Take that, Homeowners Association!

July 22nd, 2012 · 100 comments

Megan in Atlanta found this note on her front door one day after returning home from work. Explains Megan: “My front rooms are living and dining, not bedrooms. I had put one of my front blinds up because the cat was getting to it and they’re expensive cellular shades.” Her “high road” response? Raising all the blinds in the house. (Adds Megan: “Enjoy the view, busybody!”)

Dear Homeowner: Please keep your blinds lowered (at all times) across [sic] front of your home - for aesthetic purposes. Thanks a walker a jogger a bicyclists [sic]

Meanwhile, Tim and his wife Rebecca spotted this smiley-faced bit of sarcasm on a street near their home in Colorado Springs. Adds Tim: “The neighborhood isn’t even very nice, so an ugly fence is hardly the worst thing around.”

Look Bob I've painted my fence :)

 

related: The Future HOA Presidents of America

FILED UNDER: Atlanta · Colorado · most popular notes of 2012 · MYOB · neighbors · there goes the neighborhood


100 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Greg House

    Good for you Megan! Who the hell are they to tell you how high or low your blinds should be?!

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm   rating: 84  small thumbs up

     
  • #2   essijay

    Oh OH I love these. probably because i’ve always anticipated getting a note like the first one. because half my blinds are all torn up from cat and kid and the other windows have no blinds, only curtains and one with a shade that doesn’t come all the way down. and i’ve got other things more pressing to spend my money on… and i’m definitely not “aesthetically pleasing” to 99% of the population – and in summer, well, it’s hot and i don’t wear much when i’m inside my home. :-)

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   havingfitz

    We lived in a neighborhood like this for a while when I was a kid. We fought back putting up the shades, putting up our Christmas tree, and leaving it in the front window for 6 months. Petty, maybe, but I did get a kick out of watching everyone glare at our house.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm   rating: 64  small thumbs up

     
  • #4   Heather

    So because it’s more aesthetically pleasing to someone who’s walking by your house for 2 minutes, you’re supposed to keep all of your blinds lowered thereby blocking out sunlight and your own view of the outdoors? Wtf! People are so ridiculous. Since when can someone tell you you’re required to shut yourself off from the world in your OWN home just because they like the look of it better that way? Next it will be “Can you turn off your indoor lights after 9:00 pm because that’s when I go to bed and I don’t want your ambient light shining into my bedroom window?” of which they have their blinds up! ;)

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   quat

      And could you please lose some weight and get better clothes, because looking at you really bothers us too. I’d put posters of the big ol middle finger up in all the front windows.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm   rating: 61  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   LOL

    Maybe Megan is just really ugly

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Scott

      Yeah, there has to be more to the story. Maybe the passerby saw her husband walking around naked or something? I can’t imagine anyone leaving a note like this unless they saw something they shouldn’t have seen.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.2   Captain Hampton

      As a rational human being, it is normal to have this type of reaction. “There MUST be another side to this story!” I hear you cry.

      I will remind you, however, that this particular note writer does not appear to be the type of individual that would withhold such details were they part of the equation. She is seemingly unburdened by the notion of “tact” that shackles us ordinary humans.

      But at least give her some credit for citing her myriad credentials as a walker, jogger, and cyclist.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 9:39 am   rating: 39  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.3   lana

      I thought it was weird that three people signed that note and that they all had a first initial of “A”.

      A second reading revealed it was NOT the work of nosey neighbor trio of A. Walker, A. Jogger and A. Cyclist.

      Signed,

      Ann Idiot

      Jul 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm   rating: 42  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   LaurenPockets

    Wow! I know of strict HOA’s but jeez! I feel so blessed that I don’t have to live in a community where I would be scolded for leaving the blinds of my house open. F that.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Kore

      At my last apartment, our neighbor (whom we nicknamed Mr. Clean) was such a horder that you could see teetering piles of junk through his livingroom window. That’s the only person I’ve ever known that I would consider asking to keep his blinds shut. It’s not like any natural light was getting through.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   People Are Crazy

    Dear Walker/Jogger/Bicyclist: Perhaps you could just keep your eyes on the road instead of peeping into people’s windows. And for aesthetic purposes, you should work on your penmanship.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm   rating: 122  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Lis

      Dear Walker/Jogger/Bicyclist: Use another street.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Nunavut Guy

    Should have been signed “A Wanker”.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm   rating: 53  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Pit Pat

      Ahm in yer yard, wankin in yer bushes.

      Oh, and – lower your blinds.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   SeeYouInTea

    I’m on Megan’s side, but you should know the rules before you move into a community with a HOA.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Steph

      I don’t think either note was from an HOA. Kind of a weird title choice by the admin.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm   rating: 37  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.2   kermit

      Tea, how is a person supposed to know if there even is a HOA if they don’t know the neighborhood? And besides, do HOA just hand out their rules to anyone who just comes by to view a place?

      I would understand Nazi HOA leadership in fancy pants condo building. A collection of separate houses has no business having a strict HOA. I think most people don’t want to live in a Stepford community where bored fishwives have nothing better to do than to go around measuring people’s grass (or blinds) with a ruler.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.3   Tesstarosa

      You would know you’re part of an HOA because you usually have to give the HOA money on a monthly basis. The HOA covers the upkeep of some aspects of the housing — like plowing, roof and siding repairs (for townhomes and condos.) It’s not some sort of surprise that a homeowners wakes up to find out.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.4   SeeYouInTea

      @Kermit,
      Usually one would research the neighborhood they’re moving to. Why would you not know if there’s a HOA, seeing as it can add hundreds to your rent? It’s not like it’s a secret society.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:13 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.5   kermit

      Tea –

      For one, people looking at free-standing homes are looking to purchase not rent. For two, unlike in a condo building, there’s no truly common property that would justify an HOA fund.

      So practically speaking, the only time a person knows ahead of time about an HOA is if their potential landlord tells them. And even then, a person might not be aware of any nutty rules since they don’t get all the papers only after signing a rental agreement. That is, assuming that the HOA even allows people to rent their homes without HOA vetting the potential tenant.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:51 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.6   Lil'

      Kermit, sometimes your posts make you sound like you live on another planet. What are you talking about? People commonly rent free standing houses. In fact, I’m looking right now. We are selling our house and relocating. I have received the rules for each of the properties I’m interested in ahead of time and am able to use it in making my decision. Secondly, I work in a town that has about 10 subdivided communities with nothing but free standing houses and each has an HOA, complete with HOA fees and strict rules. It’s so annoying the way you comment so matter-of-factly about everything when your information is so flawed. And by the way, homeowners in those communities can rent their properties to tenants.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 7:35 am   rating: 45  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.7   NOOOOO!

      If it WERE from an HOA it would have been MUCH more forma, not sloppy writing from three/one random people/person. It would have been typed and everything!

      Jul 23, 2012 at 7:43 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.8   kermit

      Darlin’ Lil’ – Tenancy laws are pretty similar across North America, and those laws dictate that the owner of the property (not renter) is responsible for abiding by the laws of the HOA (whatever they may be). Second of all, the majority of rented dwelling (particularly in large cities) are apartments in apartment buildings, not free-standing houses with an HOA. By its very nature, HOA is geared towards long-term residents (i.e. not tenants).

      And by the way, sometimes you make yourself sound like a daffy b!tch, but I don’t hold that against you because I have more fun things to do with my time than diagnose your personality issues.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 11:42 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.9   Lil'

      Oh Dear Sweet Kermit, you didn’t invalidate a single point I made. You still sound like you talk out of your backside, and for that reason, I couldn’t care less if you think I sound like an unhinged b!tch. Personality issues? That’s funny coming from you considering your extreme feelings about being put on hold. I’d say you should seek help for your own issues. And in between your shrink appointments, you should brush up on the topics you are commenting on so you can post accurately.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.10   kermit

      What would you have me validate, pumpkin? Your personal housing situation, which is irrelevant?

      www[.]census[.gov]/ housing collects housing statistics for your own personal edification. And as of 2010, their estimates indicate that 67% of occupied rented accomodations were apartment buildings, not detached homes. And the Community Associations Institute (the industry trade association for such matters) estimates that HOAs govern a measly 8% of the US population. So thanks, but I am comfortable sticking to my original contention that HOAs are relatively rare. And instead of making cracks at me, perhaps your time would be better spent cultivating that thing on top of your neck.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.11   Thunder McKing

      So, kermit, it seems you are making this up as you go. People don’t rent houses and if they do they don’t know there’s an HOA until they they sign the lease. At some random point after the lease is signed, they are given the rules they are to follow. All those rules have been secret until this time. And people who rent their house can expect trouble b/c tenants don’t have to follow the HOA rules since they are not long term residents. But wait, none of that can be right b/c only condos have HOAs in the first place. Makes no sense right? Neither do you.

