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New homeowner shares frustration over invasive HOA: 'She ran off when she saw my wife'

This is an unfortunate intervention that far too many people living in HOA communities have experienced.

This is an unfortunate intervention that far too many people living in HOA communities have experienced.

Photo Credit: iStock

Nosy neighbors aren't a new issue for homeowners; it's just they are now increasingly in charge of the whole community.

One person under a homeowners association has taken to Reddit to detail their irritating interaction with the organization, which was taking way too much interest in their garden.

They explained that an HOA representative had visited their house to complain about the weeds in their front yard and urged the homeowner to take action.

After saying they intended to mow the garden at the weekend, the homeowner was instructed to spray the garden with weedkiller. However, since they grew their own food on the land, the homeowner was not so keen to harm their produce with chemicals. 

But, a few days later, the Redditor received a letter from the HOA to take further action. 

"I am planning on laying down a native grass seed that will eventually root deep and choke out the weeds," they said. "For now, I will just mow and pull them as I can."

But the HOA apparently wasn't done with interfering. Two seemingly friendly neighbors dropped by to recommend the services of their "weed guy." But things took a turn when the homeowner's wife returned home to find one of those neighbors taking pictures of the yard.

"She ran off when she saw my wife pull into the driveway," the Redditor said.

This is an unfortunate intervention that far too many people living in HOA communities have experienced. Despite the fact that native plant gardens or wildflowers are better for the environment, require less maintenance and water, bring pollinators, and generally liven the place up, HOAs seem intent on ensuring every resident has a pristine lawn. 

This is expensive and time-consuming for homeowners, and also environmentally damaging, so it's obvious why many would like to take an alternative route with their outdoor space.

"I might turn the front yard into a giant wildflower patch next spring," the Redditor continued. "I like butterflies better than a bunch of nosey neighbors with enough time on their hands to be offended by some plants."

Other users of the r/f***HOA subreddit were supportive of the homeowner's plans and frustrated by their experience.

"Find out where the lady lives, and start taking pictures," one user joked. "They really don't like people doing to them what they do to other people."

"What state are you in?" another asked. "Some states have laws preventing the HOA (really the HOA's current Board) from restricting native plants to your location regardless of what is in the Declaration of CC&Rs. If your state has that, plant a bunch of native plants, keep it tidy, then tell the Board to f off or be ready to fight in court." 

If you have the time and patience, explaining to an HOA the benefits of native plant gardens might persuade them to change bylaws, which could make a huge difference in the lives of other residents and the health of the planet.

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