I have had a love-hate relationship with HOAs over the past twenty years of homeownership.
Homeowners’ associations can either be keepers of the peace and enforcers of neighborhood justice, or they can be ruthless bureaucracies that are rife with corruption, cronyism, and forceful overreach.
My first experience really fell in the latter category. It happened while I was in my early teen years, when my parents had moved my siblings and I from a medium sized house to a condo in a subdivision. They wouldn’t allow us a swing set in the backyard, and they would give my parents citations if they caught us using our slip and slide for longer than an hour a week. My current homeowners’ association is the exact opposite. They mow everyone’s grass and go out of their way to accommodate the residents in my community. When there are property disputes between neighbors, they have consistently stepped in and diffused the situation as hastily as possible. Unfortunately, they are strict with what everyone can put on the outside of our houses, and that includes window a/cs. They do not want any of the residents in our community to put window a/cs in outdoor windows, regardless of how current the machines might be. On the other hand, I can understand why they would want us to do this. Letting this practice go on unevaluated, would result in ugly looking homes. On the other hand, now I have to figure out some other way of cooling my sunroom during the summertime. I feel I will have to break down and buy a ductless mini split, however, that could cost me close to $2000 with parts and labor fees during the installation.