Homeowners Associations: you're either for them or against them.
And one man is asking whether he's an a-hole after his local HOA repeatedly called him one, due to his flagrant flouting of the rules.
The man took to Reddit to ask if he was in the wrong. Here's his story.
I bought a house 5 years ago that a real estate company built on speculation. Mine was the first house in a planned subdivision that they were going to build one house at a time or as people bought the individual tracks of land.
The area kind of hit a boom period and the other surrounding houses went up quick. In my contract to purchase my home their was no home owners association and because I was here first I don’t have to join any if the other neighbors decide to create. I’m grandfathered in is what it says in my contract.
They all seem to forget this though and continually try to give me HOA fines for breaking the rules of the HOA. This has ranged from days I have things delivered to my home (Amazon deliveries on Sundays), to when I cut my grass to me having vehicles parked in my yard and they aren’t happy I own an extra tract of land because I bought 2 to have a bigger yard so I could build a shooting range (I live in the south this is not that uncommon) .
The recent event though that led to them calling me an a**hole is they came over to ask me to remove the eyesore in front of my garage. Now my home faces the road not anyone else’s house so they do t stare at my garage but apparently they still don’t like it.
I run a small hobby business of doing woodworking projects and I have a shelf outside my garage door full of various pieces of treated lumber that I may use one day. It’s not the neatest and cleanest area but it’s not a disheveled mess either.
So I told them if they lightened up and just left me alone about all the other stuff. I’d consider moving my wood pile if it bothered them so much. They proceeded to tell me that I needed to address all the HOA issues and take care of the wood pile. Along with stopping any deliveries on Sundays and getting my other truck out of my yard. They handed me what basically amounts to a ticket and I trashed it and told them to get the F off my property. They called me an A**hole for my unreasonable behavior and told me they’d be back
User yikeswhathappened said he should get a lawyer involved:
You should hire an attorney for $100 or whatever and have them send a letter to the HOA advising them not to contact you again for any reason or you’ll consider if harassment.
They like to play by rules and paperwork? Have a real lawyer spell out the very real legal consequences if they carry on harassing you. Not sure about the US but in the UK you can formally withdraw the Implied Right Of Access from them so that just walking onto your driveway or property is actually trespassing.
teresasjs has a petty suggestion:
Can you get your hands on their bylaws and start intentionally doing stuff that's against them? For instance, parking on the road, painting your house a bright unapproved color, putting up lawn ornaments...
A couple years ago, I saw a 6 foot, brightly colored rooster at a local store. I regret not having bought it because it definitely made me smile. That's the kind of thing you need for your yard. Because nothing says 'F you' like a 6 foot tall rooster...
nearly-nonchalant also has a great idea:
Start up your own HOA (of 1) and tell them that they're breaking your HOA rules by coming to you with their HOA complaints.
But a few people, like OboesRule, think the shooting range is a dealbreaker here:
Nevermind the woodpile! You have a shooting range in a neighborhood!? That right there would make you TA in my eyes. We had an AH purchase property in our neighborhood and instead of building a house, tried to establish a shooting range. We had all sorts of large caliber guns going off all the time. Thank goodness he sold the property after turning all the neighbors against him because of the noise.
I am from the South. I've never heard of a shooting range in a neighborhood. Not only is the noise atrocious, but it's also very unsafe.
The visible from the street wood pile is kinda trashy looking and you obviously know it.
And if you shoot regularly in a residential neighborhood, especially if you are on less than 5 acres of land or towards anyone’s yard, you suck.
I say these things having grown up in the south, in farm country, as a gun lover.
But most, like miki-bootz, are on his side:
don't move your wood pile. You didn't decide to move into a neighborhood with an HOA. THEY decided to move into a neighborhood where not everyone is rules by the HOA. If they don't like it, they should've bought a house somewhere you aren't. You were there first.
thanks everyone for the feedback I’ve been in contact with a real estate attorney about deed and whether or not they can still attempt to legally enforce anything. Also I’ve contacted one on a creating a cease and desist. I do have cameras on my property.