      There are HOAs/POAs/COAs for houses, not just condos. Owners can rent those houses, but as landlords, it’s their job to ensure the tenants play by the rules. The signed lease is the contract, and a landlord who does it right will include the HOA rules in the lease. HOA rules aren’t secret. They are available at the HOA office if you are looking for a house. Ask the landlord if you are renting.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.12   Thunder McKing

      Darn it, kermit. I forgot to call you a sweet little nickname! How’s Twinkie?

      And by the way, you kind of are talking out of your backside. Don’t bother arguing with him anymore, Lil’. He’s already told us he was raised by antidisestablishmentarialists. He didn’t know what he was talking about then, and clearly he doesn’t know now.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.13   kermit

      Ah, posting under multiple user names to boost your credibility. Classy, Lil’. I’m sure nobody noticed. Have fun arguing with yourself.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.14   Lil'

      Sugar Plum, your arguments are getting progressively more lax. You start by saying that people don’t rent houses, which eases to a majority of people don’t rent houses. You say stand alone houses don’t have common property to justify HOA funds. Then you throw out Census facts, one of which only contradicts your original point about renters (which you already did on your own), and the other which has nothing to do with your point about HOAs. If your 8% point had said that only 8% of properties governed by HOAs are houses, then you might have a case. We never debated whether HOAs govern most properties. Nice try.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.15   DaveGI

      Kermit, from things you’ve said I suspect you live in a place like NYC where most people live in apartments/condos, and those are the only places with HOAs.

      But out here in the rest of the country HOAs are often found in residential subdivisions. I’m talking about developments of stand-alone houses that people buy (not rent). The kind of developements where there isn’t any common areas (aside from the streets). But the HOA is there to set rules for the subdivision to supposedly protect the value of the property.

      The rules can govern the number of cars allowed on the property, the colors of paint you can use on the exterior of the house, whether you can have a fence and what kind it has to be, if you’re allowed to have a flag pole and the size of your flag, if you’re allowed to have a clothesline, etc.

      In fact I’m not sure you could find a housing subdivision around here built within the past two decades that doesn’t have an HOA! If you don’t want to live under those kind of rules, you need to look for a house in an older neighborhood that doesn’t have an HOA.

      And it’s never hidden that there is an HOA whose rules you have to follow, because in New York State at least there is a deed restriction that is on every property deed mentioning this.

      Just pointing out that it is not just people who rent or lease who are affected by HOAs.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.16   Lil'

      Hey kermie, can I be DaveGI, too??? I like what he said!

      Jul 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.17   kermit

      Dave, I never said that only people who rent or lease are affected by HOAs, and you’d know that if you’d actually bother to read my comments.

      What I did say was that HOAs are most common in apartment buildings, not stand-alone houses. And people who rent are far more likely to rent an apartment than a stand-alone house (hence the housing statistics some people are too dense to understand).

      Yes, new subdivisions are more likely to have HOAs than older homes. However, consider that most homes aren’t new homes. Depending on the region, more than 90% of homes are over 10 years old.

      Lastly, if you truly believe that HOA rules are so clearly and openly laid out, for potential residents to make informed decisions, I invite you to peruse the Wikipedia article /homeowner_associations – specifically the links to all the lawsuits they faced from residents who did things like install satellite dishes and put campaign posters on their lawn. Most people expect common-sense rules that protect the value of the property. They don’t expect to be discriminated against or have their political views suppressed, yet some HOAs are guilty of doing just that.

      And this is the part where I exit this sh!storm.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.18   JollyWho

      Kermit is an idiot. I live in a rental house – yes, Kermit, a stand alone house! Imagine the shock! – and don’t have a HOA.

      We asked the real estate company when we were viewing rental properties if many of them had HOA and she flat out laughed at us, calling HOA a “has-been organization full of uppity gossipy know-it-alls that usually do more harm than good” and that we’d be “hard pressed to find any in our county, let alone entire state.”

      So shut up, Kermit. Seriously. Shut up. You’re by far one of the worst commenters on this website.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.19   SeeYouInTea

      My father, in a gated community in Florida, is currently renting his free-standing home and they add $200 per month for his HOA fees.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 1:15 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.20   really really?

      HOA are commonplace in Florida.

