s have all the same stuff as the condo assoc, without the as much power over the owners. But they still think they have the same power and control, generally speaking of course. Your condo may have a cool board/bylaws.

    • ajlei says:

      Oh jeez, I knew that pig avatar looked familiar when I saw it while signing up for PSN last night!

    • Fallom says:

      You’ll find that almost every house built in the last 20 years is part of an HOA. So no, it’s not as simple as “Just don’t buy one there.”

      • HappyFunTimes says:

        Exactly. Saying that one shouldn’t buy a house if there is a HOA there is being disingenuous. Sometimes there is no other choice. Besides, if a HOA sucks, then seek to change it rather than only complaining. All of these horror stories of brutal fascist HOAs cannot have 100% happy home owners under their umbrella. Organize the other irked homeowners and get on/take over the HOA.

        I feel like this is a mini-government lesson. Stop complaining about stuff if you aren’t willing to fight for what you want (vote, organize, military junta errrrr…).

        • Alvis says:

          Seems the obvious answer is to buy a used house. No HOA, probably not in some shitty suburban sprawl hell, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find many of better construction than new cookie-cutter homes.

        • Sudonum says:

          This is what we did with a second home we bought in FL. The HOA was trying to pass a special assessment for something like $50k a unit to pay for latent construction defects in the buildings. They wanted to fix the units and then got after the developer. We started a letter writing campaign showing how stupid this was, mailed out copies of the court filings indicating that it wasn’t going to be as easy to win the lawsuit as the board had told everyone. We pissed a lot of people off in the process, but we also got a lot of apathetic homeowners involved.

          Long story short, the assessment failed, the board realized that there were a group of homeowners watching their actions very closely, and the case settled out of court a couple years ago, all the defects were fixed, and upgraded hurricane rated windows and doors installed. What I love was the comment from one of the board members stating that “Not fixing the buildings was the best move we ever made!”. Reason being that a balcony on one of the buildings collapsed (thankfully no one was hurt) and the developer realized that he needed to do something fast.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        The answer is to take an interest in what your HOA does. I think you get to vote for your board members, and I’m willing to wager that like most politicans, they are less ready to screw with people who vote.

      • jmhart says:

        Plenty of houses built before 1990 available, so yes, just don’t buy in an HOA neighborhood.

      • MyTQuinn says:

        Maybe where you live. There are at least six new developments within 2 miles of me, and none of them a HOA. I don’t know anyone who owns a single-family home that is part of a HOA.

    • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

      The Land of the Free . . .

      • voogru says:

        You dont have to buy a house where there is a HOA. See, unlike with government, you can at least try to avoid being subject to them without going to jail.

    • dreamcatcher2 says:

      The problem is lazy local governments. They want the property taxes, they want the uptick in sales tax from more and more upscale residents, but they don’t want to go to the bother of actually administering services to new developments. So they outsource that to a shadow government.

      I do think HOAs are necessary in some cases, actually. City governments are are very poorly positioned to administer the sort of issues that crop up in, for example, a condo community. Think of Los Angeles – a city with a bigger budget than some countries, that covers a huge area of land, that has its own publicly owned utilities… there are hyperlocal issues that crop up that enormous city governments are ill-positioned to resolve. People are packed tightly together, all spaces are basically common spaces, and what affects one person affects many people. That said, HOAs are very much subject to minority opinions hijacking the governing process – the ones with the most free time have the most influence. The HOA governing process is very young – immature, even – and as such is does commit a lot of travesties. But in the long run, they are more effective at some things.

    • miss_chevious says:

      I bought a house in a neighborhood with an HOA that wasn’t disclosed to me and at first I was FURIOUS–normally, I wouldn’t have bought in such a location. Fortunately, my HOA has turned out to be of the mellow kind that only gets on people who *really really* let their lawns go (feet high, cars on blocks) or paint their houses purple or something, so I haven’t had too many issues with it. Still, going in, there’s no way to know whether you’ve got the “mellow” HOA or the next facist regime.

      • qwickone says:

        Is it even legal for the seller not to disclose the HOA??

        • huadpe says:

          No, it is not. It is VERY much not, and the real estate agent can be sued.

          • dadelus says:

            Yeah, but define “Disclose” considering anywhere there is an HOA there are HOA fees that means at some point during the close thise person must have signed a document stating what fees were charged by the HOA. So if they simply signed the document but didn’t read it then it will be impossible to prove it wsn’t disclosed to them.

      • iesika says:

        What’s wrong with purple houses?

    • BustedFlush says:

      I’ve lived in a neighborhood that had an HOA, and one that did not. In theory, HOA’s might be a great idea, but after seeing one in action my next home will not be part of one.

      A good HOA has to walk a very careful middle ground between being overzealous and powerless. In my current situation, there are bunches of houses that don’t take care of their yards at all. Some are foreclosed and empty, but not all of them. I’ve heard the HOA has the power to put a lien on the property if there are enough violations, but there are houses with weeds 3 feet tall, old newspapers left to rot in the lawn, dog crap. When I talk to the HOA all I get is that the matter is being looked into, but any actions taken are confidential.

      The bulk of my dues seem to go towards to pool – which I don’t mind, because I use the pool a lot and I think it makes the neighborhood more attractive to families.

      I don’t need or want a “Stepford Wives” neighborhood, but some bad apples can really hurt property values.

      • drburk says:

        An HOA can lien a property. I’m struggling to get mine to realize this in regards to foreclosed homes.
        Long story short when a house violates HOA rules the HOA can, after 2 warnings (varies by jurisdiction) have the violation corrected (fence torn out, lawn mowed, house painted etc.). Once the violation is corrected the HOA invoices the property owner (in many cases mortgage company) and if the bill isn’t paid they must lien the house within 60 days (varies by jurisdiction). A small invoice to mow a lawn in violation of covenants or city ordinances is $250, when a lien is issued the HOA can add $100 for legal proceedings.

        My HOA asked for volunteers to mow foreclosed lots. I explained that they reserve the right to bill the mortgage company each time a violating lot is mowed, I offered to do all the paperwork and split the profit 50/50. They rejected my offer saying that it wasn’t the mortgage companies job to mow the lawn (they apparently don’t understand what it means when a bank owns a house) and have volunteers mowing the lots. I estimated the HOA and I each lost out on around $15,000 because they don’t understand what it means to be an HOA.

      • Fair&Balanced says:

        Usually those issues are covered by the town/city ordinances so you can just call the police and they will make people cut their grass and clean their yards.

        You don’t need an HOA to force people to keep their properties clean.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          What I have discovered from Consumerist is that HOAs are more common in states/areas where there aren’t very many town ordinances. People have commented here about living in cities with NO ordinances relating to, say, property maintenance, and it’s all a shithole unless you’re in an HOA.

          Where I live (and apparently where you do), town/city ordinances do everything an HOA could do, but without the STUPID restrictions.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Every response in this thread made me never want to live in suburbia. I sincerely thank all of you.

    • Xzigraz says:

      It’s hard and hard to find houses that doesn’t have HOA. Certainly, all the new homes have HOA.

