Open Letter to My Homeowner Association (HOA)

Open Letter to My Homeowner Association (HOA)

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Pros and Cons of HOAs

Over the years, I've listened to many stories about the Homeowners' Associations of America. The dreaded HOA who seem to go above and beyond to pester residents of communities.

HOA employees are just doing their job; someone has to do it. It's our choice to live in a deed-restricted neighborhood. We could also choose not to. Their job isn't an easy one. They hear all sorts of excuses from residents who don't play by the rules.

Having an HOA is beneficial for a community. They assist with property values and resale. I've lived in communities with an HOA for almost 25 years and I appreciate their work and dedication to the area. I never had an issue with them until now. Could it be because many of the residents aren't paying their fees due to foreclosures, rentals or just because they don't want to? I don't know. I don't care to get involved with their situations.

I just don't appreciate when they seem to pester and harass residents over insignificant and frivolous things. I would like the HOA to care more about the communities wants and needs and less about the almighty dollar. Hence my letter to the HOA . .

My Letter to the HOA

Dear HOA,

I have received so many letters from you I thought it was time I send you a letter. This is not a letter of praise. This is not a letter of gratitude. This is a letter of annoyance. This is me telling you I'm tired of being harassed. This is a Sunshine anti-fan letter.

Let me remind you, in case it has slipped your mind . I pay you, you don't pay me. I send you a quarterly payment to do your job. Yes, do your job. I don't pay you to harass me with silly letters. Such as making me aware that my granddaughter left her tricycle on the porch. Seriously? Do you not have better things to do?

Let me remind you one more time . I pay you! I don't pay you to send me a letter that I didn't edge the border of my flower bed when it was only 2 inches high. Really? There must be something more constructive for you to do to earn your salary. OK, I think you now realize that if it wasn't for the residents, you most likely wouldn't have a job . a thank you once in a while would be appreciated. I'll now mention the letters I received about a few leaves scattered on the street. Just in case you weren't aware of this, the street is actually the county's property. Surely you knew that. How about the letter for weeds? The same weeds that found their way to my yard via my neighbor's lawn. The dead spot of grass that's the size of a baseball. Oh my.

Residents supposedly break rules when they don't adhere to each covenant? I won't get into "aren't rules meant to be broken" here, but seriously . you must take into consideration that there are always, always two sides to every story. Just because you have the power of the HOA, please don't think that you could do no wrong. I'm here to tell you that you can. You aren't perfect. Perfection doesn't exist in the real world.

What Is a Homeowners Association?

Tale of the Letters . .

First it was a cordial reminder letter. The next month it was a 2nd reminder letter. Then a 3rd letter with a threat to fine me due to not adhering to the "Covenants of the HOA." You are going to fine me for not tending to my lawn, which I do weekly? I pamper my lawn more than I pamper myself. How dare you accuse me or threaten me of being neglectful. I consider that rude. Did you forget who pays your salary? In a nutshell, would you pay a fine for something that you know you did correctly, yet someone else didn't? I'm not passing the blame. If I was guilty as charged I would pay the fine. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. Do you?

I'm curious as to why you just drive by homes with your notebooks and never step out of the car. Yes, I've seen you casually coast your car from home to home jotting down notes and taking photos. Why don't you ever stop by and ring the bell to say hello? If the neighborhood has an HOA, chances are it's a safe area. Do you fear confrontations? Are you guilty of something? I consider that cowardly that you won't say hello to me. Maybe we could chat and discuss issues that I might have. Or we could just talk about the weather. I mean I do pay you, wouldn't you like to meet your boss? I am a nice person. I don't bite.

Have you considered cutting back on letters and "going green" and doing your part to save the environment? In addition, you could stop wasting our money and go paperless. Did you ever stop and think about the trees that could be saved with the amount of letters that you mail out to residents? You are cutting off our oxygen! How about using email instead of snail mail? Wouldn't that be wiser? How about the telephone? Something for you to consider if you care anything about the environment. Also if you care anything about saving the residents some money. (Insert humor.)

For the record, I did mail you your letters back. I included the dates and times of all impending fractions of the "covenant" rules that I supposedly broke. I don't feel I had to do so; I'm an adult and I sure as heck don't think it's right that I need to be "told" when to tend to my yardwork. I sure as heck don't need to be told to clean up leaves from neighbors' trees that the rain washed to the front of my house. Do you ever take into consideration that a hardship might have been bestowed unto residents? Do you ever think that you might be too annoying? Believe it or not, we can all be annoying. No one is perfect.

You Get What You Pay for . .

Word on the street is that you ended a contract with the maintenance company. You put some good people out of work. Why? Because you received a cheaper deal from a company that you aren't sure if their work is up to par. Yet you saved money. Never mind that the good people who are now out of a job were residents of the community. They worked endless hours to be sure our community sparkled. And it sure did.

Since you are now saving money, does this mean our fees will be reduced? I didn't think so. That's more pocket money for you. My fees went up from $158 a quarter to $250 a quarter within 10 years. What do we get? More firework fiestas to drive our animals insane. No thank you!

I do understand you have a job to do. I just don't agree with how you perform your duties. I don't trust the HOA and I am entitled to voice my opinion. All I ask is that you do not harass. No one likes their buttons pushed. No one. It's just not the American way.

As with any group of people, anywhere there will be bad apples. These bad apples ignore the rules. They ignore the "covenant" and don't pay homeowners fees. That's unacceptable. I also think it's unacceptable when the good apples have to suffer due to the bad apples.

