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Homeowner devastated after HOA enforces balcony restrictions: 'I've spent a lot of time and money'

"What kind of soulless cretins would make a rule like this?"

“What kind of soulless cretins would make a rule like this?”

Photo Credit: iStock

One condo owner faced a grim decision when they received a notice from their HOA telling them that the garden on their balcony — the one place they could grow plants — wasn't allowed.

For tenants of condos and apartment buildings, balconies are often the only place to get sunlight or fresh air. Many don't have access to a green space outdoors, and even fewer have a place of their own where they can plant what they want. Windowsill planters and balcony gardens are a way to grow herbs and small vegetables for cooking, brighten the home with flowers, or just relax in a space that's all their own.

Not so for this Redditor, however. "I live on the second floor of a two story condo. I've had plants on my balcony for about a year," they posted in a subreddit dedicated to problems with HOAs.

A year is plenty of time to get a garden established, and after so long, most would assume that the resident was in the clear.

However, they claimed that they got a note from their HOA. "'On a recent property inspection, it was noted that you have plants in your balcony,'" it said. "'Upon receipt of the notice, please remove the plants from balcony, as they are not allowed per the Rules and Regulations.'"

The homeowner was gutted. "I've spent a lot of time and money maintaining the plants and getting rid of them would be devastating," they said.

Commenters were also outraged on their behalf. "What kind of soulless cretins would make a rule like this?" demanded one user. Indeed, denying residents the chance to garden cuts them off from the financial and health benefits of growing their own veggies, not to mention the purer air that plants produce.

However, it's sadly common to see HOAs and landlords putting restrictions on balcony spaces for aesthetic reasons. Other Redditors in similar situations have posted looking for advice or just to vent about the frustrating policies.

For homeowners who want to do more, working with your HOA board to change the rules can benefit you and your neighbors. Learn how here.

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