    • HighontheHill says:

      I cannot imagine why anyone would ever purchase a house controlled by an HOA, if enough folks refused, the concept would die. I would never surrender my Civil Rights to an HOA board. Never. There was one community in CO not too long ago that disallowed firearms of any sort. Ponderous….

  2. RandomHookup says:

    I’m not sure I could justify spending $187k in legal fees just to be able to keep my truck. There’s always the chance you could lose in one of these cases.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      it could be that he needs a truck for his work. No truck -> no job -> no money for the mortgage. Then again, based on the picture of the house and the fact that he had $200k to use on this fight, he’s probably doing ok.

      • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

        I’m sure it would be cheaper to buy a smaller truck than to spend almost 200K on the lawsuit. I think he did it just for the principle.

        I personally wouldn’t risk losing the suit, I would just move out, but I’m glad some people out there are willing to do it.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          just moving out may not be so easy, you have to find a place to buy/rent and find a buyer for your home..without taken a beating on the sale.

  3. smo0 says:

    I hope he was compensated for his time too….

    I’d fight as well…. the more people fight back on these issues – the less they have this hold over everyone…

    Again… every time I see articles about HOA’s the more I wanna watch that X-Files episode….

    • Hypercube says:

      I loved that episode…whenever odd things happen in my (non-HOA) neighborhood, my partner and I attribute it to “The Association”.

      • smo0 says:

        It’s true…. late at night… you leave your garbage cans out…. on a non-garbage day….

        the monster is gonna come and get you :O

        that entire season was epic…btw.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      +1. The first thing that comes to mind when I see an article on HOAs is Mulder with the backhoe….

    • Anonymously says:

      I believe you’re referring to the episode Aracdia? I love that one.

  4. NightSteel says:

    If you’re considering buying a home covered by an HOA, first watch Over the Hedge. Then, assume all HOA administrators are like that. Still want to?

  5. Scurvythepirate says:

    This is why I bought an older construction house in a nice area surrounded by HOA communities. No way was I going to shell out extra money each month just to “live the Desperate Housewife” life. I’ll take my quiet little street over the confusing mess that is a subdivision any day.

    • tbax929 says:

      My HOA dues are $25/month. For that, they keep the common areas neat and clean and make sure my neighbors don’t act like redneck or ghetto trash. I’m happy to pay it!

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        In my neighborhood the real estate prices themselves are the barrier between decent folks and trashy folks. We don’t need an HOA to dictate their behavior. They just can’t afford to live in the neighborhood, or they don’t want to because there isn’t a Super Wal-Mart neaby.

        • JJ! says:

          Did you just insinuate that all poor people are trashy/all well off people are decent?

          • FerretGirl says:

            Yup. I think that was the insinuation.

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            Upper middle and upper-class people tend NOT to trash their neighorhoods and have the means to maintain their properties to a high standard. Take that any way you like.

        • qwickone says:

          It just takes one person that uses that house as a rental where bad tenants can trash the property values… I’m not defending HOAs, but some (like mine) are really awesome.

          • tbax929 says:

            You’re trying to convince people who have already made a judgment, mostly based on hyperbole. You and I can obviously see the benefit of an HOA. Some folks would rather take a few extreme cases and turn it into “All HOAs are bad”. Then, if you point out that you’re experience is different, there’s something wrong with you.

            The only people I know who have had a problem with their HOAs are people who can’t seem to follow simple rules. If you have an ounce of consideration for your neighbors, those rules aren’t unreasonable and are actually common sense.

            • Dallas_shopper says:

              Actually, my judgment is based on actual experiences from actual people that I actually know who live in various actual HOAs in various actual cities/towns in the DFW metroplex. I don’t know a single person who lives in an HOA-controlled area who does NOT regret their decision to buy in one. Oh, and these are educated, middle-class people…not trashy morons getting constant fines from said HOAs.

              You were saying?

            • milk says:

              I briefly lived in a home with no central A/C, and the HOA prevented the homeowner from installing a window unit in my bedroom because it was on the front of the house. Texas + summer – A/C = I hope that HOA dies in a fire. Or gets stuck in that room with the door closed.

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            I will take that risk rather than have an HOA dictate my lifestyle and exterior decor/landscaping decisions. If you want to live that way, fine. But I don’t.

      • Powerlurker says:

        In more civilized areas we have these things called “city ordinances” to prevent such behavior.

    • Trick says:

      HOA’s popped up around property I owned but that didn’t stop the HOA’s and one old fart from tying to make my life miserable… Both failed but how many people have found themselves in similar situations?

    • jimcarm says:

      And by doing this you can;
      Pay to have your driveway plowed.
      Pay to have your lawn mowed.
      Pay for you own water for lawn irrigation.
      Pay for your own home owners insurance.
      Pay for your own home painting.
      Pay for your own deck staining.
      Pay for your own external home repairs.
      Pay for your own driveway repairs.
      Pay for your own roof repairs.
      Pay for your own tree and shrub trimming.
      Pay for your own etc, etc, eyc.

  6. katstermonster says:

    My friend’s boyfriend’s condo association in West Palm, FL has the same rule. Only they don’t have garages, so it means you can’t have a pickup truck at all. Even visitors can’t own them, it’s kind of insane. I guess old people really hate pickup trucks…

    • Riff Raff says:

      My grandparents live in a “retirement” community in Coconut Creek, FL. Among the many rules of the community are:

      1. Residents must be over 45 years old in order to live there.
      2. Residence may not have children, or anyone else living in their homes, unless they fit rule #1. If they do end up having children, they have to move out.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        I think most retirement communities are like that.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much standard in most of the senior/retirement/adult communities Florida.
        i wish I was old enough to live in one.

      • shepd says:

        Thank God that’s illegal where I live. Unless you are actually a seniors care residence (ie: A geriatric hospital) it’s absolutely illegal to discriminate by age. The retirement places get around this by making the rules extremely unpleasant for the non-retired, like 8 pm curfews and such.

        • halfcuban says:

          Actually, its highly unlikely it is “illegal” where you live, since Equal Housing laws explicitly allow for senior communities. Most people agree that senior living communities are by definition different beasts from a normal residential community.

          • shepd says:

            No, it’s actually illegal unless you:

            – Are a care facility for old people (ie: You’re pretty much a hospice, this is the last place my grandma went before she died). “Extended care centre” was part of the name of that place.

            – Are a senior’s residence (This isn’t anything like a condo at all, we put grandma in one once she was at the point of falling over all the time and at risk of harming herself without at least some serious attention. Her dementia was also at the point she couldn’t remember her own name.). Such places are basically communal living and don’t usually offer anything other than a bed and bathroom in the room. Food is provided by the facility in the mess hall, and entertainment is provided communally with a TV room, etc. Seniors residence was actually part of the name of the place.

            There literally are no such places in Ontario where you can only have seniors that are at all like an apartment (You know, the sort of place where you are allowed to stop others coming in, where you have your own kitchen, family room, etc) because that would actually be illegal under the human rights code. I think most of Canada follows suit.

