Random Inkings

January 4, 2008

Condo Associations

Filed under: Random — Little Miss @ 8:54 am

Since I’m brain dead today and can’t think of anything better than this, let’s continue on: Condo associations, or home owner associations (HOA). Do you live in one? What do you think of them?

I’ve lived in them now for almost twenty years (four different locations). I think their original value proposition was noble – to maintain architectural uniformity and keep up standards of appearance, like no refrigerators on your front porch, and no disabled cars on your front lawn next to the RV that’s parked in front of your purple and chartreuse house.

However, they’ve turned into a feeding ground for petty anarchists, control freaks, and people who have nothing better to do than to focus on everyone else. The intelligent, fair ones who should be running them can’t be bothered with the petty politics and game playing involved. I’ve been on the board of three different associations (two of them as their president) and the situation is the same. They focus on rules enforcement for stupid things, and unfairly enforce them at that. There’s no neighborliness in them at all, unless you are their “friend”. For example, doing my yard work is difficult for me any more. The husband of one of the board members goes about his yard, and those of his friends, mowing it and edging it for them. Me? No help whatsoever, although I live three houses from them. He’s even helped my neighbor with her yard. I get a letter from the property manager instead to “get rid of the weeds in my lawn”. Whatever.

My next home will be where there is no HOA. Then I can do what the hell I want. Oh, wait. I do that already.



  1. I don’t know how you do it, LM. They’re probably staring at your house right now through binoculars, checking to see if the fallen leaf count in your yard exceeds the maximum. Thank goodness that you’re doing it your way– what are they going to do, evict you? Can they fine you? And shame on your unhelpful neighbor.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — January 4, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  2. Our subdivision has a Homeowner’s Association. All I have seen the dues go for in the past 20+ years is draining and cleaning the many ponds we have or cutting down diseased or fallen trees. One of the long-time board reps lived in a house that he painted (badly) over the years in mustard, robin’s egg blue, pinkish, etc. Uggggggly and an eyesore, but guess no rules on that! I don’t even know if the rules were ever distributed so it’s anyone’s guess what they are.

    Comment by Bev (BjP) — January 4, 2008 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  3. MB: They ARE looking. No, they can’t evict me, but yes, they can fine me after a couple warnings. But they’d have to fine others as well and all I have to do is scream discrimination – which they’ve done to me in the past – and they shut up. It helps when one is smarter than they are. Oh, and in Washington state, if you don’t pay your fines, they can’t foreclose on your home, but that is not true for other states, such as California. It’s really scary.

    Bev: I pay not so much in dues, but they refuse to clear away the debris (leaves, alder saplings) and stuff from common area that borders my home and my neighbor’s home. All because they can’t see it they don’t think they should have to manage it. But the same area next to said homeowner who plays favorites – that area is immaculate. Hmmm. Wonder why?

    Comment by Little Miss — January 4, 2008 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  4. You should start keeping a nepotism file labeled “Nepotism File” and use photographs and exact dates and times to chronicle the nepotism going on in your neighborhood. Charts, and lots of maps with arrows would be good, too. Make plenty of copies and present it at a condo meeting. Then, to make sure they’ll never stop talking about you, while they’re reading over the file, stand up and demand that a bylaw be added that prohibits the mowing of anyone’s lawn by a third-party source for gratis, and all home owners be required to present receipts and cashed checks for all lawn services rendered.
    That would be so awesome! Will you do it? I would totally do this. I doubt you will, though. You seem to be a better person than I am.

    Comment by Wendy — January 5, 2008 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  5. I should TOTALLY do this, Wendy. My neighbor (whose lawn he mowed) came over to me one day and in conversation said, “Well, you know you ARE the neighborhood outcast.” Like I give a shit. Hmmm. I just might do this… I will have to ponder it. What could they do to me? NOTHING. What makes this all worse is that I was the first president of this association. I knew what I was doing, how to run a business, how to manage it fairly, and when I wouldn’t vote yes to something that was obviously UNfair, they started conspiring behind me. Politics at its ugliest. The negativity was so horrible, I quit. But your idea ROCKS. I would so be laughing at them all the way home, and they wouldn’t even know I was laughing AT them. Idiots.

    Comment by Little Miss — January 5, 2008 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  6. You were the original president?! Oh my god, then you must do this. Now I’m ever madder. I’m outraged. In addition to keeping your file, you should also choose a member of the board that does NOT own a dog. Then you can make an anonymous call to the MSPCA and report that you witnessed him beating his dog and about a half-hour later saw him carrying a trash bag out to his car which you believe to have contained the dog’s remains. When the MSPCA goes to investigate and demands to see his dog, he will of course be unable to produce one and will find himself embroiled in a horrible mess. Notify all the local newspapers, and also some dog group that is especially passionate about their breed, like the greyhound adoption people. Tell them the dog your neighbor beat was an elderly greyhound. Then get a bag of popcorn, pull a chair up to the window, and settle in to watch all the fun!

    Comment by Wendy — January 6, 2008 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  7. […] You Suck Filed under: Random — Little Miss @ 11:51 am A few months ago, I wrote about Condo Associations and how I hate the one I live in. My neighbors are fine, it’s the lady who manages the […]

    Pingback by Ms Property Manager: You Suck « Random Inkings — June 8, 2008 @ 11:51 am | Reply

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