Monday, June 19, 2017

The Problems with HOAs

There are an ever-increasing amount reasons I really dislike our current living arrangements. Our house itself is fine, if a bit small for us at the moment, but it's in a good location. I don't especially like that we're a gated community; this means that on a regular basis, packages don't get delivered because the delivery dudes can't get in. Usually we know we're expecting a package, but not always, and of course it's not practical to never leave the house because we might be getting an unexpected delivery.

Rather, it's the HOA itself that I really have begun to strongly dislike. As an entity, its passive-aggressive board dictates behavior that is unnecessary; half the time I feel like a small child. A few examples:

  • A few years ago, our trashcan broke (the lid fell off). Ed called around and discovered that the garbage company would replace the can for free, but we'd have to leave it out. Our HOA charges people $25 if the trashcan is left out more than (I think) 24 hours after trash pickup, so Ed called the HOA and left a voicemail explaining why the trashcan would be left outside. Unfortunately, the garbage company blipped and didn't get us a new trashcan right away, and someone from the HOA board came by, took a picture, and printed up a notice with a copy of this picture, and stuck it to our trashcan saying that the next time we didn't take in our trashcan, we'd be charged $25. Ed's car was parked in the driveway, so at least one of us was home. Instead of knocking on our door, we got a note.
  • One of our neighbors likes to restore old cars; he has (or had) one of those VW Beetles from the '60s he'd been working on for some time. The car was in his garage; he never kept tools on his driveway, and he never used any of the guest parking spots - he always kept his cars parked in his own driveway. Yet it was mentioned in multiple newsletters that restoring any car, even in one's garage, was not permitted.
  • Finally, in a newsletter we received just today, according to "governing documents," storing anything in a garage that prevents you from parking your vehicles in the garage is a violation. A garage can't be used for storage, in other words. (I'm sure there are people who store nothing in their garage, but I also know plenty of people who store things in their garage. We certainly do. Units in our housing development don't have attics or basements.)
I've really begun looking forward to moving.

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