Some HOAs try to take advantage of the good apples by trying to siphon extra fees out of them to compensate for the bad apples. That should never be permitted. Maybe I live on a different planet than these HOA's, but if that's the case, I'll stay on my planet and you stay on yours. Never, ever try to abuse your power. Never, ever try to do wrong unto someone who is doing the right thing.

© 2012 Linda Bilyeu

Elwood Noble on July 18, 2020:

I have to compliment Linda Bilyeu for writing such a timely and exact letter to her HOA. I am the newly elected president of our association. I have been a board member for the past two years and I have seen how in many occasions the last president failed to fully follow the by-laws and covenants as well as other board members. Also, I had just went to visit one neighbor who complained that her next door neighbor, a board member, was harassing her for reasons that I will not say here but when I heard it I was so very bothered that I gave her my personal cell number and told her that if he approached her again to give him my name and let him know that I had taken personal care of things and for him to talk to me! Come on people! Wake up! The board is not a dictatorship that rules above everyone else! We are there for the community by the community! Our job, whether paid or not, is to do what is best for the community and not ourselves! If you cannot do that then get off of the board and let someone else with a heart and mission do the work you so failed to do!

John Myers on February 27, 2020:

I've been sent letters from the HOA's attorney to take down two bird feeders and refrain from hanging clothes to dry on my patio. I sent them a copy of the state of Florida ECO law that states that outside clothes drying is encouraged. They disregard it. I went to eight of our condo buildings and found clothes drying outside and clothes lines in the laundry rooms. I had been told that

all clothes lines had been removed from laundry rooms. Needless to say they haven't been. I have pictures of everything.

LAURA on October 18, 2019:


William on September 30, 2019:

Those who voted that they pushed too many of their buttons, should just move, as it is apparent that they have not read their Declaration, Bylaws, and rules.

Those who recognize the benefits of an HOA are generally happy living in those communities.

Valerie on August 26, 2019:

I have lived in a dozen homes that have HOA's (ex Navy wife). Never had an issue until this one. Rancho Del Cobre in Oro Valley. My neighbors (directly next door) are passive aggressive. The husband is the head of the Architectural Committee and on the Board, and the wife is on the Board. We spent $80,000 putting in a pool, BBQ, pergola, fire-pit, etc. to have them hassle us about the gate we put up. 6 months later and three revisions to their liking and they finally approved it. It cost us $200 each time to update and they fined us $200 while working with them to resolve. A month later, we got a letter saying we violated the window covering rules. Ummmm, we put up interior wooden shutters 4 years ago when we built the house and haven't done anything since. Wasn't an issue for 4 years, but now there's an issue. Oh, and they won't tell us specifically what it is. They sent us paperwork to fill out to explain the violation, but won't tell us what the issue is. They said you need to come to the Board meeting to find out. Really? And, the kicker is the jerk who lives next door works at my company in my department. His wife used to work there but almost got fired. She left 4 years ago the week they signed on the house and has had 4 jobs since, and got fired from the last one. She hated working at the company we worked at, complained non-stop and did no work, but she wants to come back and has been applying to every job in sight. Her husband sucks up to the Director and has been passing her resume around to all the Section Managers trying to get them to hire her. Shockingly no one will because her reputation proceeds her. IMO, these people have nothing better to do with their time than to harass us. They're miserable in their life so they try and control other people behind the curtain of the HOA. They litterally drive up and down the street like HOA nazis. I almost feel sorry for them. They're so pathetic.

Jade on August 24, 2019:


Aggravatedbig time on August 18, 2019:

HOAs of crazy all I care about is your money. Whether they get paid or not they don't do what they're supposed to do and since they want the job they need to do the job right. And stop screwing with the owners cuz you guys are getting away with too much stuff. we pay you a certain amount every month and we have to hire some of the people to do the job on top of that because you guys don't know how to do it right. Get the fuck out you're full of shit. Covered Bridge should be the new nickname call fuck you Bridge Korean

Aggravatedbig time on August 18, 2019:

Covered bridge in Lake Worth Florida is the worst place to live. The property managers the HOA Association is disgusting. They don't do what you're supposed to do the Landscaping is not maintained properly the work orders are never done when they put in to be done the board of directors steal money from the owners. There have been four times over the last 20 years that the board of directors are stolen money from the owners. They lie they cheat they made false promises they mislead you and make you believe they're telling the truth when they're not. People buying their and then when they realize they've been cheated and lied to they sell and move out. The state of Florida and condo ombudsman the Department of Professional Regulation the lieutenant governor doesn't give a fucking rip about fixing the problem. They let the HOA in the property managers getting away with lying and Theft. This is continuous this has been going on for a long time and nobody cares. Don't waste your time or your energy was going to buy rent or sell their. there was a lot of unhappy people in a covered bridge. They don't maintain the property the way they should. But yet they're spending all this money a saying what they're doing but then I join nothing. South Florida has got nothing but weirdos I wouldn't recommend anybody normal coming here

Valerie Sweet on August 06, 2019:

All I can suggest to you Homeowners if you are not happy with your HOA is to attend a meeting. Typically your HOA board are resident if your community, represented by a Property Management company.

I have served on my board the last 3 years and trust me, we don’t get paid, oh perhaps in people knocking on your door at National Dinner Hour to complain to me about something that THEY need to address the board with... like other neighbors doing things THEY find offensive, or about moles in THEIR yard that they believe is the HOA’s responsibility.

I’ve even had. Fellow resident pull a rifle on me as I’m just hitting down homes that need to replace their address lights. Seriously... follow me down the street with a gun to make sure im not scanning the area? He knows me!

