If you’ve ever lived in an HOA neighborhood, there can be times there are plenty of hassles from the HOA boards rather than just the good things they stand for. Working with a homeowner’s association can be problematic, from poor response times to warnings or fines to being constrained by their protocols and constraints.
While it’s never a good idea to disobey the rules outright, there may be times when you just want to annoy your HOA as a kind of retaliation for the troubles they’ve caused you.
In our guide, you can learn more about how to stick it to your HOA. While they can always appear to have the upper hand because of backing and numbers, you’ll learn enough ways through HOA loopholes where you can get under your HOA’s skin. With all the methods here, you’ll find you are legally protected as you aren’t doing anything wrong.
How Do You Beat An HOA?
Here’s a handful of ways you can legally annoy your HOA. Each of these ways can get up the nose of the HOA president, yet there’s no way you can get in legal trouble as they are just ways to find loopholes in the HOA’s rules and regulations.
Ask For Copies Of Financial Statements
Even if you don’t read them, requesting HOA statements is one of the most irritating things you can ask for. The best part is that you have every right to ask for them since you are paying money to the HOA and are entitled to know how they spend it. (Find the Best Power Washer For Home Use)
If there is an HOA meeting or money is spent, you may ask to know exactly where the HOA funds went, and you wish to receive copies.
Most individuals dislike it when others ask for these declarations because they take a long time to print out and will involve someone conducting research and responding to you.
Erect Religious Statues Or Political Symbols
There is no right for a homeowners association to legally discriminate based on religion or political stance legally.
Erecting religious symbols, or you can display political signs to annoy your HOA. The good news is, they can’t ask you to take them down.
State laws on displaying political affiliations in the HOA community differ. You can usually display placards or banners for a certain period during the voting season.
The Fair Housing Act safeguards against religious discrimination, and political signs in your front yard can be enough to annoy your HOA.
Invest in Solar Panels or Put Up Satellite Dishes
Because these devices are protected by federal law, your HOA has no power to intervene. This is a terrific method to annoy them if they are incredibly selective about appearances and house styles.
State rules differ, so check your state’s legislation to be sure you may install satellite dishes or even solar panels on your home.
If your HOA claims it’s against the rules, you can have the firm selling you the satellites or install solar panels call and intercede, explaining why the rule is unconstitutional.
Use Protected Plants
The key here is to go through your state’s laws to find which native plants are protected plants for that area.
However, you could find your front yard has a jungle or unruly appearance, yet it can annoy your HOA as they can’t ask you to remove the native plants.
If your HOA complains, you can attend a board meeting to educate them on which native plants are protected by state law.
Full Use Of The Amenities
Most HOAs provide neighborhood amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, and playgrounds.
You can host parties or use the common clubhouse room if one is available by the written HOA rule.
If you can fill your diary, you can use these as often as possible. You pay dues, and when you invite guests to such get-togethers, you will get your money’s worth and the homeowners association if you do this often enough.
Doing this won’t break any rules, yet it might annoy neighbors as you take advantage.
Hanging a line and drying your clothes in the yard is fantastic to annoy your homeowner’s association. This may not fit their ideal neighborhood and, as a result, may decrease property value in their eyes.
Hanging clothes outside is protected in over a dozen states as a method to safeguard the environment and minimize pollution.
Attend a board meeting and outline all the reasons why air drying your clothes outside is superior to machine drying. However, check with your state to see if these state laws apply to you. (Learn How To Give A Mobile Home Curb Appeal)
It’s easier to identify when someone else breaks the rules and document which rule was breached if you know them inside and out.
While you don’t want to get anyone in trouble, it can draw attention to any community rules that aren’t being followed, any inconsistencies in the HOA’s treatment of residents, and a failure to police its own rules.
Can You Overthrow An HOA?
It takes time, determination, and community support to topple your HOA. An HOA may be registered as a company or a nonprofit in several states, giving them the same legal protections.