            Frankly, I’m rather surprised the US permits age discrimination. I always figured the land of the free would be one of the first places to prevent something like that.

            • pz says:

              Well, in the “land of the free” you’re “free” to discriminate upon your own “land,” barring certain restrictions. Get it?

    • msbask says:

      I’m curious about how this works. If a visitor does have a pickup, what does the HOA do? Go knocking door-to-door until they find the offender? Then have the truck towed?

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      It isn’t all about old people. Pickup trucks are the sign that somebody actually “works” for a living, and that’s unacceptable in some HOA’s. I had a friend that bought a brand new small pickup truck, and practically as soon as he got it home, he got a letter saying that he’d be fined if he had it parked outside (he was the roommate of a renter, he didn’t know the rules). So, instead of fighting, he bought the worst looking clunker of a car he could find. It was a mass of rust, primer and dents, and looked like it had been in a rollover accident. He parked his shiny new truck at the light rail station a mile away, and used the clunker to drive to and from the station. He never heard another word from the HOA.

  7. morehalcyondays says:

    HOAs need to be reigned in, they have far too much power.

    • mikeP says:

      Agreed. It is just not feasible to say, “Just don’t buy a house with a HOA”. They are too prevalent to easily avoid.
      Furthermore, a new person on the board can tip the scales such that a previously decent HOA becomes a crappy one. Therefore, even if you bought a house with a good one, it can still turn out poorly.

    • Powerlurker says:

      If HOAs were required to abide by the same due process restrictions that a municipal government would like judicial review, standards of evidence, a jury of disinterested peers, etc., I would object to them a lot less.

      • SilentBob says:

        I completely agree with this statement. That’s the problem when the people who make the rules have no rules controlling them.

  8. Kris says:

    This is exactly why I refuse to live in a neighborhood with a HOA. Here in TX, they are HIGHLY unregulated and can basically do as they please. I live in an older neighborhood, and somehow, everyone manages to keep their homes and yards up just fine without an HOA to tell them what and how to do it.

    • vastrightwing says:

      You mean there are places in TX where there aren’t any HOAs? I was in Sugarland TX not long ago and everywhere I went, all the neighborhoods looked the same. I assumed they were all HOAs.

    • Draw2much says:

      Same here! I live in Northern TX. Mostly the upper-class neighborhoods have HOA. Every where else is HOA free!

      Our neighborhood is HOA free. Everyone takes really good care of their property. (Though the public seating area is run down and weedy, but I don’t care about that. xD) And everyone behaves and everyone is really friendly.

      I don’t see the point of having an HOA. People can obviously be good home owners all on their own.

  9. dolemite says:

    “Ugh, look at that tacky truck. He could have at least bought the Cadillac Escalade EXT! I’m ashamed to have my friends over with that *thing* only 2 blocks down from my house!”

  10. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    “the homeowner’s attorney said. ‘And, certainly, requiring a homeowner to spend over two hundred thousand dollars to defend themselves simply to park a vehicle in the driveway just doesn’t make any sense at all.’ “

    I think it made plenty of sense for the attorney. And lots of dollars, too.

  11. Brontide says:

    I’m torn, it’s stupid to not be able to park your vehicle in your driveway, but deed restrictions are deed restrictions and those are the breaks when you get involved with a HOA. Doubly so in this case since there were multiple associations that he was dealing with ( the local and the “master” associations ).

    This is why I will never get involved in a HOA.

    • tbax929 says:

      They’re fine, but you really should read the contract before you sign it. The rules are clearly spelled out. If his HOA rules state no cars in the driveway, so be it. I know, that’s not what happened here. I just mean in general.

      • Brontide says:

        No, the rules are often hundreds of pages long and subject to change with little to no warning ( for someone not investing their life into HOA politics ). No way am I living under a fiefdom of power hungry busybodies.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          That, I think, is what most people don’t realise. The HOA usually doesn’t have to answer to you, they’re free to do whatever they please. Sure, you can vote them out, but are the replacements going to be any better? After all, the replacement are people who also have nothing better to do.

          It should also be noted that HOAs are not bound by any constitutionality, so your rights do not apply in an HOA.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Deed restrictions can be like old laws. They may be on the books, but under normal circumstances are completely unreasonable. It’s still technically illegal to sneeze on public streets in many places because it spooks the horses. Being that his vehicle was in fair shape, thus not an eyesore to any reasonable human being, the HOA had no business making an issue of it and completely wasting the members fees over someones pet peeve.

    • Kristoffer says:

      I used to live in a subdivision several years ago that had an HOA. I read all the rules and they all sounded reasonable at the time. Could only get a certain type wooden fence, had to keep your grass cut, bushes trimmed, no junk cars, etc. As the years went on they got more and more picky about the yards. Next thing you know I am getting a notice that the pine straw around my bushes is the wrong color and I had 30 days to change it out.

      I doubt I would ever live somewhere that had one again and I am 100% sure that I wouldn’t live in a place where I can’t park my own vehicle in my own driveway.

      As a side note I used to work in a 911 dispatch center. We would always get calls from Mr or Mrs so and so “president of the ZYX homeowners association”. Usually it was to request police come out and ticket/tow a vehicle because it was parked on the street or because they have a resident that refuses to take down their American flag. You would have to explain how it’s not against the law to park on a residential street or how the police can’t come out and tell someone to take down a flag. Always amazed me how some HOA folks thought that their rules turned to laws.

    • Difdi says:

      Did you even read the article? When the guy was deciding whether or not to buy, he did look into the rules. And the rules didn’t prohibit him parking his truck there.

      Years later, either through a rules change or a power trip, suddenly he’s being sued to compel him to stop parking his truck there.

      He signed a contract, yes. But he didn’t sign the new one they tried to enforce in place of the one he did sign.

  12. Supes says:

    I think the trick in these neighborhoods is to join the HOA in your community… then you can be the one wielding and abusing power.

    • dolemite says:

      Who wants to add the stress of politics to your life? Those things are simply power trips for people. “Well, I’ve got my doctorate, I retired early with millions in the bank, and I am simply not satisfied with life. There are plenty of people around me that are just as rich as I am…how can I gain a leg up on them….ah! I’ll wield the power to tell them how to live their lives by running the HOA!”

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        PhDs? With millions in the bank?

        Maybe a token few at top universities and some econ PhDs working as bankers… but most PhDs I know are hardly millionaires. Hell, the highest paid professor I had at my hoity toity top-25 university was paid in the $200K range.

        You sure you aren’t mixing them up with i-bankers?

        • dolemite says:

          Lol true, I was trying to think of everything you could accomplish then get bored with life, so you had to turn to running a HOA to get a thrill out of having power over those around you.

        • huadpe says:

          Engineering PhDs and Chemistry PhDs also tend to do quite well in the private sector.

      • will_o_wisp says:

        As a recent graduate with a PhD…god I wish those big bucks were in my future but alas…it’s unlikely.

      • Billy says:

        It’s either the stress of dealing with someone else’s rules or the stress of making the rules yourself.

        I’d rather be the leader in these situations, not the follower.

