• Home Home

Homeowner who thought they escaped oversight of strict HOA receives unpleasant surprise: 'If all else fails, lawyer up'

"Don't let them bully you."

"Don’t let them bully you."

Photo Credit: iStock

After moving to a new home, one Texas homeowner said they were struggling to take care of their yard in a way that their municipality would allow — even with the help of local lawn care companies.

"I bought a house that I made d*** sure is not in an HOA," they said in their post

HOAs are notorious for pushing traditional turf grass lawns on residents and for having restrictive rules about how to maintain them, despite all the time and money wasted that way.

Without an HOA governing their ¼-acre property, the Redditor thought they could plant water-saving native flowers. "Unfortunately, I discovered that, in Texas, municipalities often have HOA-like rules and entire departments to enforce them," they said.

The Redditor's original plan — to stop mowing, add wildflower seeds, and let nature gradually overtake the lawn — was ruined. They turned to other solutions. 

"I found a lawn guy who was willing to only mow once my grass hit 10 inches, which meant that I at least got to enjoy some wildflowers for a couple months in the spring and fall," they said.

But that solution was too good to last. 

"Unfortunately, he stopped doing yardwork," the Redditor said. "I found another lawn guy as a provisional measure. He yanked up the stakes [around my garden beds], mowed over all of my perennials and all but one of my shrubs, and then moved to another city."

Since then, the Redditor said they had let the lawn go and had a nosy neighbor report them to the city. 

They desperately wanted to get rid of the grass, but the low-effort tarp method was prohibited by their town, and they weren't physically able to do it in a more labor-intensive way with a sod cutter. The only option they could come up with was heavy use of herbicide. 

"Is my solution the best one available to me or does anyone have other suggestions?"

One commenter recommended taking a hard line legally. 

"Texas state law allows for drought-resistant landscaping or water-conserving natural turf," they said. "Since native plant gardens are naturally drought-resistant, they are allowed under Texas law … Don't let them mow down your flowers and don't let them bully you. If all else fails, lawyer up. Texas law is on your side on this one."

Even in an HOA, a homeowner can push back against harmful rules using this guide.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider