One homeowner recently took to Reddit to ask for advice about how to deal with their over-demanding Homeowners Association.
“My HOA wants me to flood my lawn with water to keep the grass from drying up. There’s a severe drought, they don’t care,” they write. “They basically want to maintain the green color [which] is their bottom line and all they care about.”
Luckily, this homeowner’s fellow Redditors had plenty of advice for them.
“Don’t know if this applies and I’m not a lawyer, but: in California during a declared drought emergency (state or local level), the Davis-Sterling Act Section 4735(c) prevents an HOA for penalizing you for allowing your lawn to go brown,” writes one commenter. “Doesn’t sound like the law applies if you receive recycled water though so your mileage may vary.”
Another Redditor suggests a rather over-the-top strategy to deal with the forced overwatering: Simply report everyone else for illegal water usage.
“If you can prove that other owners are breaking the law by illegally watering, then you could report everyone,” they write. “HOA will rethink if the entire neighborhood is facing criminal liability.”
HOAs have been known to impose non-eco-friendly mandates on homeowners — but there is growing legal precedence in fighting back.
Many homeowners have had to go to court for the right to install solar panels on their own roofs, which HOAs across the country keep deeming an eyesore.
Gardeners in Maine recently won a huge victory against HOAs by getting the state constitution changed to ensure that they are allowed to grow vegetables in their own yards.
A Maryland couple also successfully changed their state law after fighting their HOA to keep their drought-tolerant rewilded lawn, which is known to be less maintenance and more eco-friendly than traditional turf.
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