      And no, an HOA wouldn’t have the authority to tell you at what level your blinds should be set. That’s going too far even for the most fascist HOAs.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 11:30 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.21   Rattus

      @DaveGI, I think that Kermit may be from Toronto, but yeah, you have the right idea. I’m also from Toronto and we don’t generally have HOA’s here with the exception of condos and retirement communities out on the fringes. Though I could be wrong. We did have one woman in our neighbourhood attempt to start up some sort of rules and regulations committee, but as I live in the most consistently left-leaning riding in Canada, she eventually felt compelled to move someplace where her totalitarian urges would be more likely to be applauded and upheld by her tight-assed neighbours.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.22   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      “Where I live people do things differently to how people do things where you live and that makes me angry!!”
      - Most of the people in this thread.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:05 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.23   Beckabirdy

      The name HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION would imply that yes, people who OWN HOMES have ASSOCIATIONS.
      Around here (the Midwest US) they are very common among the newer subdivisions in the farther out suburbs. These subdivisions are often not considered part of their municipality in terms of plowing/salting roads, pavement repairs, etc. The HOA collects fees to take care of these costs. They will also sometimes dictate rules/guidelines for how your house and property should be maintained.
      In some parts of the city/near ‘burbs there are similar organizations to preserve the look of certain areas, for example, an historic section of town, to maintain the aesthetic.
      Condo buildings will have an HOA as well, again for common maintenance, and some will have rules for upkeep to maintain the look of the building. This also creates a body who is responsible for the building, since no one person owns it, so they can take care of things like noise complaints, etc.
      An apartment building usually does not have an HOA, as it is generally owned by one person or company, and they will set the rules which are clearly outlined in the lease which is signed by the renter.

      Edited to add-
      HOAs usually also have a clause that if the house or condo unit is being rented out, it is still the property owner’s responsibility to make sure that their tenants follow the rules. This would be accomplished by putting the rules in the lease. If the tenant does not comply, the HOA can have them evicted.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 9:27 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   Mom of Three

    I lived in an HOA once. ONCE. That will be the last time for the rest of my life. What a bunch of control freaks and busybodies! I’ll run the risk that my neighbor paints her house Pepto pink and my other neighbor doesn’t mow his lawn as much as he could, rather than give up my freedoms to live amongst those twits!

    Jul 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm   rating: 68  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Steph

      Most HOAs piss me off. The basic rules are fine – no rusting cars on cinderblocks or penis statues in the yard – but making people take down fences and flags? Boooo!

      Jul 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.2   kermit

      Well, I suppose it depends what kind of flag it is. If it’s a Nazi flag or a Confederacy flag, they do kinda have a point. But penis statues should be allowed in the yard. And as door-knockers.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.3   H for Toy

      Or, knockers as door knockers.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.4   j

      Pepto Pink. I love it :)

      Jul 24, 2012 at 12:11 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.5   The Elf

      Put me in the “I hate HOAs” club. When we lived in our last house, we had one. There was very little option – it was a townhouse, and most townhome neighborhood have HOAs. We could not afford a single-family home when we bought the townhouse. For townhouses (and condos and duplexes), it makes sense to have at least a minimal HOA because you are sharing structures. You don’t want your neighbor to neglect his house to the point of harming yours.

      When we moved, that was a condition of moving. No HOAs. That’s hard to find around here, but we did. It’s a great street with a bunch of neighbors who look after each other without being nosy nellies. Perfect balance. Someone just moved in and there’s a party next week to welcome them.

      Oh, and no penis statues, confederate flags (and we’re even technically in the south!) or rusted, non-functioning cars on blocks even without the pressure of an HOA.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 7:26 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #11   melanie

    WTF? Why don’t they just ban windows on the front of the house period? Who wants to be sealed up in a dark room? The HOA must be run by a prison warden.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   MayaGold

      I was just thinking that!

      Why have windows at all!? Lets brick ‘em all up, for “aesthetic purposes” !

      Actually, while we’re at it, that doorway is rather ugly too! How would you feel about living in a solid stone box?

      Much prettier i feel…

      Jul 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   Greg House

    Dear a walker, a bicyclist, a jogger…for aesthetic purposes you should stop shopping in the teen section for your clothes and move on to the bitter old lady section.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   kermit

      Old lady section clothes cover up their unsightly and/or comical jiggly bits.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.2   Vulpis

      ….You’ve obviously not seen how old ladies dress in the hotter climates.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Sir Puke

    I am with you folks on this one. I will avoid condos and such at just about any cost.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #14   Jami

    Is it wrong that I have fantasies about living in a HOA so I could constantly piss them off by breaking their rules?