I mean I typically am not aware my address light is burnt out... I’m INSIDE my home when it’s dark. It’s only a reminder. If things get too crazy, perhaps the Property Mgmt team has a wrong address.

If you didn’t want to live in a gingerbread community, you have that right. But most of us love the continuity and form of a beautiful, safe, clean neighborhood in which to live and raise our children.

Attend a meeting instead of throwing a tantrum because, well, as you stated, you ARE an adult.

Can’t Win or Lose

Patricia S on July 24, 2019:

When you buy Into an HOA you are given a set of CC&Rs

These are the RULES

Board Directors are NOT PAID, They are volunteers.

Rules are made to help maintain property vales

Gramma on May 25, 2019:

My HOA contracted out to a business that handles many neighborhoods in our area. I've lived here 25 years and think I have a pretty good understanding of what I cannot do in regard to violating the covenant, but my HOA is suddenly harassing me via letter after letter of violation to accuse me of leaving my trash cans out. My cans are kept behind a 6 foot high gated wood fence. They are in no way visible, yet here come the letters, one after the other! I am beyond annoyed, I am ready to take action. I am home all day long, no one is putting any cans in my yard. I do my own mowing, etc., so am outdoors a lot. My cans ate never out except on pickup days. And since I'm at home, my cans get put back away much before many of my neighbors, so that cannot be it. However, I pay the city extra for twice weekly pickup, a service that is and has been available to the entire city in my state. Come to learn, the HOA witch must be new to my state, because when I called her, she told me that it wasn't her fault that the city didn't call her to tell her that I subscribe, so until they do, I cannot put my cans out on the 2nd trash day. I mean, what the heck? That's not even true. And the city doesn't call (or write) to infirm HOAs of city services. Not only that, I've had the service for 23 years, and the switchover to paying for the 2nd day has been nearly 10 years ago. So why is it a violation to put my trash out on the 2nd pickup day as of February 2019, and not ever before? Yeah, because she's new and using her powers in a wrong way. I know I'm not in the wrong. I wish she'd show me pictures of my so-called violations! Lastly, I Googled her and then found her home on the county website, and her trash cans are sitting in full view at the side if her house! Not only that, her yard is hideous. Just wow, man. This woman is a ludicrous, power hungry, angry woman!

Hermione on May 23, 2019:

My hoa takes in over 8 million dollars a year on just fee's that does'nt include fines...they harrass residents over the smallest things. And meeting time is taken up so you can't bring up your grievences about them. I hate living in an h.o.a. but can't afford to move yet.

Unknown on March 25, 2019:

HOA is rip off people buy there homes and pay there mortgage HOA has to much vontrol over peoples property. We buy homes to be able to do what we want to do and not have supervision on what we can do or what we can not do. We should have the choose if we want to have HOA or not. Because it dn't matter how much we pay on mortgage they want to put the price up higher. And of you get behind they want to pit a loen on your property and do foreclosure. Really after all the money i pay for mortgage. I feel the lawshould take that kind of control away from HOA.

Saeed on March 19, 2019:

I have a community manager who works or volunteer for the HOA company the subdivision has hired, she lives in the same community/ subdivision, but I think there is more of discrimination factor involved than the actual problem, because I have been getting fines for over grown weed where as my neighbors have way more than I had, and they still have and never got any fine ( I spoke to all those people who have over grown weed in the same community), I have taken care of mine long time ago, but I am still getting fines, I am taking this matter to my Lawyer.

Liz on January 17, 2019:

I received a violation/hearing letter for “allegedly berating a bistro staff member. I emphatically deny the allegation. I have a witness who will accompany me to hearing. I have four other witness letters. There have been what I experience as harassment from the HOA management company. It began when I asked a question about an event. Why were we now being charged a fee and asked to bring food to a karaoke event. Since then I was written up for having my shoe off at the Lodge even though I indicated I hurt my foot in Pickleball just before arriving to meet friends for coffee. There were 7 other charges none of which rose to hearing status, but did threaten to lose privileges. This after being a praised resident, and being told I was really liked. Suddenly, after almost two years, the charges just showed up, double parking my golf cart with another, being charged with asking Lodge staff to perform duties for me, charged for talking to a vendor. Over half were not supported with dates, specifics but in general were things that allegedly occurred 3 to one year prior. We didn’t have a clue. I feel it was retaliation for complaint in June 2018 about the club manager. It’s just too much of a coincidence. They can say whatever they want. They take whatever someone tells them as gospel. It’s all one sided. In the meantime, my good reputation and my name is damaged. My partner and I now feel we are targeted. I have proof that what I was written up for, two other residents with real infractions were not written up. For example, I was written up for going behind the counter at the bistro area (no bistro activities at the time). When I questioned, I was told I had gone behind counter to wipe the counter. Really? One resident went behind counter, thru kitchen door to get ice. He literally stuck his hands in the ice machine. The general manager scolded him in front of all of us. He was NEVER written up despite my being told he was by General Manager. Another resident frequently accessed the same area, kitchen. When I asked about him, I was told he had a food handlers card, which I learned HE DID NOT HAVE. I then learned, he was told to take the food handlers test on line. Really? By the way, this resident seems to get treated like he owns the place. He is arrogant and treats me with absolutely no respect suddenly. Oh, there is more. From what I read, I don’t have a leg to stand on. My fellow resident close friends say, just go to hearing and apologize. I sa, I didn’t do what I am allied to have done. So frustrating. By the way, I have served on the board of the Bocce Club, Pickleball Club, volunteered &or Association’s connittees for various topics. I was asked to be the director of elections two years in a row, and I have as well as my partner been sought out to talk with prospective buyers. There is more but you get the idea. Finally, I should add, we paid our dues on time since day one. We paid for our new home in cash, no mortgage. Help. My hearing is on January 23 regarding allegation at top of my comments. Thank you. Liz Lopez

Amy Wilson on July 10, 2018:

I sent a similar email to the property manager of my condo board. Shortly afterward I received a violation notice for kid's toys laying around. The picture enclosed as proof showed someone else's house & tricycle. I got in trouble for repainting the chipped white paint around my front door.

