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People Are Applauding This Homeowner For Executing The Perfect Plan Against Local HOA After Getting Fined $200 For Ridiculous ‘Violations’
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People Are Applauding This Homeowner For Executing The Perfect Plan Against Local HOA After Getting Fined $200 For Ridiculous ‘Violations’

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The Homeowners Association (HOA) has a bit of a notorious reputation for being too up in people’s grills for the most ridiculous of reasons. If you’re a part of one, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

But it’s by no means all rotten as there is still good and right in the world, as testifies this one Redditor. Well, that is, once they were done with it.

They have recently shared a story on Reddit detailing how a very rotten HOA in their locality picked a fight with the wrong person by fining them $200 for very HOA reasons and then, to top it all off, the VP of the said HOA was just purely arrogant to them. This meant war in the most compliant way possible—using the HOA’s rules against itself.

More Info: Reddit

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HOAs are notorious for their somewhat absurd rules, but people don’t have to take it if they are willing to concoct and proceed with an elaborately devious plan

Image credits: Jocelyn Kinghorn (not the actual photo)

The story goes that Reddit user u/chilldude890, with whom Bored Panda got in touch, bought a house a few years back in a mid-sized neighborhood. It had a Homeowners Association, but OP picked this neighborhood because it had the lowest HOA dues, the fewest rules, and the house was the nicest one they could find within their budget.

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All was fine and dandy until they got two violations for separate HOA “offenses”. The first was the “lawn was not green enough”, and the other was that their “trash cans were too close to their driveway.” Classic as HOA offenses go, and both ridiculous.

This one Redditor recently shared their revenge story of how they systematically disbanded a board of corrupt HOA members, and brought it back to actually serving the community

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Image credits: chilldude890

OP decided to disregard them, until next month they got fines for the same two reasons, each worth $100. OK, now this was getting serious, so serious actions had to be taken. A few calls later, OP found out they could appeal their fine directly with the HOA board by showing up for their annual meeting that was due soon. They did that.

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It all started with two fines that the hero of the story got, each costing $100 and each absurd

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Image credits: chilldude890

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Image credits: Umberto Brayj (not the actual photo)

Right before the meeting, OP found out that they were’nt the only ones with fines for absurd violations. They also got a chance to talk to a board member, who turned out to be the current local HOA VP. You might think this is great, but nope, the VP, a guy in his 70s, arrogantly told OP off for being a poor homeowner, adding salt to injury.

But, here’s where things start to look up. The meeting kicked off with voting on 3 new board members. There were some applicants lined up, but folks could nominate someone on the spot. OP offered themselves as tribute and won the vote by a landslide. An interesting turn of events for a person who just wanted to appeal some fines, but that one board member provided enough fuel to bring the house down, and OP figured it would be better to do it from the inside, all the while doing something good for the community.

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At first, the homeowner wanted to appeal the fines, but their plan became immediately better when they found out they could join the people who make sure there are fines in the first place

Image credits: chilldude890

“I had always thought about doing something in my community, though I had thought HOAs were a joke. The VP insulting me was most definitely a driving factor in my decision. The look on his face and the tone of voice just irked me so much. I never anticipated that I would discover so much corruption, though. That was a sincere surprise,” elaborated chilldude890 in our interview.

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By joining up, they figured they could do some spring cleaning and boot the other board members

Image credits: chilldude890

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Image credits: Susannah Binsted (not the actual photo)

And so OP’s plan started to take shape. Being appointed secretary with limited power (which was a violation in and of itself), OP decided to first learn the ropes and look for opportunities to eliminate each board member.

This is where I’ll invite you to read the original story itself, as I couldn’t do justice retelling the story as well as OP, but the tactic here was to look for violations that board members themselves were committing. And by the end of the witch hunt, it was surprising how much corruption was there in this particular HOA.

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The president wanted to manipulate their neighbor’s outdoor décor by suggesting ridiculous flower rules, the treasurer and director were both suckers for public opinion, so a mob was quickly organized to dispatch them, and the VP… well, let’s say they got the worst end of the deal. And as each member of the board was picked off and eliminated Survivor style, a new member joined up—a new member OP themselves suggested.