    As for the fence, while it really is his business painting it would probably make it rot slower so it won’t need to be replaced. Also the smily face needs a nose. I know, traditionally smilies don’t have noses, but I’ve always likes my smilies with noses because otherwise they just look wrong.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   Polly

    I’m kinda with Bob.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   alanc230

    Hey, walker/jogger/bicyclist, “custody of the eyes” is a great old concept. Look it up and practice it.

    Jul 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   Colleen Martel

    Dear Walker/Jogger/Bicyclist: Please keep your eyes forward instead of gawking unnecessarily into my house. This is to avoid you stumbling/falling/crashing while being a effing nosey-body. Thanks,
    54DDSSBBW

    Jul 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   Missy

    Sorry, I’m Australian, WTF is a Home Owners’ Association? No one tells people in Australia what to do with their blinds!

    Jul 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   kermit

      I highly doubt that Australia is the only place on this planet that has escaped the tyranny of the HOA.

      HOA is found in just about every condo building. The practical purpose of these things is to set the condo fees that everyone has to pay. The funds are pooled and pay for cleaning/fixing elevators, stairs, parking garages, etc. The notoriously snooty ones are in places like New York where some HOAs interview you if you want to live there. (And if they don’t like you, you can’t live there even if you have the financial means to do so.)

      Jul 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.2   MrCreepy

      In some subdivisions and nicer neighborhoods, a Home Owners’ Association exists to ostensibly protect the property values of everyone in the neighborhood. You have to join when you move in, you pay monthly or yearly dues, and the aspects of your home visible to the public are entirely open to their opinion. I know of an HOA that wouldn’t allow someone to build a metal car shelter in their front yard, even if painted decently. They felt it cheapened the neighborhood, over all.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.3   Rita

      In Australia this is refered to as the Body Corporate.

      I live in a complex with body corporate, they are a bit of a pain in the butt – eg if the whole complex is being pest cleaned at the same time, YOU have to pay if the time doesn’t work for you (as a renter) rather then when renting a traditional home where you organise with your realestate agent when the pest stuff is done.

      Your Body Corporate (this may be different to the HOA?) is made up of the owners of the properties in the complex/housing estate/duplex etc.

      Common costs (eg maintenance of pools/gardens etc) is paid by the owners (not by the renters, but the rent is often that little bit higher to include it anyway), and they each have a vote in the rules etc.

      If you want to make modifications (painting the house, putting up a varanda etc) it needs to be approved by the BC.

      BCs often also have a Propety Manager who will handle collecting rent for owners etc rather then having to pay a realestate agent to take care of that (plus the propety manager typically lives on site).

      Most young people can’t afford to live in normal houses where I live (Gold Coast, Australia). We have $365 a week to rent the 3 bdrm townhouse in a complex (living areas are TINY).

      Can’t wait till I’ve saved up a deposit to buy – we could be paying $500 a week for a morgage on a REAL house with a REAL yard and actual room instead of $365 for a place that’s falling appart due to termites etc.

      Jul 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.4   Rita

      @kermit

      The whole ‘rules to get in thing’ happens in Australia too. There is a really nice complex near where I live. They won’t accept young people, or people with small children, or _especially_ single mums.

      Despite being a DINK household (Double Income No Kids) we couldn’t get in because of age (I’m 24, my fiancé is 27)

      Jul 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.5   makfan bang

      In British Columbia, they are called Strata Corporations, and they are the owners of record (and administrators) of all the so-called common property.

      There are many days I regret owning a condo.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 12:16 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.6   kermit

      Rita – I’m not familiar with Australian housing at all, but as a general rule renting from a private owner can be a hellish experience.

      All apartment buildings (except for one) I’ve lived in were not condo buildings, but were owned by a real estate companies. They’re much better to deal with because you as a renter have more rights/recourse if the company screws you over, and they’re far less likely to take your damage deposit for no reason than private owners.