Ann Grady on March 11, 2018:

Last year a new HOA was assigned to our complex. never before we requested to place our leased trash bins in a certain locations. Mine and many other's had our trash bin against our garage that of course, is located in the rear of our property but not on the street curb. The HOA states the trash bins must not be viewed from the street. I was slapped with a 50.00 a month fine for the last year, plus interest and outrageous legal fees. Informed by certified mail that if I did not pay, a lien and continued interest will be posted against my property.

Olga Martinez on March 08, 2018:

I bought a manufactured home that includes the land, HOA dues are $60.00 a month. I don't mind paying if the HOA board were more transparent with what their directors are doing.

Almost 2 years ago the board appointed an investor who bought 2 houses in our community. He does not live here.

I asked emailed the new board member to tell me what his position was in the HOA, instead of answering my question he just sent a very insulting and demining response, I replied that there wasn't need to be condescending. That is one of many more emails and a few telling me that it will better if I moved out for my own mental health.

I talked to other homeowners and sent a letter to the President of the HOA via U.S. Mail certified and return receipt. The letter was signed by 19 homeowners, We were requesting a meeting between the HOA board and homeowners. We never got an answer.

There is some construction going on for over 2 months, I was taking a video of it and he told me that I couldn't do that, I responded that I could because is in a public place.

He threatened to call the police and have me arrested, I said go ahead call the police about 8 times and he didn't finally he walked tore me in a menacing manner; I started to back up and yelled "don't get close to me" 3 times he got really close to my personal space, I have a very good video of him getting aggressive tore me, he didn't hit me because there was a witness, a construction worker.

I'm a 70 years old, 4' 11" 110 pounds, he is about 48 years old 6'2" and about 300 pounds. He is a bully in my opinion.

We the homeowners are never notified of HOA meetings, I sent a request to the office administrator to send me notice via email.

I didn't get a response from the administrator, instead I got an email from the HOA director insulting and saying horrible things about me and again repeating that I should move out somewhere else if they have me.

I didn't reply, I'm looking for legal remedies because for the last 18 months I have been harassed by this HOA Board member and I'm sick and tired it.

Now I believe he owns 5 houses, and thinks he can bully anyone including tenants, he had a few encounters with a couple of tenants.

If anyone knows and want to advise me who to contact to resolve this problem, it will be greatly appreciated.

Lily White on October 23, 2017:

Seven months I received mail to say I have no current lease on file ? well I delivered it to you in person on your desk while you sat their , don't you remember ?

Again and again and again registered mail daily ,threats to claim my property and evict my tenant I now have to pay a bond fee of 1,000 to have my lease release from hell so it will be validated now because I was told 50 times I

have no lease on file I am not able to know why they say this

come to be bond fee has to be paid now I have paid quarter dues 8 days early and that is upheld also due to bond fee I delivered another 1,0000 dollars to office now they have 3 thousand dollars for their parties I have right to know where funds are they will not tell me they can break the law that is OK .

I believe manager was drunk I heard she fell in her kitchen messed up her face and broke her arm I was told and I have to hope she is not using my money to drink with.

I have been told to get out of community by manager in writing I will follow suit on discrimmation and harassment.

Lily is moving out tenants are senior citizens they cry never planned on having to move. HOA wants 1000.00 per year bond fee I get 600.00 month SS check I can not eat /live on that mortgage is 650.00 I will ask for food stamps ?

Kira on May 27, 2017:

I have been living in my condo 22 years. I have never been late with the monthly dues or special assessment.

Now we are doing a new vinyl siding. I voted againgst it, but majority won.

Because of my opposing, Trustees wanted to make sure of payment $20K and threatened with a lien over my condo.

Before the final estimate numbers!!!!!


Victoria on December 24, 2016:

It's easy. Follow the rules. If you didn't have an HOA, people become slobs. I for one like having an HOA. I received a letter once asking me to paint my mailbox, how hard is that? To all the people who don't like rules, move! Go get your land and park all your multiple cars there with all your barking dogs. Bye!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 02, 2014:

Hi Shar, It's so unfortunate that you don't have your HOA backing you up and trying to better the community along with you. Some HOA's just collect the dues, kick back and do nothing. They are the bad apples. Hopefully your HOA rises above the bad apples and produces those letters ASAP. I wish you luck...

Sharr4022 from Winter Haven, FL on September 02, 2014:

Hi Sunshine!

Just to let you know I did writing and emailing to HOA, but didn't make any difference. The trailer is still here and now another resident has a trailer in his driveway. The lawns are still the same, they mow it when they feel like. And cars, to many cars!! There are few households have 3 to 5 cars to each household. And they are parking on lawns! Even worst when they have company coming over! This community is 8 years here. I did sent pictures and video of what HOA not seeing. He only comes once a month for inspection of the community. Everyone is here is working so you don't see much cars during the day. Am I the only person in this community complaining?! HOA says they will mail reminder letter to each of the household about the Rules and Regulations, but that was 5 months ago. Still waiting for that letter! So what is the next step I need to take? Who do I complain to about this HOA that's not really doing their job? The head of the Board of Direct member? Where do I find this out?