The fresh HOA recruit started with the president on board, turning her hopes of passing flower color control laws against her

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The next one was a twofer, as the treasurer and director got knifed by their own vices of being easily swayed by public opinion

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Image credits: chilldude890

But, let’s talk about the VP. On top of now having a 4 to 1 majority in the board, which irked the VP every time he wanted to have his way, OP managed to dig up some dirt on him. Said dirt came in the form of $10,000 worth of violations. The reason why nobody knew about it was that the old management company that dealt with these records kept it quiet as per VP’s request. But now that the company had changed, the cat was out of the bag.

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What this meant was that the VP was eligible for a swift kick out of the board as the bylaws (the ones introduced by the same corrupt board) stated that since the fines exceeded $3,000, a majority board vote could get an HOA foreclosure started on the VP’s home. And of course they did that in a heartbeat!

The best was saved for last as it was personal with the VP—all because of their arrogant remark of OP being a poor homeowner

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Image credits: chilldude890

Image credits: Grant Wickes (not the actual photo)

OP was later informed that the VP had resigned, paid his fines, and put his house up for sale. All because someone wanted $100 over a lawn discrepancy and was arrogant about it. Goes to show you never mess with people.

This in turn meant that OP was the new president, and started serving his community the right way by reducing the fining policy to a maximum of $400, letting folks appeal it whenever, as opposed to once a year, banning grass fines during winter season, and relaxing the trash violations.

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And boy did it pay off as the board found out the VP had $10K in fines outstanding, which made him eligible for a swift kick out of the board

Image credits: chilldude890

Chilldude890 told Bored Panda that they had initially posted their story on r/pettyrevenge more to get it off their chest, but they were surprised to see how strongly it was received by the Reddit community.

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Garnering over 28,500 upvotes (with 92% positive ones), folks had a lot to say about all things HOA. Many noted how the HOA is a certain kind of trap for people to get accustomed to power tripping. And even more so when it’s mostly populated by older people who have very few friends and place their identity in the HOA, basking in its power.

Others shared their HOA stories, primarily negative ones that reinforce the stereotypes that people love to hate in the HOA. Everything from being nitpicky with trash cans to disregarding safety rules to purposefully generating money for the HOA because apparently some of them get a kind of commission for violations. You name it, it’s there. OP did note on several occasions their utter surprise just how much the HOA can get away with.

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Incidentally, we asked OP if, in retrospect, they think they could have somehow one-upped their revenge plan, but there didn’t seem much left to do given the context. “I don’t think there is much else I could have done. I did everything I could by the book. I wanted to do it in a way that both used their rules against them but complied to the letter of their own silly bylaws.”

The story comes with a happily ever after ending where the person who started it all became president and actually turned the HOA for the better

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Image credits: chilldude890

If you’re wondering why HOAs are a thing and why they do this, the short answer is money. HOAs are private entities, often established by the likes of real estate developers for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling homes in a residential area. It creates a win-win situation whereby the developers get income on top of selling a house while the homeowners get peace and order in their neighborhood.

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One of the major reasons why HOAs became so predominant is because local governments figured they could reduce their operational costs by transferring some of the organizational tasks onto these associations. So they allowed it. But given that these associations also take on the financial aspects of fining violators, the costs for the local governments were reduced but so was the income from these residential areas. There’s much more, but you probably get the idea.

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Image credits: chilldude890

“HOAs often go far beyond their bounds and if you contact a code enforcement officer in your town, they can help you know your rights and how to fight them. I would also say that most of the corruption in HOAs stem from inaction. The people that want to control others seize the positions for themselves. So, if you hate yours, get involved and don’t stop. Change can come quickly. In addition, HOAs do actually help protect against certain issues in the neighborhood such as corrupt landlords (that’s a whole other story), keep shared spaces clean, and can help arrange social events to make the community closer,” concluded OP.

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You can check out the post in its full context here, but don’t go just yet, as we know you’re dying to share your own HOA stories, or at the very least ready to comment on HOA violations. You can do so in the comment section below!

