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Redditor Slapped With HOA Fine For Doing Emergency House Repairs On A Weekend

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People who buy homes with Home Owner’s Association (HOA) fees are expected as residents to maintain certain standards to ensure the development or condo remains a pleasant community.

Redditor DifficultIdeadoggy and their wife are homeowners who got into a pickle with their HOA after violating a rule they did not agree with.

They visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit after a confrontation with a member from the organization and asked: 

“AITA for pissing off my HOA? They don’t allow home renovations during the weekend.”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My HOA a few weeks ago decided that they will not be allowing home renovations during the weekends, they never gave a sensible reason other than people want to enjoy the weekends without noise or something. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me.”

“Well last Thursday a tree fell onto my shed, crushing it and also destroying my gutters. I don’t have time on weekdays, it was going to take me and my wife quite a while to fix it. She can’t do it alone, so we waited until Saturday morning.”

“We were both too busy with work, and I was out of town until saturday morning so we did it then. To me this didn’t even seem as a renovation, these are emergency repairs.”

“Well we spend about 6 hours and we fix the shed, gutters, replace some shingles, and have someone remove the tree and take the wood away. Well, the HOA is not happy.”

“They sent me a letter saying I need to pay a fine for violating the CCR. I am 100% sure that’s illegal, and they can’t do this. I ignored it.”

“They then came and visited me, and explained to me I’d need to pay a few hundred dollar fine, that this was a violation of the CCR and bla bla bla. I told them ‘what I did was not wrong, I had a serious problem, I had to fix it and was only available on the weekend, now leave me alone and do not ever talk to me ever again about this’ and I shut the door.”

“He comes back with more HOA members and they basically say the same sh*t again and I am getting more and more agitated and I said ‘as I told you before, I did nothing wrong so KINDLY F’K OFF A**HOLE’ and slammed the door.”

“I have been getting more letters saying they wont condone or tolerate my ‘aggressive” behavior.’ F’king ridiculous.”

“I forgot to mention, this isn’t the first time this happened. It happened in Texas a while back”

“No weekend home improvements.”

“The Houston Chronicle shared the story of one of its readers who has an HOA that doesn’t allow homeowners to carry out home improvement tasks on Saturday or Sunday.”

“Isn’t that what weekends are made for? If you live in such an association and want to install gutters or replace your front door, you’ll have to schedule a day off from work to get it done.”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors weighed in with their opinions.

“This is precisely why you never buy a home in an HOA.”

“That ship has already sales though… I’d have taken the malicious compliance route and left the tree and dilapidated shed alone and see how long it took them to complain. Then explain you fix it on the weekend or not at all, their choice.” – MyR3dd1tacc0unt

“NTA, but you need to talk to a lawyer before you decide its illegal. HOAs often have broad and ridiculous powers. People can have their house foreclosed on by them for not paying fines.” – methreezfg

“NTA – I recommend you talk to a lawyer that specializes in HOA lawsuits immediately.”

“These were emergency repairs, not a renovation.”

“HOAs have a tendency to overstep their boundaries to Spawn of Satan level of evil.” – ImFinePleaseThanks

“NTA. Repairs are not renovations. They know this. They are trying to take advantage of the fact that you got stuck in a sh**ty situation to make some money off you.” – Arctic_Puppet

“You were not making a renovation. You were fixing an urgent issue. I would take a really good look at the HOA rules and make your case in writing.”

“You may also research local laws. Where I live you have 7 days to remove a fallen tree. I don’t have an HOA it’s a city ordinance.”

“What recourse does the HOA have? Do you have a pool or other amenities they can lock you out of? HOAs don’t usually have as much legal power as you might think. They can sue, but will they over a few hundred dollars? They of course can constantly annoy you.” – unusedusername3

“I’d consult a lawyer. This isn’t a renovation, this is an emergency situation.”

“And, having lived in an HOA neighborhood before, this is one of those situations where they might fine you for having an ‘unsightly’ tree down in your yard over the weekend, just as easily as fining you for the yard work.”

“NTA but this isn’t a situation that will go away if you continue to escalate it on your own.” – Elainya

This person with firsthand HOA experience shared their opinion.

“HOAs are hell. We have lived in three – kept to ourselves and never had a problem with two. The third one was a small townhome HOA for a total of 6 townhomes.”

“Half of the homes were on the executive board at any point, and the majority of the executive committee (2 out of 3) was needed to push through any agenda.”

“The year we moved in, they pushed through a special assessment of $8K for the roof per family. Two years later, a similar amount for the windows…we sold the townhouse and bought a non-HOA house before that point.”

“The next year? Another special assessment to repaint all of the units. That’s three large special assessments in 3-4 years, all pushed through on the basis of one family who tried to ensure they were always on the executive committee.”

“Being in a non-HOA home ever since has been a delight.” – Quigleychan

Overall, Redditors sympathized with the OP’s situation and agreed the work needing to be done was not a renovation but something that required immediate attention.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1