Thank You.

Suzie from Carson City on June 24, 2014:

HEY!!! YOU there!! Florida Home Owner's Association!! Yeah You! Close the effin meeting! It's time for Linda's Birthday Party!!!

Billy Bob on May 17, 2014:

Wish my HOA was so cheap, try 350/month and not live in a prestigious neighborhood.

Claudia Mitchell on November 20, 2013:

Great letter! I grew up in a huge area of condos and there was a condo association. They were always bugging my mom about her flowers. She got a variance approved and was able to plant 3 lilac bushes which grew for many many years and were beautiful, providing vase after vase of lovely lilacs. One day she came home and they had been chopped to the ground. She was furious, heartbroken and disgusted. Boy did they hear from her and then they sent a crappy little apology blaming it on the landscapers. It was then that I vowed never to live where there was a condo or homeowners' association. She has still never gotten over that. I understand that there need to be some "rules" that need to be followed, but some people just take it too far!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on November 20, 2013:

HOA's are a double-edged sword. And the old adage is true, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." People are human, but they let positions of power go to their heads. They become Nazi-like and dictators and pick on every little thing they can. It is quite a statement on human nature and they only show how little and petty they are. Of course they won't get out of the car and talk to you. That means they would have to be reasonable, mature adults, which most aren't. They are bullies and we have elected them to power. I think they should be done away with.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 30, 2013:

Hi Shar, I suggest you discuss the issue with your HOA. Hopefully they are open minded and not control freaks and will be able to assist you. Good luck!

Sharr4022 from Winter Haven, FL on October 27, 2013:

Hi Sunshine, I'm living in a HOA community for almost 4 yrs. I have no problem with them except they are not doing much to enforced the rules here. I have residents here are not cutting grass when they should, like for 2 weeks at a time. Cars are parked on lawns when there is a street. Trash put out to soon or to late, will sit there for few days. Small business trailers are parked on driveway which they are not supposed to be here at all. We have a lot of renters too that don't seem t care. Our community having more houses being built here, 5 or 6 this year. Seems like they (HOA) don't come around to inspect to often or come at a wrong times of the day. Also another problem is dogs. Seems like everyone having dogs! Barking ad barking, especially next door. They have 2 big dogs. They constantly barking for every little sound. The other night, I was awoken around 10:30pm. They would not stop. After an hour, I called the sheriff dept. to have someone to tell them. Sheriff did show up but they did not open the door or they could be not home. This is crazy having them out late at night. I'm getting ready to write an email to the HOA. What is your advice? I'm a first time home buyer. Thanks!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on April 20, 2013:

Hi Terry, If you are just receiving the complaint now, after 10 years, chances are there are a new set of eyes on your home. Other eyes might have not had an issue with your trash can. This one does. I'd just move it to another spot for a couple of months :)

Terry on April 20, 2013:

after living in my home for the past 10 year, I get a letter through a law office from my HOA. Apparently my garbage can is in violation of the covenants. Seriously, 10 years the garbage has been stored behind the same area on the side of my garage. Why didn't they inform me years ago? This is the second time I have been harassed by them. The first was from the placement of our basketball hoop-which we had up for about 5 years with no complaint. I was upset, but moved it to the back. Now this. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on February 24, 2013:

I worked in the title insurance business for many years and some of the restrictions placed on condo and planned developments are usually voluminous and difficult to read. Yet, when we buy into one of those communities, we agree to abide to every one on the covenants and restrictions, however niggling they might be. I can understand your annoyance, but the people who run the HOA are charged with enforcing all the rules.

This is a well written hub and I can sympathize.

Mr.Richard Phillips on February 16, 2013:



Please allow me use this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Richard

Phillips, an investor based in UK, the General Manager of a prominent Oil

and Metal company. I saw your contact over the internet, and I am

interested to do business with you, because I really want to invest into

Real Estate Development and sales in your country under your jurisdiction,

can you be able to handle it. I will give you more details once I here from

you. I look forward to your favorable response on this matter.

Best Regards

Mr.Richard Phillips.

Email:[email protected]


AudraLeigh on November 19, 2012:

Ok, I like and don't like HOA. When I had a condo I did not have to worry about doing anything outside because of them. It was super awesome! And my HOA was like $150/month...super cheap! However, god for bid you have bees! They would never come and get rid of them until things got out of control and bees were everywhere! I like this hub very much. It reminded me of the home I owned once. I will own one again for sure! Voted up!

frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 07, 2012:

I've never had to deal with an HOA but a relative has...and I need him to read this! Yea for YOU!

KDuBarry03 on October 05, 2012:

We had instances like that before when my family had a house fire and we lived in a rental house for a year. Someone would walk around and call in anyone who didn't have their trash cans on the side of the house because of "front presentation neglection" or something like that. So happy to be out of that neighborhood...great letter, Linda! I really don't get how they could earn a salary just to send you a letter saying your flowerbed is so many inches too high. Sorry for your burdens!

jenbeach21 from Orlando, FL on October 05, 2012:

I can sympathize with you on this one. Our HOA seems to have nothing better to do than change the parking rules every other day. We live in a townhome community where visitor parking is scarce and they are constantly patrolling for cars not parked in the designated spots. I'm not sure where exactly they would like our visitors to park but it is very frustrating!

Steve Parsons from Miami, Florida on September 30, 2012:

Great letter! Put a smile on my face. If only more people were willing to stand up to HOAs that are out of control, maybe things would change a little.

