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‘Lawyer up and quick. They could take your house’: 5 HOA horror stories

‘Everyday I’m reminded of why I’m so grateful we don’t have an HOA.’

 

Ljeonida Mulabazi

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While it is said that HOAs exist to serve the neighborhood and maintain peace and harmony within a community, more often than not, that does not seem to be the case.

Since gaining significant momentum and popularity in the 1960s, homeowners’ associations have received countless complaints for overreaching and enforcing unreasonable rules.

According to a 2023 YouGov survey, 61% of American adults say they wouldn’t prefer to live in an HOA community, 14% said they would, and 24% said they don’t have a preference or aren’t sure. 

Given that social media often mirrors real life, it’s no surprise there have been several reports of people frustrated with their respective HOAs. 

Let’s break down five of the worst HOA horror stories we could find on TikTok. 

Getting sued by her HOA for $10,000

woman speaking with caption 'I am currently getting sued by my HOA' (l) Homeowners Association paper on wooden surface with toy house (c) woman speaking with caption 'I ain't got $950 per month just for my HOA' (r)
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock @chantellerose_/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

TikToker Chantelle Rose (@chantellerose_) shared her story of being sued by her HOA for $10,000, urging others to avoid HOA communities.

In her viral video posted last year, she explains that her Atlanta home’s HOA fees skyrocketed from $200 to $450 monthly with no additional services. 

Rose stated the HOA later added a $500 monthly fee for waterproofing costs, bringing her total to $950 per month.

Unable to keep up with the payments, Rose then says she reached out to her HOA to inform them of that. Instead of putting her in some kind of payment plan, Rose stated the HOA proceeded to sue her, demanding not only the owed fees but also lawyer costs, bringing her total debt to $10,000. Rose warns viewers: “Do not ever get a home with an HOA.”

In the comments, users urged Rose to immediately get a lawyer and countersue, which she seems to have done not long after, according to her more recent updates on TikTok

Condo owner says HOA is charging everyone $11,000

Woman talking(l+r), HOA graphic(c)
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock @britbbooks/Tiktok (Licensed)

Britney Brawdy (@britbbooks) posted a viral TikTok stating she’s scared of losing her condo due to drastic HOA fee increases.

“On April 23, we got a letter that changed our lives,” she says.

The letter, Brawdy says, revealed a $17 million shortfall in the HOA’s reserves. Because of that, her monthly HOA fee jumped from $414 to $651, and starting June 1, it would rise to $1,824. Additionally, she faces a “special assessment fee” of $15,569 due in just two months. 

“Who has thousands of dollars lying around?” she asks, noting that her full-time job doesn’t allow her to have this amount of money in savings.

Brawdy desperately asks for support and hopes to raise awareness. “I just hope my story can raise awareness… and that there can be a positive outcome,” she adds. However, she anticipates having to sell her condo below market value.

Commenters on TikTok suspect foul play, suggesting the board might be trying to force residents out to redevelop the property.

Homeowner learns HOA of 25 years is fake 

Homeowner learns neighborhood’s HOA has been fake for 25 years
@notalisonthanks/TikTok Andrey_Popov/ShutterStock (Licensed)

TikToker Alison (@notalisonthanks) posted a video puzzlingly stating her neighborhood’s HOA of 25 years was fake. 

In the clip, Alison explains she received a letter from Claire, who claimed to be the HOA president retiring after 25 years. Alison’s husband was baffled, saying, “We don’t have an HOA.” Later, Alison says she found that residents had been paying $60 annually to the supposed HOA, with little to show for it.

After contacting an attorney, Alison confirmed there hadn’t been a legal HOA since 2009. She announced a “neighborhood town hall meeting in Claire’s driveway,” strongly urging homeowners in her community to attend.

Woman says her HOA ‘stalked’ her

Print outs of emails and social media screengrabs(l+r), Woman talking to camera(c)
@ellereiner/Tiktok @ellereiner/Tiktok

TikToker Elle Reiner (@ellereiner) recently shared her disturbing experience with her HOA in Phoenix, claiming they “stalked” her social media and sent her a $500 fine along with screenshots of her TikToks.

“POV your HOA President stalks your social media and sends you printed screenshots along with $500 fines,” Reiner wrote in the overlay of her video, adding in the caption, “Its giving ‘obsessed.’”

In follow-up videos, Reiner told her viewers the HOA president took even more alarming actions, including attempting to enter her house without permission and contacting her husband’s co-worker to report supposed rule violations. 

Reiner has since sought legal advice and contacted the police about the HOA’s actions, hoping they bring forth consequences. 

Homeowner questions HOA spending

Resident advises against moving into a community with an HOA
Resident advises against moving into a community with an HOA

TikToker Fokes (@that.dude.fokes) shared a viral video exposing his HOA’s questionable spending, sparking concerns of possible fraud.

“All right I’m here to convince you to never move into a community or move into a house where there’s an HOA,” Fokes begins.

He breaks down the 2023 budget report, showing his quarterly dues rose from $145 to $170. “Why are we spending $65,000 on landscaping?” he asks, noting most areas are maintained by homeowners themselves.

He also questions the $45,000 for pool management and $5,000 for pool supplies. “There’s no way that it costs that much money to manage the pool,” he says. Fokes highlights other dubious expenses, including $61,000 for pools and spas, despite having no spa. “We don’t have a jacuzzi, we don’t have a hot tub,” he emphasizes.

Fokes concludes, “How are we spending $61,000 plus $50,000 on the pool alone? What is going on?” He captions his video, “HOA’s were invented by racist NIMBY’s and I want all of them destroyed.”

 
The Daily Dot