Specific laws regulating HOA dissolution can be a hindrance for angry homeowners. Often, action requires 80% support from HOA members, but some states demand a unanimous vote.
It’s often easier to dismiss a bad board member than to entirely derail an HOA.
Remember that you’ll still need a majority vote from your HOA neighbors in many circumstances. You must also vote under state laws.
You can use any of the following methods to undermine their authority.
Read The Contract
Make sure you read everything the HOA gives you to sign. Keep a copy with you and know what is expected of you.
Some rules are written vaguely and may be subject to your interpretation, allowing you some leeway when following them. You’ll have to observe other rules established with such precision, although you may request pointless meetings for certain things.
This is the first step to annoy your HOA without getting in trouble.
Research Local Ordinances
You should know the local laws, as this is a great way to get one over your HOA.
Check your local city and local laws to find loopholes that clash with those HOA rules. You may even uncover legal loopholes to disobey HOA rules or amend them to comply with local ordinances.
Get A Seat On The Board
Consider a new strategy if you’re sick of the rules and the HOA. Get on the board, and you can be included in any decision-making and express your views.
If you’ve previously been irritating, this can annoy more group members and help disband them from the inside rather than the outside. You could also encourage neighbors to vote against a specific candidate.
Take Matters To Court
A costly and severe method to annoy your HOA. If you feel that the HOA is discriminating against you or that any of the rules are unreasonable, you may be able to bring it to a judge.
This will make a statement, and depending on the case; you may win. But sometimes, the effort is futile. Before pursuing this radical alternative, make sure to read the rules thoroughly.
Get Neighbors On Board
So you’ve signed documents, but nothing has changed. The next best step is to enlist your neighbors and friends.
Filling out a complaint form may not only annoy the HOA but may also bring about the desired change. This is a big step if your neighbors agree.
These are just a few ways to legally annoy your HOA. Some are severe and should only be used in extreme instances, while others are innocuous and annoy.
How Do You Deal With A Rude HOA?
Every subdivision, planned community, or condominium complex has an HOA board elected by homeowners to oversee and enforce rules. These rules can apply to anything from your door color to lawn height. HOA rules assist in maintaining a lovely area by requiring common politeness and respect for others.
Asking for your HOA’s Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions of Sale document (CC&R) eliminates the guessing.
Following the HOA rules can ensure a happy stay in your new area. If you don’t follow the rules, you may have a headache, not to mention penalties and notices. Before you sign your new mortgage, get to know your HOA’s advantages – and rules.
To avoid a rude HOA breathing down your neck, here are some ways to get on your HOA’s wrong side:
Not Knowing the Rules
Most HOAs can punish you, collect dues, take a lien on your home, or even sue you. That’s why reading local HOA rules is crucial before buying a home. First, read and comprehend the CC&Rs and other HOA rules.
Most of the time, HOAs implement rules to preserve your investment, not to be tough. If you can’t live under those conditions, reconsider buying in that area.
Because HOAs must sometimes deny a resident’s request, they may have a negative reputation. Remember that HOA rules protect and enhance the neighborhood’s value. HOAs are also intended to facilitate fair and orderly discourse.
Not Sticking To The Rules
It’s one thing to know the rules but another to observe them. While most rules are self-evident, some are easily broken.
For example, you may have neglected to mow your yard, broken your fence, or left your trash cans out overnight. If your HOA gets involved, these minor offenses might escalate.
If you continue to disregard and breach rules, the HOA may impose a lien on your property or suspend your right to use common amenities (such as the pool, fitness center, or playgrounds).
Decorating Without Permission
Personalization is a common desire when moving into a new home. Check your HOA’s restrictions first, whether you want to paint your doors or display your favorite sports flag.
Most HOAs demand clearance before homeowners may make extensive exterior improvements. For any significant outside cosmetic alteration (check above regarding solar panels), it is preferable to file a request for approval to your HOA.
