I don’t live in a real “neighborhood” so I don’t have to deal with homeowners associations, but I have friends who do, and the whole concept is kind of hilarious to me.

I understand everyone wants their streets to look good, but some of these rules are pretty insane. AskReddit users share their personal stories about homeowners associations with rules that are a little…strict.

1. Need a permit for that

“My parents’ HOA has a rule that you are NOT allowed to cut down trees without a “permit” from them, at ANY time, for ANY reason.

The first winter they lived there, there was an ice storm and a tree fell onto the neighbor’s deck, taking out his entire deck and the sliding glass door that went from his kitchen to his deck.

My dad went over with his chainsaw to help him cut down the tree that was now in his kitchen, and, MID-STORM, someone from the association heard the chainsaw and came over asking if they had a permit, to cut apart the tree in my neighbor’s kitchen. IIRC, he told them to get bent and they tried to give him a $1,000 fine for cutting down a tree without a permit.”

2. No frog flags

“We can only have 3 types of flags on a flag pole (that has to be approved) out front. An American flag, a military flag, or a South Carolina flag.

One of our neighbors were warned a couple times until they took their cutesy frog flag down.”

3. People are psychos about their lawns

“I used to live in a HOA. One of the members on the board lived across the street from my neighbor and I.

He sent a letter to us saying that we all have to mow the lawn on the same day, at the same cut height, and in the SAME PATTERN to create uniformity in the neighborhood.

My neighbor and I intentionally cut on different days and in opposite patterns just to annoy the guy.”

4. That car is too old

“I had an HOA try to enforce that I had much too old of a car to be in the driveway. Mind you, no rust, always clean, never dusty/dirty.

Went to court and the judge ordered a full audit of the HOA. It was not enforceable at all, they paid my legal fees and last I knew they have yet to police anything.”

5. Hide your trash

“I was once “warned” about storing my trash in view of the street. I thought to myself, “That’s funny, I’m pretty on top of the trash”, so I checked the date of the infraction.

Sure enough, it was trash day.

They were upset at me about putting my trash out on trash day.”

6. Sounds like a scam

“In order to sell or rent in my HOA, you must provide HOA docs to the new owner or tenant.

They must be bought from the HOA, otherwise the sale / rental is not legal. $200 for a three-ring binder with 150 pages of poorly photocopied documents.

The first page: These documents have not been updated since July 2002. Please see the HOA website for updated documents.”

7. I love this one

“My friend’s HOA fined him because the flag pole that was already up in his front yard when he purchased the house, was too tall.

He countered by flying a pirate flag on that flag pole.

They are even less happy with the flag pole now.”

8. That’s not the exterior

“My Townhome neighborhood has an HOA that covers the exterior of our homes (since they all share the same exterior, being connected and whatnot). My front door has developed a rotting spot on the edge, so I sent a claim in for the HOA to replace it.

They said the front door does not fall within their definition of the exterior of the home. That’s fine, whatever, I’ll just buy a new one.

But wait! I have to fill out an EXTERIOR CHANGE REQUEST to get a new front door. The door they said doesn’t count as exterior needs an EXTERIOR change request sent to approve any external changes made. They want to control what my door looks like, but I have to pay for it.”

9. Shut down the field

“I lived in a fairly large ‘family friendly’ townhouse community. There was a community baseball field, at least it was set up like a baseball field with the fences and backstop, but essentially it was just a giant field, further down was a playground and fenced in tennis court. It was meant to be used there were dozens of kids playing baseball, football, soccer, or whatever on it all the time.

For really no reason they decided to shut it down. Overnight they put up signs to not use it and keep out. If your kids dared to even walk across it police would be called in minutes. We were playing tennis on the courts one day and police were called, the next day it was locked up with a chain and combination lock.

We called the hoa and were told we would have to give them proof we actually played tennis to be given the combination. My parents and a lot of other parents got in long arguments on the phone and at the hoa meetings about why they made these ridiculous new rules, they were essentially told ‘because we can.’ It became a war in the community against the old ladies that ran the hoa and the younger families with kids.”

10. Leash size

“They had someone go around and check if the dogs are leashed, if not the they call animal control to have them taken away.

HOA has called animal control on people who have their dogs leashed, their reason?

The length of the leash was either too long or too short.

They tried to take away one guy’s dogs for that reason and that sparked a war between the HOA head and the homeowner who was a former Marine (I think) and all around madman.

HOA head did not stand a chance against a retired crazy person who had a lot of time and money.

Crazy guy built a pool and let everyone used it for free, making the $20/month pool the HOA set up useless. Crazy guy also held a giant all inclusive party that had menus for everyone and any police that came to check on it left with to go bags. He also had a Halloween party, as the HOA did not allow trick or treating.

Crazy guy was well loved and the head was ousted from the HOA after she tried to break into crazy guy’s house.

The ban on trick or treating has been there way before the former head took charge, the neighborhood had only white people living in it until the 90s and it became diverse after that. I guess the ban was put so the people that had it put didn’t want to be disturbed, and it was enforced, their reasoning was that it was to protect everyone. Bullsh-t.

Crazy guy was seen as crazy by these HOA cultists because he didn’t follow their rules and more often than not he was the most well liked guy in the neighborhood.

The former head was the trophy wife of this big shot doctor and her father owned most of the land in the neighborhood. She wasn’t crazy, just power tripping and stupid.

The crazy guy never ran for HOA, but he did start a restaurant, sponsor a drag competition, and possibly took up karate.”

Omfg… what is wrong with people? I NEVER want to live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association.

What about you? Have a crazy HOA? Have a story to share?

Let us know in the comments!