*Gladys Kravitz: [looking out the window] There are two of them, Abner. Both women, one older. Maybe a sister, maybe a mother. Come take a look, Abner.
Abner Kravitz: Leave me alone. I’m retired. *
Little did the writers of the 1960’s sitcom Bewitched know,their nosey neighbor character, Gladys Kravitz would be in neighborhoods throughout the world. And there would be multiple of them, and they would actually have the power to fine their neighbors for doing things not to their liking. Many HOAs have a Gladys Kravitz, but they don’t all have Abners who can keep them in check.
Here is a link to a video if you aren’t familiar with the show.
I went searching this afternoon for stories of crazy HOA rules and stories, and after reading a few websites and Reddit threads, I realized I could be engrossed in the stories for days. Some stories seemed fairly tame, like, “I can’t paint my house any color that I want.” Duh, that’s a pretty general rule of living in an HOA.
However, I found one that made believe that someone posted it on the Reddit thread as satire.
The neighborhood only gets two garage sales per year, (April and September) and there is a dress code for certain neighborhood activities. So that means if there is any garage sale, birthday party at the park, swimming pool guests, etc, the residents and guest have to adhere to certain attire guidelines.
For garage sales, we have to wear striped orange Polos and khaki. ($30 *Fine)
You cannot share towels at the swimming pool, even if they are family. Everyone must bring their own.($25 Fine)**
There cannot possibly be a rule to dress like a* hot dog vendor to hold a garage sale. Can there? Also there are plenty of swimming rules, some for safety, some to keep the pool clean, but a rule about towels cannot be serious. Or maybe it is. Seems pretty crazy to makeup.
I also found this story that’s dripping with irony. Yeah rules against signs in the front yard is pretty universal, but it seems like whoever didn’t exclude for sale signs was a little shortsighted. I’m sure board members won’t like that rule when it comes time to sell their house.
When Denise Hicks placed a “For Sale” sign in front of her Lebanon, Tennessee, residence, the Spence Creek homeowners association quickly reprimanded her for a breach of contract, citing a rule prohibiting signs, banners or billboards. Ultimately, Hicks was forced to display her realtor’s signs in her home’s windows, hidden from view. Read the rest here.
It’s nerve-wracking to just read about the pettiness that happens in an HOA, and it’s one thing to have to deal with a neighbor’s remarks, but when fines start piling up, it’s another issue. It seems fair to wonder why people get upset over things. For an interesting read on the psychology of pettiness, check out this article. It often has to do with emotional intelligence, and we are all guilty of it.
So maybe you have nosey neighbors , but hey according to this article from the Huffington Post sometimes it’s good.
We want to hear about your stories.