    • tungstencoil says:

      FYI: not rich here. Working stiff like most.

      I joined my HOA for exactly that reason: to keep them sane. I actually volunteered for it, and during ‘elections’ that’s what I said: “I will keep these people sane and make sure the objective is to hold to the character of the deed restrictions, and not someone’s power-tripping ideal”.

      The folks who do it with me are nice, but if they get a hair in their posterior, watch out… However, I’m pretty able to talk to them down to a reasonable level.

      HOAs can serve a purpose. I don’t much care for them, but it was a lessor “give” than some other things, to get the house we wanted in the location we could afford. I just make sure I’m involved to stem some of the madness.

    • Silverhawk says:

      That’s exactly what my wife & I did. I complained above about how evil our last HOA was, but I didn’t just complain, we joined to moderate the busybody influence.

      There’s only so much you can do, but now residents in our old community can enjoy *4* flower pots of any color outside their front door, instead of just 2 beige ones. Seriously.

      My wife did a lot more, mostly to prevent implementation of far more draconian rules, and have the HOA enforce in the spirit of the rules, instead of citing for every minor infraction.

  13. Riff Raff says:

    Let me guess… The HOA will cover its losses by increasing rates due to the “[economy|market|banks|all of the above].”

  14. colorisnteverything says:

    And this is why I love to live in the city in a place that is nice and friendly, but not posh or new enough to need an HOA. I will never move to the suburbs – ever!

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      There’s no such thing as “posh or new enough to need an HOA.”

      An HOA is a plague on any community upon which it is inflicted. No one ever “needs” an HOA in the same way that no one ever “needs” to be thrown off a bridge.

      • colorisnteverything says:

        Here, it seems like there MUST be one to keep out the rifraff. That means anyone who doesn’t fit the perfect whitebread bill.

        Our neighbors have relatives who just moved into a gaited community because without a good HOA, they would not feel comfortable “looking out their windows”. Seriously! Yes, some neighbors suck, but I like difference. It keeps life interesting.

  15. Lollerface says:

    He should now trade-in the truck for a luxury sedan just to throw it in the faces of the HOA and their new 300K bill.

  16. FrugalFreak says:

    HOAs are for people that enjoy living the illusion of life. Keeping up with the joneses and such. They have nothing else.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      I would say you’re correct most of the time.

      Our HOA was like that… but being an industrious CPA that I am, about six years ago I got onto the board as Treasurer. Then my reign began.

      First thing I did was approach lawn care companies, landscapers… basically anyone who would talk to me about giving a flat discount to residences. TruGreen was the most difficult, but I got a 5% concession. Guess what we did in response? Our move-in packages now include all their information as “the sponsored …” of that type.

      Right now we’re working with Broadview to do the same.

      Maybe I’m weird, but its just trying to bring real value…

  17. David MS says:

    I think the trick is to make sure that the HOA board is gainfully employed outside of the home so they have more important things to do than worry about the truck in the driveway. That is the case in my HOA. There is an entirely separate argument that the functions performed by a HOA are more properly performed by the city government but that’s a separate issue.

  18. jdmba says:

    This is par for the course. Homeowners Associations are awful and one should never own property when subject to one. Of course, the standard “what if its the only thing you can afford” replies will be due, but the point remains … there is no court oversight over them, they have power to levy on your property, and tend to be run by people whose only goal is to avoid being victims by the Homeowners Association.

    NEVER buy property where there is a HOA.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Of course, the standard “what if its the only thing you can afford” replies will be due

      Isn’t that the opposite? I thought it was the newer, richer neighborhoods that tend to have HOAs and the reason you put up with them at all is because it’s a nice neighborhood near a good school.

      • MrEvil says:

        Depends on what part of the country you’re in. Here in Austin TX most all of the properties in my price range have HOAs My sister and her husband in Springfield MO also have an HOA in a middle class neighborhood.

  19. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    HOAs should be outlawed. If you have a legitimate beef with what your neighbor is doing, then the police can help. If it’s not something that the police can help with, then it’s not a legitimate beef – or at the very least, you need to try to get some new ordinance passed.

    HOAs are for and made of people who have too little to do and have to dick with everyone else because of it.

    • JMILLER says:

      Wait, did you just seriously say outlaw your ability to enter into a contract with whomever you choose? HAHAHAHA. You do realize that would be the same as saying nobody in a town can own a red car. What if some peopel CHOOSE to live that way? Who are you to tell others how they form their community?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        The same way that Ponzi schemes are outlawed. There’s plenty of people that will buy into a Ponzi scheme, even if they read the contract and know what it is.

        …and/or read the contract, don’t comprehend it, and sign anyway.

        I love it when retards like you spout off with “who are you to tell others what to do?” If I told people not to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, you’d be all over me about how I had no right to do so, and if people want to jump to their deaths then that’s just fine.

        Someone has to look out for people who are incapable of looking out for themselves. And HOAs are *not* looking out for you.

  20. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I’m amazed at the level of hatred for HOA’s. Most of the growth over the past 30 years in the USA has been in unincorporated areas, where the county government has no authority to control zoning, pass ordinances, etc. If you want to live in an unincorporated area and not risk your neighbor’s property turning into a hog farm or a junk yard, you either need to be part of a HOA or get your county government to pass zoning ordinances. In unincorporated areas, people oppose county ordinances until something happens to them individually (like a hog farm going in).

    I’ve never been part of a HOA, mostly for the fact that I don’t like that level of power going to an unregulated organization with quasi-government powers. I think it make more sense to incorporate, pass logical zoning and local ordinances, or to just move to a city with these laws already on the books.

    • msbask says:

      You’re amazed at the level of hatred for HOAs, yet your second paragraph explains exactly why people hate them! :)

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Yes, but if you want some regulation on what your neighbors can do to their properties while at the same time don’t want the government (either county or local ) to tax you or pass ordinances/zoning, HOAs are really the only avenue to do so.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I live in Texas in the HOA capital of the free world. We are incorporated, have stringent city regulations, and yet the reign of terror still goes on just 1/4 of a mile from my apartment.

    • halfcuban says:

      A number of people have made this unincorporated claim throughout the threads, that without incorporation there can be no ordinances. This is nonsense, first and foremost, as counties very obviously have legal standing to make ordinances. I should know considering a number of county ordinances where I live (Richland County, SC) are controversial and have provoked a number of reactions from homeowners. They also have zoning control.

      Two, most of the places people claim are unincorporated are nothing of the sort. Most people live in incorporated towns, even if most of the time they don’t realize it. I’ve had alot of friends swear to me up and down they live in “unincorporated” parts of town that are very clearly within the jurisdiction of a city government, but because that city contracts with the county for services, they are under the mistaken belief that they live “in the county”. Considering the dreary numbers of participation in municipal elections in some places, it doesn’t surprise me that people aren’t actually aware of where they live.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        This varies considerably by the state and whether there is consolidated county government. Yes, there are HOAs in incorporated areas but they typically don’t come about in a vacuum — you typically get HOAs in areas of very week local (whether it be city or county) government.

