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HOA Hate: Why I Don’t Like Home Owners’ Associations

I never thought I’d live in a home owners’ association (HOA) community. Then I moved in with my love. Now neither of us want to live in a HOA community ever again. Here’s why.

My mom taught me not to use the “H” word, not even for something benign like a undesirable veggie. She felt the “H” word was too strong of a word. So I feel really badly about saying “I hate HOAs”, but really, there is no other way to express my feelings. Not saying ”hate” just wouldn’t be strong enough.  The following expresses my personal feelings, which are shared for entertainment purposes only. 

Here are my top 5 reasons for not feeling love for HOAs:

1) I can’t figure out their purpose. Mine has never been of assistance to me, a home owner. In fact, they only cause negative feelings of frustration and disbelief. So who does a home owners’ association represent? And what exactly do they do? Can anyone tell me what their purpose is?

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2) I am required to pay dues to the HOA, yet the HOA intentionally does not send bills or payments reminders for the quarterly dues. Once I called and asked “Why haven’t you been sending payment reminders? With people’s busy schedules these days, it is sometimes difficult to remember when quarterly bills are due. A reminder would be of great benefit for you and me.” They just said, “A bill would be a courtesy.” Me: “So could you please be courteous and send a bill to help me remember?”. HOA: “We are not required to send a reminder or bill.” They were being stubborn, and never directly answered my question. Needless to say, still no billing reminders are being sent.

3) I am paying them to not send me payment reminders so they can make more money out of me. If you look at my HOA’s budget, they actually want people to pay late on their quarterly bills. Why? Well, if you pay late, you will be charged an extra $100. And in their budget, they account for 5 people paying late at any given time. They need that money to pay their own overhead costs. Without people paying late, they could not stay within their budget.

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User Comments
  1. Catelin Hoover

    On March 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Whew! You have my sympathies on this one. Sure glad I steered clear of such entanglements when I moved to OR. I may have had to deal with a lot of cheap installations on behalf of the seller of this adorable little house, but these are things I can fix. I still have a lot of surprises, but that is okay. And I can let my landscaping do as it will…good thing too with all this rain, hasn’t been dry enough to mow the front driveway strip!

  2. Juhls

    On March 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Catelin – Thanks for the comment! Your home sounds very cozy and sweet. Hehe, I love lawns that aren’t too “perfect”. Enjoy the rain!!

  3. Inna Tysoe

    On March 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Sounds like a nightmare!


  4. Passion For Living

    On March 22, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I agree with Inna Tysoe, this really sounds like a nightmare. But I think you are just unlucky to have a HOA like this. I have lived in a community before where the HOA was really good; our youth organization worked hand in hand with our HOA. You are just unlucky on this darling. Hope you can resolve issues with your HOA so you can live in your place without annoyance and hassles. Goodluck.

  5. Ruby Hawk

    On March 23, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I published an article about this very thing a few months ago. HOA’s can be trouble and you have very little recourse.

  6. Fresh Writing

    On April 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Jeez…quite a tangle of unfortunate events (all of them leading from those darn HOA’s!). My best wishes for success in the future!

    -Fresh Writing

  7. Elizabeth Abbott

    On April 7, 2009 at 12:21 am

    They can often make you or brake you! Stand firm with your convictions. They know that there is power in numbers! Great article. Wonderful way of shedding light on them!

  8. Phill Senters

    On April 7, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve heard countless horror stories about HOAs. I very happy to be living in the Forrest where there are none.

  9. Juhls

    On April 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    @ Phill: You are very lucky, Phill! Next house – I want to be in the forrest : ). Skogfjorden here I come.

    @ Elizabeth, Fresh Writing, Ruby, Toni, & Inna: Thanks for your support!

  10. Ray

    On April 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Excellent article, Juhls. We made sure not to move into a HOA area because of the reasons you cite.

  11. Caroline1957

    On April 9, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Very good article,my sympathies are with you.

  12. Jo Oliver

    On April 16, 2009 at 10:10 am

    HOA is there to ensure “class” division and ensure conformity within the groups that can afford the property. In other words, the snooty people get to ensure that no one can build a home that is bellow their own standards. They also ensure their property value remains at a constant by making it impossible for anyone that can afford the property can not devalue their own home or build a lesser value home in the community. In other words, the snooty people get to ensure that no one can build a home or let their home become bellow their own standards. They ensure their property value remains at a constant by making it impossible for anyone to devalue their own home or build a lesser value home in the community. The HOA has seen the fiscal opportunity of charging outlandish fees either out of their own greed or in an attempt to keep the rift raft away. As long as people are sucked in by the pools, clubs, and safe environment the HOA creates….they will continue to make life miserable for those just seeking a “good” living environment.

    Great article and subject!

  13. Juhls

    On April 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Caroline: Thanks for your sympathy!

    Jo: Wow! Thanks for the insight! I can see the truth in your research. I feel much of the rules and regulations are very petty. It is unfortunate because technically, as you said, the neighborhood is a “good living environment”, but with the craziness of my HOA, it turns lovely living into frustrating living at times.

  14. hiho

    On April 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I’m from New Zealand but living in Australia so I don’t know much about HOAs. You might find the following websites useful: – ask the HOA expert;;

  15. Juhls

    On April 16, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Hiho!! Thanks for the links — I’ll have to look into it.

    Unrelated: I love New Zealand (although I’ve only been to your home country twice), and I am excited to visit Australia some day.

  16. ladybaby

    On April 20, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I think I’d rather be homeless than to have to live in such strict conditions. How can you feel at home when others are calling all the shots on how you have to live? There is no freedom in that kind of life.

  17. writing4angels

    On May 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    A very thought provoking article. thank you.

  18. What goes around comes around

    On March 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    They should send you the bill for the new annual membership fee and the budget laying out all the expenses for the past year since it could be more or less each year. Some people did not do their job properly or being lazy. The more I read about the sufferings of many innocent people who have been mistreated by their HOAs, the more it makes me feel sorry. I wish that there is a way we can get rid of those HOAs, or there will be a law to protect the innocent homeowners from those HOAs. I’ve heard there are a lot of HOA board DICTATORS out there who think that they are very powerful and like to control and create problems for the innocent homeowners. They try to dictate people, take away our freedoms, create a lot of pains, cost us a lot of money and possibly lose our homes. To prevent a heart attack and a lot of headaches in the future, I would never ever want to move into an area that has HOA. They can do us more harms than good. HOA is NOT worth it.

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