It’s no secret that one of the biggest heels in real estate is Home Ownership Associations. Property owners loathe them and the rules, fees, and sense of low-level communal power they purportedly lord over people. Social media is filled with horror stories of HOAs either harassing homeowners or levying petty fines for seemingly nonsensical accusations and charges.
Now, a TikToker by the name of Fokes (@that.dude.fokes) shared an HOA post of his own in a viral video. In a TikTok that has amassed over 300,000 likes, he states that his HOA is spending a whopping $65,000 on landscaping fees.
This eyebrow-raising figure leads many viewers to believe that there’s some kind of fraud going on and that whoever is approving these charges is “pocketing” the difference, which is unfortunately all too common when it comes to Home Ownership Associations.
The con is a simple one—members of the HOA give contracts to businesses that they know or own themselves. The work is then performed for a fraction of the cost, and the remaining money given to these businesses is then nabbed by the HOA. This work, of course, is funded by those who live on the properties.
And Fokes believes he’s caught his HOA pulling this exact same con.
@that.dude.fokes HOA’s were invented by racist NIMBY’s and I want all of them destroyed. #hoa #homeowner #scam #legaladvice #whatisgoingon #renovation #diy ♬ Circus – Color Clownies
In a nearly 3-minute clip, he shows the HOA breakdown of these costs, which many other TikTokers on the platform thought looked fishy.
Fokes starts, “All right I’m here to convince you to never move into a community or move into a house where there’s an HOA, and if you do live in a community where there’s an HOA you need to dissolve it as soon as possible.”
He then breaks down the annual costs his HOA is allegedly spending on maintenance and other amenities. After speaking into the camera, the video then transitions to the document Fokes is referring to.
“This is the 2023 budget report that they sent us in the mail and from what I can understand they’re working with $259,842 from all of the dues,” he states. “The quarterly dues, which were $145 when I moved in two years ago, $145 every quarter for the year, it’s now increased to $155 and now they’re increasing it again to $170 every quarter. So the main issue that I have is why are we spending $65,000 on landscaping?” He points out the figure on the sheet.
“I’m not a landscaper, but, the areas that are being cut like grass and whatnot it’s not that much…80% of the land in this area is maintained by the homeowners. Why are we spending $65,000?” he asks.
Fokes then brings up another point involving pool maintenance, saying, “Another thing, contractor services, right here, pool management, $45,000. That’s like how much it costs to build a pool! There’s no way that it costs that much money to manage the pool.”
“Another $5,000 here for pool supplies, repair, and maintenance. So that’s $50,000 allotted for the pool so far, $65,000 for landscaping. 45 for the pool 5,000 for the pool,” he says.
He delineates further why the figures on the sheet sent by the HOA continue to defy financial logic, saying that the money left in the reserve, which is how much money is “left over,” was $58,000.
“But under that, we have expenses from the reserve, we have $61,000 for pools and spas. We don’t have a spa!” he claims. “We don’t have a jacuzzi, we don’t have a hot tub, we have one pool with no deep end. The deepest it gets is five feet. And it’s not an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it’s like an average-sized in-ground swimming pool.”
He concludes, “How are we spending $61,000 plus $50,000 on the pool alone, it’s closed for half of the year. And we’re not landscaping during winter either. So why are we spending…what is going on? We’re in the red $16,000! What is going on?”
He writes in a caption for the video, “HOA’s were invented by racist NIMBY’s and I want all of them destroyed.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Fokes via TikTok comment for further information.
Many TikTokers thought that the breakdown was a clear indication that the HOA was embezzling funds from homeowners. Several urged Fokes and other members in the community to sit in on HOA board meetings to receive an itemized breakdown of all the costs associated with these figures.
“They definitely misappropriating/embezzling funds,” a top comment read. Another wrote, “I’m VP of our HOA .. go to the meeting & ask the questions. I didn’t agree with the HOA spending so I ran for the board. Be part of the solution.”
Someone else penned, “The fact all those prices are nice round numbers makes it pretty obvious someone is just pocketing the money.”
Another said they’ve seen other TikTokers document their own issues with their respective HOAs, writing, “I saw somewhere on tiktok of a women dealing with the same. Management was pocketing and writing off personal things. She was able to see actual receipts not a breakdown.”