    • bdgbill says:

      HOA’s always start out with a mission to do things like prevent hog farms from going in next door but somehow they almost always get around to measuring grass with a ruler and writing regulations specifying the approved font for the numbers on your mailbox.

      As someone above said “Power goes to those who have the most free time”. In my experience this has always meant elderly busybodies.

      I lived in a neighborhood with an HOA in Florida for two years. During that time I received (by registered letter) “Default Warnings” for such things as hanging a single towel on my balcony railing to dry, for applying my parking sticker to the wrong corner of my windshield and my favorite, for having “insufficient window dressing” (I had an empty 2nd floor spare bedroom that had no curtains or blinds).

    • Con Seanne-BZZZZZZZZZZZZ says:

      We had someone move a trailer into a nice neighborhood with a weak HOA that can do little but lobby the county to get the trailer out. The county ruled the trailer violated some such zoning law or something and then it was gone. Funny as hell when it’s not happening to you, though!

  21. will_o_wisp says:

    We are buying a house and I specifically refused to look at houses that were in HOA areas for this kind of crap. Most of the time, if there is a violation serious enough to merit the involvement of an HOA, there is already a city statute preventing it because it is a health hazard (eg. leaving junk cars in the yard, garbage left all over, etc.). HOAs shouldn’t exist in my opinion.

  22. WorkingDad says:

    While I don’t disagree with anything said here, keep in mind that we’re only hearing from one side. That’s what got Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack into trouble…

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      keep in mind that we’re only hearing from one side

      Yeah, I was just wondering if we’d ever hear from the HOA explaining why they’d spend years trying to keep vehicles out of driveways.

  23. Geekybiker says:

    HOA’s can making sweeping rules changes with little oversight from the members
    New rules changes have legal force even if you bought long before the changes
    HOA’s can foreclose on you for fines related to these rules changes

    HOA’s just have way too much power and not enough oversight.

    • Rachacha says:

      HOAs can make sweeping changes, but such changes usually require a vote by the members, so the key is for homeowners to monitor the HOA, review meeting minutes, attend meetings and vote against rules you don’t like. For significant changes, they also need to be submitted to the banks that hold the mortgage for approval and often times the local government.

      Many HOA rules are illegal and unenforcable. The HOA that I live in has many illegal provisions, and we tried to go through the process to rewrite them to make sure all of the provisions were in full compliance with local and federal law, but it was extremely expensive and would have required approval by all homeowners and their mortgage company. Our lawyers advised us that doing this would be nearly impossible so we simply decided to write a document that detailed what was illegal to enforce and therefore we would not be enforcing those rules (or if we would enforce the rules, what the legal restrictions were). Fortunately, our HOA is very tame. For the first time in 10 years, they had someone walk around the neighborhood and identify things on the home that were in need of repair (siding coming off the home…obvious things). With the letter they sent to individual homeowners, they also provided a list of recommended contractors who were able to perform the repairs, but you were free to choose your own handyman or make the repairs yourself.

  24. The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

    I actually like my HOA. They maintain the (private) roads in my neighborhood, and keep the common areas in great condition. They also maintain a lot for boat parking and a swimming pool. I don’t own a boat, but many of my neighbors do and it’s a great convenience that increases the value of houses in the neighborhood. Also, I could never afford a swimming pool myself.

    Not all HOAs ar power-hungry maniacs. Ours is run by a management company, but the board is composed of homeowners.

    • shepd says:

      Unless your fees are extremely low, you could afford a swimming pool for less than 4 months of HOA fees. The inflatable ones (which are about 4 feet deep and maybe 8 feet wide) only cost $100. The nice 6 foot deep 10 foot wide hardwalled ones are less than $1000, which for the fees my parents pay would only cost 5 months of pay.

      Maintenance is extremely cheap as well, maybe 3 bottles of bleach a month and 1 bottle of muriatic acid each year and you’re done. Really, that’s generally all you need, you should never buy actual “pool chemicals”, they’re just slapping a sticker on something (like bleach) and selling it to you for pure profit. $100 a year including the cost of filling it with water, absolute tops.

  25. 44 in a Row says:

    Part of the problem is that HOAs tend to assume that anything in the deed or the bylaws is enforceable. A commenter below said “deed restrictions are deed restrictions”, but at the end of the day, this simply isn’t the case. There’s no way that a covenant that said, for example, “this house can only be sold to white families”, would hold up. To use a more modern example, plenty of HOAs include restrictions on the placement of satellite dishes; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told something along the lines of, “I can’t get satellite because my HOA doesn’t allow it”. But there’s a federal law that specifically bans such restrictions (with some exceptions, of course) on the small DirectTV/Dish type of receivers.

  26. Skankingmike says:

    I know of a HOA that was unaware that they had one :P and now the town it telling them they either need to dissolve it and they’ll charge them a tax assessment to fix the issue in their development (civil engineering for flooding) or re-institute the HOA and collect the money (which will be cheaper in the long run).

    Guess what they’d rather due? Sue the town. LOL people who sue towns who live there are pretty stupid. What do you think they do to get that money you sued them for? Why the turn around and do a special tax assessment. ;P

  27. MikieJag says:

    We just dealt with this. The HOA decided no dog in the common areas. Of course being renters we had less power than the homeowners that told them to screw off, some dogs were leaving yellow marks on the grass.

    Which of course is part of the problem, we cleared the dogs through the landlord, through the HOA, and they specifically said use common areas. Owners and renters alike.

    Then 6 months go by and they change their mind, amend the HOA to include no dog pee in the common areas or front yards (considered common) instead go outside the community to the main street.

    Just cargo’d the dogs to family and will move shortly. HOA’s are good until they turn on something then they are evil and you start to see just what is inherently wrong with them.

  28. u1itn0w2day says:

    Funny how all these HOA say they’re there to collect fees for things like utilities and repairs. But what the heck does a parked pick up truck on private property have to do with a utility or repair bill?

    And yeah Florida is like that as are many communities elsewhere. Even many apartment complexes don’t want a commercial vehicle or a ladder on your vehicle. I see these rules to a point in that a residential area should not be a garage or parking lot for a commercial business.

    It’s kind of contradictory too since many of these same HOAs benefited from all the construction and renovations in Florida earlier this decade.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Actually, my very densely packed Northeastern city has a similar rule, except it only refers to on-street parking overnight. They don’t want businesses taking up too many parking spots (until recently, 1/2 of parking spots didn’t require a city permit — now they all do).

  29. whgt says:

    What is a driveway supposed to be used for then? I can understand not parking trailers, boats and other equipment on them. I can also understand not parking anything on the street for more than 24 hours. But you cannot park a CAR/TRUCK in a DRIVEWAY? Come on.