Review your CC&Rs for a condition about long-term guests. These restrictions are in place to prevent illegitimate rental agreements, not to stop you from having guests.
Weekend get-togethers or holiday gatherings are acceptable as long as you respect your neighbors’ parking spaces, common areas, sidewalks, and yards and regulate noise and street parking. If there are long-term guests, things are not looked at in the same way.
Abusing Use Of Amenities
Following on from the previous, living in an HOA community has perks. Many have pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, and parks.
Residents have private access but may bring a restricted number of guests. You don’t have to bother about upkeep because the HOA members do it.
That implies you should respect communal places and having too many guests can annoy your HOA. (Read Double Hung Window Sizes Chart)
Here are ways you can deal with your HOA if they impose themselves on you and make things uncomfortable or ignore your requests to troublesome neighbors.
Write a Letter
First, write a letter to the offending homeowner and include the HOA board members.
Describe the homeowner’s actions, including when, where, and other relevant facts. According to the letter, they have broken HOA covenants or rules and may face disciplinary action, penalties, or legal action.
When composing the letter, consult your HOA’s attorney or property manager. Their knowledge can help make the letter authoritative and aim.
The letter should also give the offending homeowner a way to fix the issue. Reiterate that homeowner input is valuable but that there are better ways to communicate. Instead of bothering them, they might file an official complaint or letter with the HOA board.
In most cases, angry homeowners harass HOA board members. The threat of penalty will encourage them to remedy the situation. If that doesn’t work, move on to step 2.
Request A Restraining Order
A formal notice and sanctions will not deter some homeowners. They won’t apologize for harassing HOA board members, and issues can escalate. To stop a homeowner from harassing board members or other HOA members at meetings, you can get a restraining order.
The restraining order is conditional. For example, the restraining order prohibits abusive emails if a homeowner threatens you verbally or physically.
Filing for a restraining order is complex, and a court may issue one if they notice behavior patterns from the offending homeowner. Provide evidence of HOA board harassment such as emails, voicemails, and videos.
Call the Police
Calling the cops is the last resort when homeowners attack board members. However, if an HOA board member is threatened with physical assault, call the cops.
Even if the harasser makes baseless threats, their harassment can cause significant mental harm. If the offending homeowner is breaking the restraining order, call 911.
Because the harassment includes the HOA, the association will cover the board member’s expenditures. If the case has escalated to stage 2 or 3, expect court costs and attorney fees.
How Do You Get Around HOA?
Most often, you can’t get around to what your HOA stipulates. Here’s more information on what you can encounter with neighbors and the interaction of your HOA.
Who are these nasty neighbors? Here are some examples of bad neighbors.
The Annoying Neighbor continually meddles in other people’s affairs. They may try to enforce HOA rules on other community members without authorization.
The Annoying Neighbor can also be a gossip who reveals unasked-for details or stories about other homeowners and neighbors in the neighborhood.
They may also be arrogant and believe they wrote the book on how to annoy a neighbor in an HOA?
The Unaesthetic neighbor doesn’t seem to care about the HOA rules regarding their house appearance, never mind how the neighborhood looks. They may have unapproved exterior paint colors, overflowing trash cans, overgrown landscaping, and offensive signs.
To avoid HOA neighbor issues and other undesirable repercussions, your HOA should:
Police Any Neighbor Complaints
An HOA board member should always follow neighbor complaints as this can stop escalation between the fighting of neighbors or other community members.
Issue Violation Notices
If any neighbor breaks the homeowners’ associations rules, the HOA should issue an official violation notice. This alerts them of their offense. Letters should detail any sanctions of what the neighbor has to do to fix the issue.
The HOA can help defuse neighborly tensions. A third-party management company can help if the HOA board member knows one or both neighbors personally.
Lawsuits and Small Claims Court
In extreme circumstances, the HOA could file a lawsuit or file claims in small claims court. In addition, HOA board members can counsel their HOA manager or attorney to deal with bad neighbors legally in HOA communities.