      I don’t own my place, but there is no way in hell I would ever agree to purchase a condo. During the housing bubble, many a news story ran about people getting shafted by condo management companies. They’d buy the place on the agreement that their building amenities would cost them x / month in condo fees, and in reality after a year they would double or even triple the fees.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 2:06 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.7   CB

      Missy, Here in NZ (which I assume is the same as Aus) there are body corporates, often subdivisions that are upmarket will also have a covenant over the land so that all the houses must stay in a particular character/set of colors and stay well maintained. essentially the covenant is a document attached to the title deed that outlines the rules for the area

      Jul 23, 2012 at 3:44 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.8   The Elf

      Sometimes they cover things not visible outside the home. Our HOA said the only pets allowed were cats, dogs, and caged birds. No limit on the number or size of the animal. So, goldfish out. Hamster out. But a pack of wolf-dog hybrids? That’s fine.

      We mostly ignored it, but the rule was still there. We joked about having to “smuggle in” our oh-so-dangerous bunny rabbit.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 7:36 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #19   Jessie

    That first one makes me really mad, for some reason

    Jul 23, 2012 at 12:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #20   Purr Monster

    I don’t understand. Is this really from a homeowner’s association?

    I once had a note tucked into my car’s windshield wiper asking me to park between the lines (long story–it was winter and we had had a lot of snow, and huge SUVs would park in a space that was 80% filled by a snow mound, parking so closely that one was unable to get into one’s car). It was signed “The Management.” The problem? It wasn’t on building management’s letterhead, and I happen to know the building management! Ironically, I was parked between the lines the day I received this note.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 7:54 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Grr Arrgh

      “The Management”?
      Be careful, you might have pissed off Anson Fullerton

      Jul 23, 2012 at 8:28 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #20.2   Jimmy James

      One of my mother’s friends used to tell a similar story when she rented one unit of a large house that had been converted into apartments. Except there were a lot of them- “Please shut your lights off by 10:00 PM”, “Please shut the door quietly”, etc., etc., all signed “The Management” but actually from two old spinsters who shared one apartment and apparently had nothing better to do with their time.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   CharlotteM

    This note kind of makes me feel better* about my friend’s asshole neighbors…she and I are both junior faculty at a university, and she recently had chemo for breast cancer. All of her hair fell out (which, you know, happens when you have chemo) and she’s been walking around her apartment without anything on her head because it’s hot as hell. her cats are murder on blinds, so she has them up during the day. Sadly, we are surrounded by peeping tom undergrads who would not only look in the windows but COMMENT LOUDLY, sometimes saying things like “ewwww, weird” or “gross!”

    Apparently it’s her responsibility to ensure her baldness doesn’t offend anyone.

    *By ‘makes me feel better’ I mean ‘makes me realize people are assholes everywhere.’

    Jul 23, 2012 at 10:13 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   kermit

      Your friend should give those undergrads the gift of cat poo launched through their open windows. Undergrads can be really careless about closing/locking their doors, and I assume your friend knows where they live, so…

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #21.2   Poltergeist

      She should inform them that getting hit over the head with a bat wielded by a bald person hurts just as much as getting hit over the head with a bat wielded by a person with hair.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #22   yolanda

    The trouble with my blue-collar inner city neighborhood is ugly houses set in junk parking lots. I’m so thankful for them, because it means I can do anything I like to improve my home, and use any colour paint I wish, decorate as I like, and change it when I desire. People who choose HOA neighborhoods deserve it and I’m glad they stay out of mine. I feel badly for people who find there’s no real alternative anymore.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   deprogrammed

    My initial impression was that the people inside were probably in an unappealing state of undress – in which case the blinds should stay closed. Being inside your home won’t protect you from indecency charges if you keep the curtains/blinds open, HOA or no.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   Ace of Space

    This reminds me of when my husband and I first moved into our home, and decorated for Christmas. A neighbor accross the street walked over to tell me that I was supposed to cut off my outside Christmas lights at 11pm at night. Needless to say, I left them burning, day and night, until the middle of January.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Jaddi

    Maybe its because my english is to bad but did i understand that thing right – someone excuses / explaines why he or she has the blindas on the window up and not down?

    Is there somewhere a rule for such a strange thing?

    Or is that a joke? I really dont get it.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Random Person

      The homeowner had their blinds up in one window so that they were out of reach of the cat so the cat couldn’t shred them.

      Some person walking by saw the blinds up and left that note. I doubt there’s any rule she has to do so, even restrictive apartments don’t try to tell you how often you can raise/lower your blinds.