    • econobiker says:

      Some HOAs are crazy about any vehicle that smells of “work truck” because that “down rents” the property. It seems in this instance they were overboard but most say no work trucks or trucks/vans with ladder racks and/or words on the side. Some even have approved times that contactors and tradespeople are allowed for service to the homes/condos…

      • whgt says:

        I completely understand that. It’s not like a situation we had in our HOA-governed neighborhood. We had a family with a ~30 year old Caddy sitting in their driveway. It didn’t run, it was rusting, they couldn’t even shut the door. Finally it came down to we had it removed by towing (only after giving them written notice). We also have rules like boats may not be in the driveway. They must be in the garage, and the garage must be able to shut completely. In situations like these, people obviously keep their cars in the driveway since the garage is full. No big deal to us that the cars are there.

  30. Kodai says:

    Look like he never tried to work within the system. I’d bet that he never attended meetings, or better yet, tried to get onto the board.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I see your point but in reality what should HOAs have to do with anything other than paying bills/arrangement of services.

    • dolemite says:

      Personally, I already have a job. Why would I want the hassle of having to attend long winded meetings of busybodies for free, so I can park my own truck in my own driveway?

  31. MsFab says:

    I hate HOA’s which is the reason I never bought anything in Florida…its impossible to find a house/condo/townhome in Florida that isn’t in an HOA.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      So true, condo commandoes rule in south Florida.

      I think even Donald Trump had trouble with a HOA by flying the US flag.

      What puzzles me is that many of these communities are retirement or older adult oriented which means they are probably less transient. So why have all these petty rules supposedly in the name of keeping up property value. What are they planning to move as a 65 year old retiree? Only 2 moves left by that age-the nursing home and worm food farm.

  32. Kibit says:

    We currently rent a condo that has an HOA and if our rent wasn’t so damn good for our area I would consider leaving. I love where I live, but the HOA and property management company at this neighborhood are awful.

    They spray carcinogenic, hormone disrupting pesticides and herbicides, even though this community started out as a organic community and that is one of the main reasons people bought here. (that and the view of the mountains and proximity to them and open space). The home owners have repeatedly asked them to either stop spraying or use organic products and they refuse. Petitions have been signed, the media has been involved, but they refuse to budge.

    The HOA board and property manager are being downright ugly to everyone who does not want this shit sprayed. And this board is not run by housewives with too much time on their hands, but by lawyers, real estate professionals and business men and women.

    Thankfully we live in an upper unit, but we still keep our windows and doors shut and air conditioner off when they do spray so the pesticide drift doesn’t invade our home through these openings. However half of the units are at ground level or under ground with their windows right at the grass line and these people are getting chemicals sprayed in their homes.

    The last time before they sprayed, after they told us they weren’t going to and then gave us one day notice that they were going to spray, (which had to be postponed because a few people have documented pesticide sensitivity and they didn’t give the proper warning of I believe is 3 days) we had a weed pulling party, weeds, garden gloves, Fat Tire and food. We got rid of all the weeds, except in one area where a car was parked. So they only sprayed that one 2′x4′ section. None of the HOA board members showed up or even acknowledged us while we pulled weeds by their homes.

    We spent $50 and a couple of hours to get rid of weeds that they pay a company $26,000 to spray. (and then leave there after they have died and turn brown. Yes, that looks so much better./sarcastic)

  33. JHerrick79 says:

    As a single person without kids, I don’t need a yard, so I chose to live in a condo rather than a house for the luxury of not having to maintain a yard of my own. I consider this a service the HOA provides to me for my HOA dues.

    Their primary focus is to keep the grass mowed, the pool cleaned, the master insurance paid and the facilities generally maintained to preserve all our property values. Somebody’s got to do this stuff. We have some shared utilities, so the HOA pays the water and gas bills out of everyone’s dues. I don’t always like all their policies or decisions, but they’re not completely evil as one would be led to believe after reading this thread. And I always have the right to run for the board and change things if I don’t like them.

    Maybe it’s different with single family homes. But I just wanted to point out the

  34. Trick says:

    We have a home next to a HOA. It is maintained and actually looks better than the sheeple homes in the HOA but that didn’t stop some old fart from complaining about a satillite dish placement on my roof. We actually got a letter from the HOA demanding it be taken down or face civil action. Normally I am calm is such situations but they caught me on a bad day so they got a good old fashion F-You.

    There was even talk about the HOA taking over my area and forcing my property into the HOA. Good luck on that one was the answer… I admit now I was worried about what legal fee’s I may be facing fighting them but at that time, I was ready to battle. The HOA blinked first though, thankfully…

    I later found out which douchebag was complaining… as I thought it was some old fart who just made many neighbor’s miserable and supposedly ran some family out of the neighborhood with his never-ending harrassment. His upper deck was overlooking my property so I had two ratty old Ford’s put on my back property, I tagged some walls and left garbage cans in plain view and let the weeds grow for a summer. He took all kinds of pictures and complained a lot and I took guilty pleasure seeing him so pissed off. It was unbelievably petty of me but my bad mood that year went away whenever I saw him on his porch “documenting” my violations! This was the kind of weasel who hid behind others like the HOA. Would never do something himself so the coward would try to get others to fight for him…

    After installing very bright spotlights and making it a point to BBQ with wood that wasn’t completely dry on windy days I got bored with pissing the guy off… it was clear he had no intentions of changing his ways and would complain no matter what so I guess he won… I remodeled the property and then later sold it. I had hoped the new owners would be total whack jobs but they were pretty normal, wanting to buy a nice place for their family….

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      There are communities in south Florida that don’t even want you to have a boat parked on your property off the street on a trailer,covered and less than a 1/4 mile away from water. Too many transplants want nothing to do with the leisure activities that actually make places like south Florida a desirable location. It’s also the taxes on those activities and things like boats that help keep others down. Who the heck is a 70 year old retiree fart/snow bird from the north east to come down and try impose their will on a permenant resident how to live.

  35. Joe Gamer says:

    Who has 200k to spend on legal fees? Holy crap, the legal system is so expensive that HOA’s can just bully people into falling in line even if they are in the legal right the cost of court puts it in the realm of legal blackmail.

  36. watchwhathappens says:

    Noone cares of notices that the story never addresses WHY they had an issue with his parking in his own driveway? This is why I am constantly baffled by local news. Major aspects of a story consistently left out and noone seems to care.

  37. s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

    On the one hand, HOAs are tyrannical, puffed up organizations that think they’re the rulers of small countries, not in charge of a subdivision. They either need to be abolished, or have their actual power severely reined in.

    On the other hand, I’m sick of people who think they need an ENORMOUS vehicle that doesn’t even fit in a standard garage, or a standard parking space for that matter. It’s not fun trying to navigate a parking lot where every third car on each side sticks out a foot or two beyond the boundaries of its space — and maybe one or two people in the entire lot can justify having such a monstrosity for the purposes of their job.

    • venomroses says:

      I get what you mean about the big car thing, but this is his own driveway of his own house. Not like some parking lot.

      Also some people need big trucks like that for work.

    • newfenoix says:

      Maybe they just want a big pickup. I have a Toyota Tundra and my wife has a Dodge Durango and I have gotten quite a bit of grief from people over it. Here’s the point…I like those vehicles, I want those vehicles and that is all that matters.

  38. venomroses says:

    I mostly hate my boyfriend’s HOA.

    They like to deal with stupid things like sending you a registered letter and a 100$ fine for having an air conditioner in your window and ignore things like the fact there is obviously a drug dealer living in this one place.

    I guess they aren’t totally bad though. They do maintenance sometimes.

    My favorite thing though is that they had replaced the fences with some plastic kinds.Thinking it would last longer than wood (makes sense I guess) Except this plastic is hollow. And now there are holes everywhere and some people are missing their gates becasue they broke off. And to replace this fence you have to replace the whole side as well (there are no separate pieces except on corners). Yeah, looks good.

  39. skloon says:

    Was this the one where the Lincoln pick-up was okay but not the Ford equivalent ? or is that another HOA

  40. f5alcon says:

    its just a matter of time before an article pops up about somebody gunning down HOA board members because of inane rules

  41. OSAM says:

    HOAs must be an american phenomenon: we’ve never had them here except in so-called “private communities” where it’s VERY clear that you’re going to be in or out of it.

    This is such an alien concept that I find rather amusing to watch you people squabble over.

  42. Chumas says:

    Backstory: I’m an HVAC Technician. I’m on call a lot and drive a clean work truck with ladder racks and a very mellow paint job. White with the company logo in a small section. I also live in South Florida.

    I lived in a development that had no HOA board for a year. People were happy I lived there because they knew all they had to do was walk over, knock on my door and they could request a service call to be done on their system. Good for them, good for me, good for the company paycheck.

    One day, someone filled the HOA board without elections with the help of a lawyer. Most people didn’t care. I didn’t care because I was too busy working. But others cared a great deal.

    The board convened and passed regulations including no pickup trucks, workvans, worktrucks, personal cars with signage and motorcycles. Which screwed me because I own a toyota pickup, a small motorcycle and the workvan.

    I fought with them in court until one day I woke up and all three of my vehicles were gone. The only thing left was a little envelope that said the board authorized the towing of my vehicles. I called the Sheriff, the city police and the companies attorney.

    My vehicles were brought back after it was found there was no tow company rule and that they’d taken them from private property. The tow company rolled over on the 70(!) year old woman who hated that I drove a workvan and authorized the towing. She was also the head of the HOA and my neighbor.

    The HOA was disbanded following several legal threats and the subsequent firebombing of the board heads car(nothing to do with that, I promise).

    The moral here is HOA’s that go too far tend to disperse when they bite off more than they can chew. In my case a $76k legal threat made good in court. If you don’t like it, fight back and fight dirty. the moral highground is fine when dealing with people who follow the rules. But when you deal with people who MAKE the rules, fight them and make it personal.

  43. savdavid says:

    LOL….I hate HOAs. In my experience, they leaders are made up of people with poor self-images. They cannot admit they are wrong, period. They are drunk with perceived “power”.

  44. Draw2much says:

    My Realtor Boss hates HOA. He thinks they’re evil. He says the only people who run them are anal, uber-controlling people who just like the feeling of power and being able to tell other people what to do.
    It makes me glad I don’t live in a place like that. And only the super ritzy places in our city have HOA. Everyone else is safe. xD

  45. NumberSix says:

    HOAs suck. I’m so glad I don’t live in an area with one.

  46. Rachacha says:

    It is important to remember that many HOA bylaws are illegal. For example:

    Many HOAs ban antennas and satellite dishes. An HOA can ban satellite dishes, however FCC regulations state that no one can ban satellite dishes 21″ or less in Daimeter (The HOA can set installation standards (i.e. none hanging from a balcony or the frint of the home, but the requests should be reasonable and should not incut teh homeowner additional money). Additionally, FCC regulations prevent the prevention of installing HAM radio towers (unless they interefere with FAA flight paths) and I believe TV antennas.

    Many HOAs ban all signs in the front yard, however it is illegal to ban political signs and real-estate signs identifying a house is for sale.

    Look for inconsistencies in the bylaws and the articles of incorporation. I know in my HOA, the governing documents contradicted each other and it became difficult to enforce any of the rules. Usually there is a heirarchy and the Articles of incorporation win if there is a contradiction, but it is usually the bylaws that have the most restrictive covenants.

    Check with your state and local jurisdiction about laws concerning HOAs and governing documents. You may be srprised what HOAs think they have a legal standing to do, but they are forbidden by Federal, state or local jurisdictions from enforcing their governing documents.

  47. WeirdJedi says:

    We recently moved into a neighborhood where the Homeowners Association wanted each person to pay 4 times the amount we were expecting to be billed. Most of the cost came from the expensive lawncare business they had running the place. We tried to fight it, but in the end we had to pay it. We still don’t like the agreement.

    • Rachacha says:

      Many HOAs have rules in their documents that stipulate how much your annual dues can increase in a single year. 4x the current assesment seems excessive. You might want to check your documents and see if such a charge was even legal.

  48. Abradax says:

    Sorry, I almost always side with the HOA.

    I can’t stand HOAs but if you willingly sign a contract to join one when you purchase your home, you don’t go bitching about the rules when they don’t go the way you want.

  49. khooray says:

    What exactly is the issue about a truck? Especially if it’s not a pile of junk? Why can’t visitors have a truck? I’d just like to know what reason or explanation the HOA gives for this obviously un-American rule.
    What country are they living in—The Republic of Suburbian Power Trips?

  50. stonny9 says:

    who thinks he should go out and buy a new truck? Maybe one of those huge trucks made by I think GMC.

  51. arcticJKL says:

    The key is to control the HOA yourself, then you have the power.

  52. john says:

    I don’t know if most newer neighborhoods have HOAs, at least in my part of the country. It is mostly upper crust neighborhoods in my part of the country that have them. My in-laws live in a gated community and they are the Bodine’s of the neighborhood. Nobody complains though, so it is not a problem.

  53. wackydan says:

    The HOA in our neighborhood is voluntary but also has no teeth. The “rules” pretty much mirror what the deed restrictions are which are set by the town.

    I actually would prefer an HOA with the same common sense rules we have, but mandatory with teeth…. or no HOA at all.

    This HOA in the article was over the top. I can see if the truck had signage or ladder racks, but based on the picture, it never did. It was stupid to chase after this guy legally.

  54. Carlee says:

    I lived in a townhouse with a HOA for a couple of years (it was a rental). We didn’t really have much interaction with them.

    Now we live in a non-HOA area. We have some issues with neighbors, like when they have five cars for one single-family residence and they park close to your driveway (sometimes blocking part of it). Some of them have parties until 2am with their speakers blaring. Sometimes I wish there was some kind of neighborhood board/group that we could discuss our problems with, but there isn’t. So we just try to ignore the neighbors unless they are actually blocking our driveway, etc.

    In terms of property value, we have a gigantic tree on the sidewalk in front of our house (well, actually in between the street and the sidewalk). It belongs to the city. The roots have pretty much destroyed the sidewalk, the berries litter the street/our driveway/our yard, and the roots have messed up our plumbing. We’ve tried asking the city to cut it down and plant in another tree (without such damaging roots) but no avail (city has no budget). Because of the tree (which does provide us shade and keeps our house cool in the summer), our front yard is a mess. It’s a bunch of semi-dead grass (green grass will not grow there). I guess we could find some professionals and have them figure out what to do with the yard (because it and the tree make the area gross), but we haven’t. I can only imagine if we had a HOA, they would have a fit! (Then again, maybe they would foot some of the bill…)

  55. soj4life says:

    And this is why hoas need to be removed unless in condos.