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Robertas Lisickis

Robertas Lisickis

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Some time ago, Robertas used to spend his days watching how deep the imprint in his chair will become as he wrote for Bored Panda. Wrote about pretty much everything under and beyond the sun. Not anymore, though. He's now probably playing Gwent or hosting Dungeons and Dragons adventures for those with an inclination for chaos.

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Robertas Lisickis

Robertas Lisickis

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Some time ago, Robertas used to spend his days watching how deep the imprint in his chair will become as he wrote for Bored Panda. Wrote about pretty much everything under and beyond the sun. Not anymore, though. He's now probably playing Gwent or hosting Dungeons and Dragons adventures for those with an inclination for chaos.

Saulė Tolstych

Saulė Tolstych

Author, Community member

Read more »

Saulė is a photo editor at Bored Panda with bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Computer Design. The thing that relaxes her the best is going into YouTube rabbit hole. In her free time she loves painting, embroidering and taking walks in nature.

Read less »

Saulė Tolstych

Saulė Tolstych

Author, Community member

Saulė is a photo editor at Bored Panda with bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Computer Design. The thing that relaxes her the best is going into YouTube rabbit hole. In her free time she loves painting, embroidering and taking walks in nature.

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rachelainsworth avatar
Rachel Ainsworth
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The "land of the free" where you voluntarily agree to live somewhere that fines you for trash cans in the wrong place and grass not green enough.

milapreradovi avatar
write_nathan avatar
Hobby Hopper
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She... didn't like her neighbor's flowers?! Why do these people sound like Disney villains?

dizzied avatar
Dizzie D
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sorry USA but we have absolutely nothing like that in the U.K. and that is not freedom. You would get hysterical laughter mixed with wide eyes and a 'hell no' if anyone told anyone here to make sure their grass was greener and fine them for it. HOA's are totally bonkers. You have been duped into thinking this is even remotely acceptable. If your home and garden is not yours to do as you wish ( within reason, nobody likes a brothel next door or an extreme garbage tip) then where is your relaxed sanctuary? Being fined for doors not being the right colour or gardens not having the right flower colours....it's all a bit Stepford Wives to be honest. Yuck.

sofacushionfort avatar
sofacushionfort
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know there was a lot of friction in the UK when Asian and Caribbean immigrants started to arrive, but those numbers and the racist backlash was minuscule compared to the reaction in the US to the massive migration of African Americans from the US South. When the federal government prevented outright housing discrimination in 1964, the racist workaround was to form HOAs with standard designed to keep lower-income (darker-complected) buyers out. This was the original sin that created the current scam perpetrated today.

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rachelainsworth avatar
Rachel Ainsworth
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The "land of the free" where you voluntarily agree to live somewhere that fines you for trash cans in the wrong place and grass not green enough.

milapreradovi avatar
write_nathan avatar
Hobby Hopper
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She... didn't like her neighbor's flowers?! Why do these people sound like Disney villains?

dizzied avatar
Dizzie D
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sorry USA but we have absolutely nothing like that in the U.K. and that is not freedom. You would get hysterical laughter mixed with wide eyes and a 'hell no' if anyone told anyone here to make sure their grass was greener and fine them for it. HOA's are totally bonkers. You have been duped into thinking this is even remotely acceptable. If your home and garden is not yours to do as you wish ( within reason, nobody likes a brothel next door or an extreme garbage tip) then where is your relaxed sanctuary? Being fined for doors not being the right colour or gardens not having the right flower colours....it's all a bit Stepford Wives to be honest. Yuck.

sofacushionfort avatar
sofacushionfort
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know there was a lot of friction in the UK when Asian and Caribbean immigrants started to arrive, but those numbers and the racist backlash was minuscule compared to the reaction in the US to the massive migration of African Americans from the US South. When the federal government prevented outright housing discrimination in 1964, the racist workaround was to form HOAs with standard designed to keep lower-income (darker-complected) buyers out. This was the original sin that created the current scam perpetrated today.

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