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People Who Live In Communities With HOAs Are Sharing How Obscene The Rules And Regulations Can Be

"Imagine buying a home and having to pay someone to tell you what you can and can’t do around your own property…"

In a Reddit thread called "Malicious Compliance," u/Chiaseedmess vented about a new time rule his HOA set for putting out the trash and it opened up conversations about Homeowners Associations (HOA) in general.

If you're not familiar, HOAs are organizations that make and enforce rules and guidelines for people living in housing editions — certain condos and planned community centers also can have HOAs. They also care for the common spaces and ensure amenities are cared for. And these organizations always require some sort of fee, whether it be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

If you live in a subdivision that has an HOA and you want to paint your fence a different color or put something like a shed in your backyard, your HOA would typically have to approve it beforehand. (You could incur fees for not following guidelines or be forced to remove something you planted if it isn't approved by your HOA. Some are more strict than others.)

Anyway, u/Chiaseedmess — the Original Poster (OP) — said he never really had much of a problem with his HOA until now. A new rule was made where homeowners can't put their trashcans out before 6 a.m. on Wednesday and they must be pulled in before 6 p.m. that same day.

trashcan and filled bags on the curb

Not only is this new trashcan rule unrealistic for people who aren't home during those times, but it is also impossible for people who use a different trash service than the HOA-appointed one that picks up on Wednesdays. "Some people's trash gets picked up Monday or Tuesday," he explained.

woman with her hands at her temples

Because you sign a contract agreeing to abide by HOA rules before buying a property, the OP has to comply. He and a few other homeowners decided to be annoying about it, though. "When it is time to take out the trash, we do it as loud as fucking possible. Does the bin have wheels? DRAG IT."

hand placing a trash bag in the bin

Luckily, after several weeks of outrage from residents, the HOA removed the trashcan rule...but it cost the homeowners money. "Because an HOA rule was changed, a lawyer was paid to look over it before it could be updated. That means this stupid rule cost every resident money," he said.

woman with her hand to her forehead in frustration

This situation caught the attention of many people who currently (or formerly) have experienced HOA rules. "The most surprising thing about this post was that the HOA folded and repealed the rule instead of finding every possible little infraction to hit the rebellious homeowners with," said u/SdBolts4.

hand holding a stamp that reads rules and regulations

So many people shared their own negative experiences living under HOA rules...

u/DaTree3 lives in a townhouse and dislikes her HOA very much. "Our decks have to all be painted the same color. I went to Home Depot to get the right color and painted my deck. Three days later in the mail, I was notified I would have to pay a fee because they claimed it wasn't the correct color. I also planted tulips, shrubs, and two blueberry bushes. For those, I also got a warning letter saying I had to dig up the blueberry bushes as they were against HOA guidelines...and a whole slew of other shit 😤."

row of new homes being built

"My mom got fined on Christmas Day because we brought out the big trash and put it by the front door so we could toss all the wrapping paper more easily. We put the trash can back in the backyard once all the unwrapping was done. It wasn't out for more than an hour or two. Who the fuck fines someone for having their bin out on Christmas morning?"

woman yelling wearing a santa hat

u/Swiss_Miss_77 shared that her HOA has a rule that your grass had to be a certain height.


A lot of people are sick and tired of all the rules. "HOAs are dictatorships with bored old people (and I'm old, too) that have nothing to do other than obsess about trash cans and parking. We only have one trash service but we have the same rules. And they have a fit if you put them anywhere but in your backyard yard which for some of us is really difficult."

man frustrated at his desk with his head in his palm

Another thing with HOAs is some residents police the neighborhood just to report people. "I received a letter yesterday about my trash cans being in front of my garage (which is a no-no)...I was using the cans to throw stuff away because I was doing work in my house. They weren’t just sitting there, they were being used. But, someone took a pic and reported it to the HOA," said u/its328.

man with binoculars

"My HOA sucks. They will send a threatening letter for seeing your garbage can on the side of your house on a no-pickup day but don’t do anything to the owners of a house that sat vacant for over two years with the fence collapsing on the sidewalk, dead appliances in the yard, etc. A new neighbor bought a house down the street last month and got written up because her roof is black. She didn’t know it couldn't be black because you can’t download the rules, you have to buy a copy."

woman checking her mail

"My older coworker explained to me that he once volunteered to be on his neighborhood’s HOA and he happily reminisced about how he would take people to court and threaten to foreclose their home (not sure if that’s the legal term) because they did not pay the HOA fee. Imagine buying a home and having to pay $300 a month for someone to tell you what you can and can’t do around your own property…damn."

woman leaning on a box with her hand to her head

However, not everyone hates their HOA. u/JKastnerPhoto shared, "I live in an HOA and it only addresses road maintenance. The people who run it are cool. Not all HOAs are bad but I'm sorry yours is."

clipboard of HOA papers

So, we want to know, people who live or have lived in communities with HOAs, what are your thoughts on them? Let us know in the comments.