One clever homeowner recently told Reddit how they followed their HOA’s rules to the letter — but not in the way the association intended.
Most HOAs insist that homeowners have a well-maintained lawn. The definition of “well-maintained” can vary from one organization to another; some HOAs allow water-saving lawns and native plant gardens, like the ones created by Yardzen. But many HOAs insist on high-maintenance turf lawns and set limits on other plants and garden beds.
In this homeowner’s case, the rules left a huge loophole they were quick to exploit.
“We’ve lived in this neighborhood for 15 years now,” they explained in their post. According to the poster, their HOA board has changed in that time. “Sometimes it’s fine for a while and then someone new takes over and has some vendetta to pursue.”
According to the poster, the latest shift happened last year. “We got a nastygram from the HOA — we had WEEDS!” they said.
As the user explained in their post, the situation wasn’t so simple. The lush trees in their yard cast too much shade to allow ordinary grass to grow. So instead, they grew shade-loving ground cover, which they mowed regularly. “For 13 years this was fine,” they added.
“According to the bylaws, we needed to prove we were using chemical lawn treatments to kill anything that’s not grass,” they said. “Crucially, the rules don’t require us to hire a weed control company (although that’s what they expected) — we just had to provide proof in the form of a receipt for money spent.”
“My lovely, petty spouse went on Amazon and ordered a $6 spray bottle of the most woo-woo new age homeopathic ‘weedkiller’ she could find,” they said. “I think the main ingredient was lavender oil. We dutifully spritzed the yard a few times, sent an action shot and a copy of the digital receipt, and thanked them for their concern.”
That didn’t kill any “weeds,” but the Redditor says they haven’t heard another word from the HOA.
“I love what you did,” one commenter said, then suggested an even better option to irritate the HOA board: low-growing, versatile Creeping Charlie, a ground cover with tiny blue flowers that many consider a weed.
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