Someecards Logo
Son fights back against HOA to protect mom, 'it was a school project.' AITA?

Son fights back against HOA to protect mom, 'it was a school project.' AITA?


Screw your HOA and its ridiculous rules!


Back in high school, I was all about my car. Don't get me wrong it was a rolling POS, but it was my car. It had a trade-in value of maybe $5, but it was my car. I was learning how to take care of it, by which I mean I found where the dip stick was and how to pull it. (I hadn't yet moved on to tire inflation. One step at a time!)

One day after school I drove over to my friend's place. We jump out, pop the hood, pull the dip stick, check the oil and it was fine so put the hood back down. I had no idea what an HOA was nor what it meant, I was just a happy ignorant teenager eager to demonstrate how responsible I was with my wheels.

A few days go by and we're hanging out at my friend's place when his mom comes home. She starts giving us the business in that 'I'm annoyed but trying not to be' voice about a warning she received from the HOA regarding repairing cars in your driveway, complete with a photo of my POS with the hood up.

Really she was being pretty good, though clearly annoyed. We explain that we weren't repairing anything, that I was just checking the oil level, and didn't even need any tools. (Picture just had the hood up.)

She softened quite a bit, and the focus of her annoyance shifted from us to the HOA since it's entirely reasonable for anyone to check the level of oil in a car. She finds her copy of the HOA rules and we all read them together. Sure enough there's a bylaw that says you can't repair a car in the driveway. I protest that I wasn't repairing anything, I was just checking the oil!

Reading the rules on exactly what was forbidden sparked an idea. I look at my friend, raise an eyebrow, and say 'Fight the power?' 'FIGHT THE POWER!' I propose my plan to his mom and ask for permission since she's going to have to deal with the fallout. She's on board since she thinks this is supremely stupid, and we set in motion. Cue the MC!

Every day after school my friend and I drove our POS machines to his place, parked in their driveway, raised the hoods, and just looked at the engines. No tools, we weren't even near them. We didn't check the oil, we didn't so much as touch them nor wipe them down with a rag. All we did was expose them to the birds, the sky, and God above to just let them breathe.

After a while I got bored so I started setting up an easel and drawing my engine ten minutes at a time. My friend had to one-up me, so decided he needed some tasteful artistic photos with his engine. He judged the best photos would be him laying over the engine shirtless, stroking and fake kissing it. Just absurd over-the-top moronic high schooler stuff.

Predictably the HOA was on us like stink on sh*t. The warnings quickly turned into fines, complete with pictures of both vehicles with their hoods up. Then more pictures of my car with its hood up and an easel in front. Then even more pictures with my friend's with its hood up, him laying in the engine compartment and me taking pictures of him with a camera.

Soon enough his mom let us know it was time for the monthly HOA meeting. Of course all three of us had to go in person to protest the fines! So the motley pair of us show up along with his mom, and his mom's stack of fine notices. I bring along my engine drawing, and we printed some of my friend's engine photos larger than normal.

After a while it was new business time, and my friend's mom steps up. I'm pretty sure they expected her to play the 'my son and his friend are morons, please make these fines go away since I didn't know what they were doing' sympathy card. Nope, not a chance!

She politely but firmly attested that she was being sent fines for something that wasn't in the bylaws, and asked the board to stop. One of the board members spoke up saying that working on cars was against the bylaws, and clearly that's what was going on since both hoods were up.

Oh you should have seen their faces when she corrected them that the bylaw said no repairs were allowed, that there were no repairs going on in any of the pictures since no tools were visible, and that we were just doing art projects for school.

Even longer faces were seen when she showed my (truthfully completely terrible) drawing of my engine, along with the date-stamped-a-couple-weeks-ago pictures (this was back when film cameras stamped a date directly on the picture!) of my friend trying to seduce his engine.

The HOA president called for a five minute recess, during which the board huddled in a corner of the room. After the recess, the President succinctly said 'Ma'am, we are going to dismiss all your fines. Have a nice evening.'

We damn near danced out of that meeting! Being the obnoxious sh*theads that my friend and I were, we had to do the drawing/photo routine a few more times just to make sure they weren't going to start sending more fines. They wisely didn't, and being victorious we soon found other ways to annoy them.

Here are the top reactions from readers:


A true tale of David and Goliath, but instead of a slingshot, it was sexy engine photos. Gotta love teenage rebellion, especially when it's in the form of engine seduction.


You should have done repairs on the car while parked in the front yard, then reminded the HOA it said driveway, not yard.


Props to your friend's mom for fully supporting the two of you in your MC. Not only did she listen to you and take the time to do the research on the exact rules with you, but to support your actions at the HOA meeting was a good example for a couple of teenagers of how to advocate for yourself or others.


Imagine your battery dying and you need a jump. Per HOA, you’d have to tow the car off the property and then get it jumped. $150 and hours of your life for a free “repair” that would take 5 minutes.


Watch John Oliver's HOA video from this week. Over half the HOAs are now administered by companies which employ people to specifically look for violations so they can fine you. Some dude was fined for a shed that wasn't visible from the street: they found it via Google Maps.

As an European, this all sounds like nightmare.

Have you ever gotten sweet revenge against an overly litigious HOA?

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2023 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content