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HOA sicks lawyers on homeowner over money-saving change to their yard: 'HOAs are given disproportionate power'

"Perhaps you should review that document now."

“Perhaps you should review that document now.”

Photo Credit: iStock

Homeowners associations can be notoriously annoying to deal with. One HOA member is sharing how a policy has directly impacted them and their xeriscaped yard. 

The Redditor shared the post on the r/Texas forum with a photo of a letter they received from the Winstead PC law firm, claiming that they had to remove their "native garden" because they did not first receive the go-ahead from their HOA.

Photo Credit: u/NoShock9350 / Reddit
Photo Credit: u/NoShock9350 / Reddit

The letter claims that the individual needed to remove their garden or they could face further action from the firm or the HOA. The "violation of the foregoing restrictions" is saving the homeowner money and time from the upkeep of a grass lawn, and it also serves numerous environmental benefits. 

Xeriscaping is a transformative process for lawns. Instead of planting water-hungry grass, homeowners can plant species that absorb water, harbor pollinators, and provide a visually stunning appearance for all to see. Moreover, since these lawns are often made with gravel or pervious surfaces, there is minimal water needed. 

Several other Reddit users have received backlash from their HOAs for their choice of plantings. One Reddit user was fined for planting bushes on her property, even after she received permission from the HOA

Some individuals have found success in finding loopholes in their HOA policies, including classifying their individually potted tomato and pepper plants as "decorative" to bypass a no-food-garden rule. Individuals dealing with obstructive HOAs can launch a complaint and seek legal protections in their respective state to enact change to their bylaws. 

Reddit commenters were shocked by the legal action the user is facing — all because of how they chose to keep their lawn. "HOAs are given very disproportionate power in this state," one user shared before going on to describe how the board members of these associations tend to become more dictator-like with time. 

Other users noted that the individual should have first examined the deed restrictions and HOA rules before making the changes to their lawn. "When you bought your house you signed a document that said you agreed to get permission from the HOA to change various things regarding the property," one user wrote. "Perhaps you should review that document now."

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