Shaddie from Washington state on September 23, 2012:

The HOA here in my neighborhood got all up in arms because they thought someone was keeping domestic peacocks and they threatened to set up traps to destroy them. I told them 'lol, yeh okay go ahead and try.' The HOA quickly learned that peacocks are feral, nearly impossible to catch, and also animal control will not assist you in trying to wrangle them. What the heck is wrong with a few peacocks walking around in the woods anyway? They aren't exactly nuisance animals.

Karen Lackey from Ohio on September 23, 2012:

Funny. We are moving from a neighbor with a HOA to one that is not. I feel a burden lifted...ha! Fun read. Thanks.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on September 23, 2012:

Are you kidding me... a tricycle on the porch or a few weeds in the flower bed? That is crazy! I can't believe how nosey those people are. I would go to the thrift store and buy 20 tricycles and put them all over the place! Jerks! Voted up!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 25, 2012:

Good thinking Rosemay. Justifying is exactly what they are attempting to do. I've lived in areas with an HOA for 25 years and they do serve a useful purpose even though they have a tendency to be crooks and devious. Thanks for your comment.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on August 16, 2012:

Good for you Linda, sounds like they are trying to justify their positions and make it look as thought they are doing something useful to earn their fees. Sounds dreadful.

Don't have anything like this in NZ, I don't think I could live in a place like that. You can drive down a road of 700 houses here and not find 2 the same, big ones, little ones, different designs. individuality.

Love your letter

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 14, 2012:

Oh no Carly! They got you too! Those dreaded letters. I haven't received one in a couple of months. My neighbors house, which is a rental is getting new sod since their lawn is flush to ours and their weeds were infesting my yard. Just goes to show you there are two sides to every story. Good luck with your "letters."

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on August 12, 2012:

I am so glad you post this on HH again, because I missed it before. We get a letter every month. Something, different of course that we have neglected without knowing we neglected it.?.?

This month we got a letter that says we need to trim the bush on the right hand side of the garage. We already trimmed our bushes. So we were going to trim it again, and then we thought, wait a minute what is the right hand side of the garage? Is it when you are looking at the house, or when you are coming out of the house. We have a bush on either side.

UGH. They can be annoying. Once we had to replace a whole tree. Because we are cheap, we decided to do it ourselves. We dig a whole as big as my daughter. The tree was so heavy, we just about rolled it in. We will never plant a big tree like that again by ourselves. Now the thing is growing crooked, probably get a letter about that too.

I loved your letter though.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 12, 2012:

Good for you Thomas!!! Fight the good fight!!! :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 12, 2012:

Hi Carrie! Way to go with righting your wrong. Your voice was heard.

Thank you for sharing your story for others to learn from your experience.

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on August 12, 2012:


Being a renter...we don't have HOA rules...leastwise none that we need to adhere to (I don't think) BUT...we did have a neighbor who took it upon himself as the self-appointed HOA of the neighborhood. The weapon in his quiver was calling the city at the slightest affront to his sensibilities.

He never stopped by to voice his (many) complaints but he was more than willing to make a call to the City of Reno to do so. We hated him...we still do although we no longer live in that area.

There wasn't much we could do but I did write a story about him that wasn't particularly flattering and then I mailed him a copy. That made me feel better.


Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 05, 2012:

Wow this article hit home!! We sold our home without knowing about the ten violations we had on the outside structure of our home, yes we broke some rules regarding the colors, but they were still earth toned, just not two toned. Then they complained about the roof(we did not have time to get approval it was leaking), the front door, the gargage door, the gutters and so on. Most of the violations filed against our home were dropped, except for one we had to pay a hefty sum for our not two tone trim on the siding in the front, money taken away from us after closing. They did their job, but very poorly. You are right, they never greeted anyone, I'm sure the community would support them a lot more if they got to know the people and pick their battles wisely. Thank you for this article, at least I know we were not the only ones who wrote their HOA and were frustrated.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 05, 2012:

Hello, lindacee ~ lovedoctor926 ~ Nell Rose ~ BillyBuc ~ iamaudraleigh ~ moonlake! Thank you all for your comments, experiences and support. I appreciate it. I am still working on my fine, which I still feel is wrong.

iamaudraleigh on August 05, 2012:

I had an HOA fee for 7 years. I did not have to tend to a lawn or anything. I understand your grievences though. I like your letter very much. However, if you send it to them, focus and only complain about what is in their letters and warnings. You did a nice job expressing yourself to us :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 05, 2012:

YOU GO LINDA! I would be ballistic...oh wait, I have been ballistic in the only HOA area that I lived in. I have no stomach for pettiness like this and I love your response. My respect for you just raised considerably and it was already high!

Great job my friend!

moonlake from America on August 01, 2012:

Sorry I meant to say bumble bee in my comment.

Nell Rose from England on July 31, 2012:

Well done Linda, nice to see you on tv, and you put that point across perfectly, can't wait for the hub!

lovedoctor926 on July 29, 2012:

I would have written a letter to them I meant not harass you. lol.

lovedoctor926 on July 29, 2012:

The letter that you addressed to the HOA was awesome! You made valid points. That is ridiculous that they would harass you about your grandaughter's tricycle. I agree with you. talk about having no life! Well, let me tell you. I would have probably done the same thing too. Voted up and best of luck

Linda Chechar from Arizona on July 29, 2012:

I've lived in several covenant controlled communities over the years. Some are more anal than others to the point of being overbearing. For the most part, I feel I've been relatively lucky compared to your experiences! An HOA would probably not sway my decision to live in a particular community, but I might interview some of the neighbors before making the decision to live there. :) I thoroughly enjoyed your letter!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 29, 2012:

Hi Nell, The benefits are your neighborhood looks nice because they harass the neighborhood. They serve a purpose when they don't abuse their power. Thank you!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 29, 2012:

Hi Sue! Thank you and I agree! So far I haven't heard back yet, but hopefully soon. I appreciate your support!