      Since there’s no rule, because it’s anonymous, and the word choice makes it seem as if the writer is saying either the house is ugly or the occupants are ugly.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #26   Pit Pat

    I just want to know how “a bicyclists” leaves a note.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #27   Jimmy James

    I grew up in neighborhood with a fairly strict H.O.A., a friend told they couldn’t have a Tudor style door on a ranch style home, that sort of thing, but even I think this blinds thing is ridiculous.

    My favorite story was from an aunt, who moved into the same neighborhood after we did. She had to get rid of some lumber scraps, but the garbage man says he can’t take it because it’s been treated with such-and-such. He says she needs a permit to dispose of it, but adds conspiratorially that the permit is a waste of time and money, and if it was him, he’s just burn the dang thing in his backyard. She explains she’s not allowed to, and he’s aghast. “You pay *how* much to live here, and they won’t even let you burn trash in your own yard?” He just shakes his head and, perhaps out of pity, says he’ll take the scrap wood home and burn it himself.

    Jul 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

     
  • #28   Al

    I just had to chime in because I live in the Atlanta area, where the HOA poster lives. Because Atlanta grew incredibly in the 90s, most of their subdivisions are ruled by HOAs. So, while most of the nation may or may not be ruled by HOAs, Atlanta is a newer city, so it has a higher percentage that is.
    My mother lives in a suburb of DC where they have a neighborhood association, and while their houses are worth 300K more than mine, their rules are so much less than ours (and I live in a relatively lax neighborhood).
    How strict each HOA is really depends. There are plenty of neighborhoods around that are very strict, including one near me that made a newcomer repaint the exterior trim on their house because it was too dark. Apparently it was in the rules, and like most newcomers, reading them all was probably last on their list.
    Our neighborhood (probably a mile away from this other one) is pretty slack and only prohibits the obvious. We read the rules before we bought, which is essential.
    And for those who say “screw HOAs”, sometimes you don’t have a choice… We live in the Atlanta area because that’s where our jobs are. Sometimes I like it here, sometimes I don’t, but you live where your job is, pure and simple. And we live in this part of Atlanta because that’s where the best schools are, and that’s what is important to us. So we found a neighborhood with rules that we could live with, and we are all happy. (BTW, when I visit my mom, I wish her neighborhood had a couple of rules about parking more than one vehicle on the road. It’s dangerous to drive on her road without fearing a head-on collision.)

    Jul 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #29   SugarPlum

    Did y’all really just make over 60 comments arguing over HOA’s?

    Jul 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   Poltergeist

      They sure did. Isn’t it beautiful?

      Jul 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #29.2   Seanette

      I’ve seen longer threads over less around here. :)

      Jul 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #29.3   The Elf

      Yes, I’m surprised the comment about the cats in the blinds didn’t spark something……

      Jul 24, 2012 at 7:41 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #29.4   Rattus

      Cats should be outdoors – that way they won’t shred the blinds.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #30   HOA Rebel

    The month we moved into our condo, a board member told us we had to move the cleaning supplies we kept on our kitchen windowsill (out of reach of the toddler). She could see them from the street, and that “made the place look trashy.” (Nevermind that the neighbors above us have inches of dirt caked on their windows and ratty old blinds, quite visible from the street.) When we told her she could not dictate what we do with our personal belongings in our private home, she tried to convince the rest of the board to pass a rule disallowing household cleaners stored on window sills. Needless to say, it’s all been downhill from there, and we really wish we had not bought here. No more HOAs for us once we can afford otherwise!

    Jul 24, 2012 at 12:34 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   nyxalinth

      Oh, god. My room mate is on our condo’s HOA board, and they’re a pretty nice bunch overall. One of the thinks she’s queen of the place though, and I could just see her bitching about this very thing.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 12:41 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #30.2   The Elf

      That’s how it begins…..

      Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   The Elf

    Maybe “aesthetic purposes” is a code word for “we can see your hoohah”?

    Jul 24, 2012 at 7:17 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #32   Charlotte

    First one: I can’t imagine either having the kind of life where I cared, or having so little life that I had the time to sit and nitpick over something so stupid. Blinds are made to be opened, do they think the point of a window is to just sit there and look pretty? The more I read about HoAs the less I want to put up with that BS.

