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 as well as enforcers of neighborhood justice, or they can be ruthless bureaucracies that are rife with corruption, cronyism, as well as forceful overreach.
My first experience absolutely 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 condo to a house in a subdivision. They wouldn’t allow us a swing set in the backyard, and would give my parents citations if they caught us using our slip and slide for longer than a few minutes, once a week. My new 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 always stepped in and diffused the situation as swiftly as possible. Unfortunately, they are strict about what people put on the outside of their houses, and that includes window air conditioners. They do not want any of the residents in our community to put window air conditioners in outdoor windows, regardless of how new the machines might be. On the other hand, I can understand why they would want to do this. Letting this practice go unchecked could result in ugly looking homes. On the other hand, now I have to figure out some other way of cooling my sunroom during the summers. I guess I will have to break down and buy a ductless mini split, but that could cost me close to $2000 with parts, and work fees during the installation.