Nell Rose from England on July 29, 2012:

Hi Linda, I had never heard of it over here, I was just wondering what the benefits were of belonging to this association? it sounds like you have to pay to be harrassed! lol! loved your photo of your house, it looks gorgeous!

Sueswan on July 27, 2012:

Hi Linda,

You have a lovely abode.

Anal - See Homeowners Association

Your letter is great. Hopefully, it will put an end to their harassment over such petty things.

Voted up across the board.

Have a good weekend. :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 27, 2012:

Thank you Barbara, I appreciate your compliment and support. I knew you would understand.

Excellent points Alecia! I'm a fan of the Postal Service so they aren't on my list to receive a letter!

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on July 26, 2012:

I think the HOA is up there with the IRS and Postal Service in terms of annoying entities that barely serve a purpose. Ok, so maybe the IRS still serves a purpose but the HOA and the Postal Service are wearing thin on everyone. I've never lived in an HOA neighborhood but what I've heard is enough to make me never consider it. Yes, owning a home is a wonderful honor and responsibility but they seem to fail to realize people work 8 hours a day and only have 48 free hours on the weekend to get stuff done. That and the fact they still have not managed to find the real neighborhood problems such as the crazies who make meth and have crime rings. But such is life. Great hub!

b. Malin on July 26, 2012:

First off, I have to say, Sunshine, your Home is Lovely, Everything looks so Neat and Pretty. So, what's with this crazy HOA?

We too have an HOA in Florida, although it's a Condo, so not sure if they get "Crazy" too. Hopefully NOT! Good Hub, Girlfriend!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 24, 2012:

No way Cogerson! I'm certain I hid that tricycle really well :)

Be careful doing yardwork at your mom's...the HOA is watching you! Thanks for your comment:)

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on July 24, 2012:

Interesting letter....I can not believe you left the tricycle on the porch....I think I can still see it on the porch when I look at the photo you attached. I thankfully do not have to deal with a HOA but my mom does and I am her groundskeeper so I have become very aware of the rules in her neighborhood. As for I am surrounded my senior citizens and yard work is there I have to keep up with them....speaking of is time to cut the grass. Voted up and very funny and right on point.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 24, 2012:

ChristyWrites ~ Docmo ~ Rajan Jolly ~ Moonlake ~ Jeff Gamble ...

Thank you for sharing your stories! I appreciate hearing from you and I'm a bit surprised that most of you don't live in the USA and are from other countries. This is truly a worldwide epidemic! Thanks again. Maybe they will read this and see themselves in our words and possible change their attitudes. Wishful thinking?

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 24, 2012:

Linda, though we do not have the HOA here in India we do have something akin to it in the apartments that people live in. And they are no less. You cannot to be timid and meek before them but have to roar like you do in this letter. Then they leave you for good and look out for others whom they can collar.

Certainly with this letter the HOA hopefully will back away from harassing you

moonlake from America on July 23, 2012:

Never would I live in a HOA. We lived in apartment building when we were young. The manager accused our dog of leaving bubble bee carcasses around the pool. Can you believe that? It is true. It was one thing after another. We got ants in our apartment we complained they said it was because our stove was dirty. I said oh yeah take a look, not one spec of grease or dirt in the oven. They finally found out the ants were coming from trash in their garage area. We said never again would we live in apartments or anyplace that had control over us.... Voted up on your hub.

Jeff Gamble from Denton, Texas on July 23, 2012:

Great letter! Our HOA is full of... well... let's just say they are sticklers for details and their letters are a great read. I'll have to borrow your idea and write one back some day. Thanks for an entertaining hub!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 23, 2012:

Interesting! Where I live there is a strata council for the building that sounds similar in that they go around and have rules to be followed. I do hope all gets easier for you. I mean, it IS your house! Anti-fan letter fan here!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 23, 2012:

Hi Dianna, I'm glad to hear you understand, yet unfortunate for you to have to deal with the "letters" also. Thank you for sharing.

Jayden, I agree. People do allow power to get to their heads in many occupations...heck even some parents have that issue with their kids...that power trip irks me the most. That's another hub :)

Hi Dex! I hope you share your acronym with me one day soon. In private!:)

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on July 23, 2012:

I have a great acronym for HOA's but I know I shouldn't use it in mixed company! :-)

Wonderful letter!

JaydenMiller from USA on July 23, 2012:

Great letter on HOA's. I have lived in them and while they can serve a purpose, some of the people let a little power go to their heads. Voted up!

Dianna Mendez on July 22, 2012:

Overall, I do appreciate our HOA. However, I hate those little annoying letters they send about insignificant issues. They start out by saying, "As I was driving by your home one day ...". We have had notes on cleaning our driveway apron, getting stains off our driveway, etc. Please!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 22, 2012:

Hi Pamela, I did pay a visit to the employees of the HOA this past week. We actually had a nice visit and learned a thing or two about each other. They are just doing their job. It's the "suits" above them who are the culprits.

