Moving into a community with a homeowners association might seem like a good idea, providing some peace of mind that public spaces will be looked after and the interests of residents will be heard.
They posted their frustrations in the r/AmITheA****** subreddit after a hefty request for payment landed in their mailbox.
She explained that most of the gardens in the neighborhood have black mulch, but her mother had been planting cabbages, tomatoes, and mint, which didn’t go down well with the head of the HOA.
A landscaping crew arrived without their knowledge to rip up the garden. The Redditor thought it was their fault for not seeing letters from the HOA regarding the work, so they paid the bill.
However, when they began growing mint in the garden again, another landscaping crew arrived to rip up the herb plants without the homeowner’s permission. They were not contacted about the work, and they were given a bill of $2,000.
The homeowner noted that they had been out of town when the letters were posted for the first round of work, and their mother does not speak English.
But they had been home before the second landscaping work began, and no such letters had been sent their way.
“[The HOA head] didn’t even make one attempt to contact us, and she thought that since we paid the first landscaper we [would agree] that she can hire people to do our garden,” the homeowner posted.
“[Am I the a******] if I refuse to pay her?”
They received plenty of sympathy in the comment section.
“Don’t give them a cent,” one Redditor said. “[The HOA head] admitted she feels as though you’ve agreed to pay for abuse. Do not cave in there.”
“I’d never pay a bill for something I didn’t authorize,” said another.
It’s clearly a frustrating situation, not only because of the financial burden for work they didn’t ask for, but also because their efforts in their garden were put to waste because of the whims of the HOA.
While the idea of an HOA appears to be a sensible concept, there have been a number of examples in the United States where organizations have been a little heavy-handed.
Homeowners being refused the option to add solar panels to their property is one example of baffling rule enforcement, while others receiving complaints for making responsible lawn choices is another.
Aesthetics seem to be more important than planet-friendly decisions, in some cases, but if you know what you’re doing, there are certain ways to plant a beautiful garden and navigate the rules without inviting the HOA’s wrath. There are also ways to enact change — you just have to know where to start.
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