  56. mhutt says:

    In my part of Houston there is no nice neighborhood without HOA. My husband was determined not to live in one but we really had no choice. I think of it as a group to tell people who want to park their run down car in the yard on cinder-blocks that no that isn’t okay.

  57. SilentBob says:

    Applaud. If I could give this guy a spot on every news station I would. I love to see people finally stick it back to the HOA’s.

  58. Jarod says:

    I live in a HOA – and built here to protect my investment. Ours is not a very meaty assc, but BEFORE we purchased the lot, we read over the HOA rules to be sure we could follow. If he didn’t like the rules, then he shouldn’t have purchased the home – he had a choice in the first place.

  59. LordXar says:

    I am so glad we found a home to buy that was outside an HOA and it was built in 2005 in TX
    .
    Previously we had rented a house in an HOA and after 1 week I was sick of their little notes about lawn care, how my car was parked, rules for street parking, etc. When you see someone going from lawn to lawn with a ruler measuring how high the grass is and then sending you a note accordingly they have too much power and too much time on their hands.

  60. thrashanddestroy says:

    I don’t know…I think a 2×4 and poster board that says “go f*ck yourself” might do the trick and save you $200K in legal fees.

    I’ve actually considered buying a house covered by a HOA just for the sole purpose of going to war with them, seems like a good way to spend my weekends.

  61. ARPRINCE says:

    INSANE!!!! But hurray for the homeowner.

  62. YdoUthinkURright says:

    What unbelievable arse-holes to tell this guy that he can not park his truck outside of his home in his driveway. If the truck is not sitting on cinder blocks and/or a rusted out heap or blocking the walkway, what the @%$# is the problem?!

    I feel really good about this HOA having to pay his legal fees. He should go to every meeting as he now has the FU factor on his side and can probably get others to rally around him and pput an end to that HOA’s madness.

  63. skapig says:

    Hope the homeowner enjoys the huge jump in dues. His neighbors will surely appreciate it.

    HOAs vary greatly. Some are very hands-off and only exist to maintain common property and uphold minimal reasonable standards. On the other hand some are very strict and run by either uptight members or a contracted company that profits off of the administration. In my area HOAs are required because it saves the country government from having to handle some of the responsibilities.

    A pickup truck in the homeowner’s driveway hardly seems like something anyone would care about. It’s not like it was on the lawn, it isn’t a dead junk pile, and it’s not a commercial vehicle.

  64. SilentMountain says:

    Think that’s bad? HOAs in Texas can foreclose on your home and sell it at auction if you are delinquent on your HOA payments. Too much power? Nah….

    http://www.texashoaissues.com/Foreclosure.html

  65. JonBoy470 says:

    Here in Virginia, developers work HOA’s into their proposals for new sub-divisions because it greases the beaurocratic skids that get the project green-lighted by the county zoning boards. Essentially, the builder agrees to build out all the infrastructure for the neighborhood (playgrounds, streets, utility lines, trees and so on) at their own cost, and turn those assets over to the HOA as the sub-division gets built out. The state and local governments get the boost in tax revenue that accompanies the homes, while simultaneously being shielded from much of the build-out and maintenance costs of the accompanying infrastructure that enables the development and supports its higher property values to begin with.

    It seems that the purpose of a HOA is to shield you against your neighbors’ bad taste. Which is all well and good, unless you’re the neighbor with the bad taste. Personally, I have somewhat libertarian leanings in this department, and would gladly trade living in an older, not quite as nice neighborhood in order to not be subject to a HOA and thus not worry if my car has a silly parking pass, or my kids’ toys are out in the yard.

  66. Moosenogger says:

    I had never heard of the HOA until a few years ago (I’m currently 21 and have never lived in a house under their rule). There was a local story about this poor woman who was getting fined daily by the HOA because she had painted the inside of her house a color they didn’t approve. I was blown away by the stupidity because:

    1. It’s her house. She pays the mortgage, utilities, etc, she can paint it any color she wants
    2. It’s the INSIDE of the house. Who’s going to see it but her family and friends?

  67. J Brill says:

    I’m quite familiar with this neighborhood and the surrounding ones and their HOA rules. For the most part, the rules work well. This is why it’s so important to have an HOA board that makes good decisions instead of pissing away hundreds of thousands of dollars on unenforceable rules.

  68. J Brill says:

    I’m quite familiar with this neighborhood and the surrounding ones and their HOA rules. For the most part, the rules work well. This is why it’s so important to have an HOA board that makes good decisions instead of pissing away hundreds of thousands of dollars on unenforceable rules.

  69. bugpaste says:

    I live in a rented condo – there are 11 other units in the building and each one has a different owner. When we started having some pretty severe plumbing problems a few months ago that threatened to cave in the ceiling of the unit below ours, the management company basically refused to step in and do their job of, y’know, allowing contractors into both units while we were at work. Even though my landlord, roommate, and I had given express written permission for this to happen, as did the landlord and tenants of the other unit.

    The management company told me they couldn’t help because they didn’t have a key to our place. I offered to go across the street to Lowe’s and have a key made, without even asking for my $1.50 back. They never responded. In the end, with my roommate on the opposite coast, me not really able to leave work, and my landlord across the state busy being a delegate, my landlord had to get his father to do the management company’s job.

    So…yeah. I’m moving out next month, and I sincerely hope this is my last encounter with HOAs or condo associations ever. I have never known anyone who has ever had a positive or not-negative experience.

  70. thinkalive says:

    time to move out. those fees they pay are going to come right back to him in his monthly dues. unless he got himself exempted!

  71. anduin says:

    my community/neighborhood tried organizing a HOA but got shut down because people don’t want to deal with BS. I hate them, I have friends who have to deal with this bullshit. I have a brother who regularly receives letters and “warnings” about his grass or snow (in the winter). Most would say “well just do it” but he can have crazy work schedules where he goes like 20 days of work straight, sometimes shit just can’t get done. HOAs are like having a Nazi commandant observing your every move.

  72. fuzzy says:

    I absolutely hate HOAs.

    The only time I might have had cause to complain about a neighbour to one, I solved the problem myself.

    There was this lady trying to run a junk shop out of her garage. She had put up big signs around the neighbourhood advertising a “Big Sale” at her address. I thought at first it was garage sale so I went over to see if she had any paperbacks and found a garage that resembled a retail store. It didn’t bug me until I realized that the signs had been up for months.

    Late one night, I went out and put up banners over the signs that said “Sexy Massage” while still leaving her address visible. All the signs were down by the time I left for school that morning and never went back up. My dad (who left for work much earlier during the community’s rush half-hour) said that a lot of people slowed down around those areas.

  73. xanxer says:

    I’d take the award money, sell the house and move.