I'll keep you posted with results. Thank you!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 22, 2012:

Daisy, Feel free to stop by and vent as often as needed. It sounds like you could sure use it!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 22, 2012:

Hi Julie, I appreciate your support. It's good to hear you don't have too many of these issues in the U.K.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 22, 2012:

Cyndi, I could tell you understand clearly. You could possibly be fined for balling your letter at their car. It's a good idea though!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 22, 2012:

I think you handled that situation quite well as I'm not sure I wouldn't have made a little visit to these people personally. Those warning letters are ridiculous. I lived for 4 years in a subdivision with a HOA but they weren't too bad, until they elected some new people. When we moved we found a wonderful home in an are with no HOA and I don't miss them a bit. I think your letter is very appropriate and hope you see some results.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on July 22, 2012:

OMG, Linda (Sunshine)!

Don't get me started on this subject!

We left the gate on the side of our house open...can't do that! We left our garage door open...can't do that! The white painted trim on our house was dirty...bad! The flowers and plants along the walk leading up to our front door were of different heights and colors...pull them up and plant grass!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on July 22, 2012:

I think we only have these in private housing associations so thankfully, I am exempt from this type of mail. They sound like a right bunch of what we call 'jobs worths'. Your letter is very good - it's about the way things are done - that's what gets people's backs up!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on July 22, 2012:

25 years with an HOA! Whoa! My parents have lived with them for a long time, but growing up hearing their complaints about getting letters - similar to what you're saying here - I decided I didn't ever want to be a part of one. I live out in the country and I don't have neighbors - I just avoid the HOA's and the neighbors all together! hehe. I do love your anti-fan letter here, though. I feel like on the one hand, it's good to have an HOA to hold people up to a standard, but I almost think they should be guidelines. Life happens. Grass dies. Leaves fall. Plants change. Kids play. It's all part of the Game. If I got letters from the HOA, I think I'd have to ball it up and throw them at the dude's car when he drove by. Would that get me a fine? LOL

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

All in due time Julie. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.

Blurter of Indiscretions from Clinton CT on July 21, 2012:

Send that to the editor of your local newspaper. I can't stand people who love to use their position in associations to nit pick. GO PICK YOUR NOSE I say to them. Great letter! :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Hi Bobbi and Mary,

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your support. I know you both understand.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Hi drbj, Yes we have convenants and we must abide and obey those rules or else we are considered to be breaking rules. It's a bit out of control at this time. Yes, send emails! Save a tree, actually a forest!

I totally agree WillStar. I wonder if those tyrants ever consider karma?

Mary Craig from New York on July 21, 2012:

The sad part is the people reading your letter won't even brain no pain! It is the nature of the beast and the HOA is certainly it's own kind of beast.

Your home is lovely BTW.

Voted up, funny and interesting.

Poetic Fool on July 21, 2012:

Good for you, Linda. If more people respectfully stood up the the HOA Nazis, they might be a bit more reasonable. Why they don't realize you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar I don't know. Being nice will get you so much further! Great hub, Sunshine!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on July 21, 2012:


Sometimes when people are given any authority or power it goes to their head. I am sure we all know these people.

How anyone could say anything against your spotless pretty house and manicured yawn must be need their eyes examined.

Any homeowner who gets a letter should coast by the HOA’s office and home and write down all the deficiencies in reference to their maintenance and slip it under their door. Or send a Letter of Complaint or better yet, print your hub and send it to them. Tell them to “Save a tree and send emails.”

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi Purvis

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on July 21, 2012:

The problem with HOA's is the ignorant tyrants who run them. Most ignore the limits of provisions and make up their own as they go...especially if they don't like someone.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 21, 2012:

Your HOA has real covenants, Linda? That does sound like a powerful force to reckon with. Mine just sends out emails 2 or 3 times a year raising the rates for the maintenance payments. When it applies to HOAs, power does certainly corrupt!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Hi Shasta, They troll. If you have a complaint you are supposed to discuss it with the neighbor. They do NOT like confrontations. Why, I don't know. Confrontations aren't all that bad. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks Janine!:)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Hi Josh, It's not as bad as you might have read!:) A HOA is useful when they don't harass and push buttons...especially Sunshine's.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on July 21, 2012:

Glad to share and I have heard some crazy stories too and like I said that is one of the reason that made us not go that route in the end. Again, thanks for another great article!!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Terrye, Good luck with the Water Authority! I sure hope the horses and cows get the water they need! And the bears also!!!:)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 21, 2012:

Janine, I've heard and read many stories about the HOA and condos. Most of the stories are not very nice. Luckily we haven't had many issues, but the ones we have had are a bit ridiculous. Thank you for sharing.

Shasta Matova from USA on July 21, 2012:

We tried to create a homeowners association in our neighborhood - to deal with the big issues like drugs and prostitution and crime, but so many people were afraid of getting yelled at for petty things like you mentioned that we were not able to get it organized. I think these organizations are great to help the neighborhood band together to effect new developments in the area, etc., but they definitely should be giving the community a chance to take care of things. Do these people come in response to complaints, or do they actually go trolling for things to send letters about?

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 21, 2012:

I used to live in a home with an HOA -- never again. If they weren't hounding me for repairs, they were hounding me to get on the board. But I'm surprised that the HOA didn't take care of the issue for you. At our complex, any foliage visible to the public was the responsibility of the HOA. We were only responsible for stuff in our backyards. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 21, 2012:


I would never be able to live in this kind of place. You are one brave soul! :) I loved the letter, and everyone of them rude people should have to read this! :) Great job Linda. you really know how to write those letters!

Watch the video: Man fined $5,000 by HOA for trees that are too short (August 2022).