    Jul 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #33   Danii

    I took over my mother’s condo when she decided to move elsewhere and the condo association/HOA has been an absolute night. From the outside, each house has to look exactly the same. I was almost fined because I had a shovel outside on the porch in winter. They once fined my mother for our dog allegedly barking- despite the fact that we had video evidence that all she did all day was sleep. Their most recent BS was when I had my bicycle locked up on my back porch and I got an angry letter about how it looked bad and it needed to be removed immediately. Honestly, the only good thing they’ve ever done is made the racist old a**hole several doors down take all the stickers off his van- most of which was ultra-violent rhetoric against Obama and all democrats.
    HOAs aren’t really worth it. They’re usually just busybodies telling people what shades of beige their home can be and how many millimeters their grass can be. Most of the valid complaints (tons of cars in the yard/severely overgrown grass/lots of trash) are things that the city dictates anyway, so HOAs can just butt out.

    Jul 25, 2012 at 12:01 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #34   Rita

    I would love to be able to afford to live somewhere which didn’t have a body corporate/ HOA, unfortunetly not many options on the Gold Coast (Australia). We pay $360 a week for the townhouse we are renting. If you want an actual house you’re looking at more like $500 a week.

    Jul 25, 2012 at 12:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #34.1   Voice of Rhizome

      Ha! I live in Vancouver and $500 a week for a house would be considered a steal!

      Jul 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #35   Kaz

    She should tack a large picture of a middle finger to the blinds then keep them down as per request

    Jul 25, 2012 at 2:04 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   The Elf

      When you think about, that’s pretty much what fence-painter did to Bob.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #36   CharlesMichaelWilliam

    When i read the comments about HOA i get the Impression that they give Many wannabes their own little kingdom they can rule.

    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:18 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #36.1   madrugada

      My in-laws had a condo in a largely-retiree development in Florida. One of the reasons they sold it was the officious HOA members who had nothing else to do but mind everyone else’s business. The worst offender was The Sticker Bitch, who would run around slapping stickers on any car that had been parked in a guest spot for more than one hour…and I mean less than a minute more than one hour. Die, Sticker Bitch.

      Aug 6, 2012 at 6:24 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #37   Diana

    Oh to just have the chance to write a response note:

    “Dear homeowner:
    Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Haha ha ha haa.”

    Jul 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #38   jfc

    the board president of my hoa is a psychologist specializing in child psychology and anger management (Phd in psychology). he’s been in power for longer than his term (it expired a few years ago). now that it’s warm out, he sits by the pool a lot. if he’s there by himself and i’m walking in/out of my condo, he’ll just stare at me open-mouthed. it’s quite disturbing.
    we can’t get enough people to attend the one board meeting we are allowed to attend (in violation of state law), so the board gets to pick and choose like-minded slack people. I have a feeling the last person they appointed to the board, is a tad developmentally challenged.
    i call these people slack because our wood siding has not been painted in 10 years, the asphalt in the parking lot is failing, if it snows, no one cleans the snow up, except outside the property manager’s unit (she’s a paid employee, and a bully), a few people think she’s embezzling funds. the board president thinks so highly of her, that he’s probably come to her defense and state that he ok’d everything.
    we had one owner bring her up on discrimination charges (ethnic), and the psycho backed her up, instead of taking the side of the owner (wtf?)

    Jul 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #39   chiklet

    I’ll bet Megan from Atlanta is obese.

    Aug 6, 2012 at 1:43 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #40   HappyMoose

    I live In Miami, Florida and pretty much all of the new houses around here 2000 and up have HOA’s. The key is research. Where I am renting now it is Townhouses, and the HOA trims the trees, the bushes and the grass, they also lay down mulch etc. Other than that, you wont hear from them unless you leave your car on a jack for more than two days and have like massive oils stains on your driveway.

    On the other hand, my brother owns two houses maybe 4 miles from me, and their HOA is run by pure evil. they oversee several communities and go by the name of Keys Gate. You can tell if it is one of their properties because they have this little blue butterfly marking them all. they can’t get anyone to buy or even rent in any of those places now because it is so strict. You can park in your driveway, but you cannot block the sidewalk, or park in the grass period. So most people park on the streets leaving no room to drive through. and if you want to stay over night, you have to drive out to the club house out in the middle of all the different areas, to get a paper to leave in the car so it doesn’t get towed.
    Worse than that, there is one place where it is so difficult to gain entrance as a HOMEOWNER that they began to offer “Speed passes” something like the electronic toll payers in your car, just to bypass the long lines at the guard stations, which ran you $200 each, plus a monthly fee of like $50 on top of your HOA fees. Needless to say, we never even considered buying or renting there.

    Oh, a Fun fact: A few HOA’s can step in before you close on selling a house, and take money.

    Aug 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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