Class ! Most Satisfying Revenge on the Homeowners Association
6. The man sues HOA and wins
“A good friend of mine inherited his grandparents’ old house. Less than a week after moving in, he was visited by a neighborhood committee. They said they were members of the HOA and they were there for him to sign his membership papers. They were extremely nosy and rude and tried to get into the garage without even asking. When my friend stopped him, the man had the audacity to say, “I need to check your garage, if everything is in order. I have the right to do this every two weeks, and denying me access is an offense that will cost a fine.
My friend got tired of their audacity and kicked them out of the house. One of the board members shoved some papers in his face and told him he had to sign it right away. Once they were gone, he glanced at the papers. They were ridiculous and gave HOAs rights that were simply unreal. For example, they had the right to visit your home every two weeks. You had to mow your lawn every week, you had to shovel the snow every two hours when it snowed (from 5 am). You couldn’t park more than one car on your lot (except inside the garage), and a ton of other drama.
A few days later, they came back and asked him why he hadn’t signed the papers yet. They also wanted to check the garage again. This time he won’t even let them in and tells them he will never become a member of their stupid club. For them, that meant war. Within a week, they had sent him fines of over $1,000 (including several for denying them access to his home, each worth $250). My friend just didn’t take them seriously[ly]and used their silly letters to help light his grill.
Then came the day they left extremely too far. One of the board members broke into his garage, stood there, and wrote things on his notepad. But that wasn’t even the worst. He had two magnificent oak trees in front of the house. They had been planted by his great-grandparents when they were newlyweds and moved into the house. The HOA was removing them. One of them was already so badly damaged that only a stump remained. The other they had just started with. My friend completely lost it. He told the tree crew to pull over immediately and explained to them that he was the owner and that what they had done was highly illegal. They had no idea, since the board member claimed that these trees were breaking the rules.
He told them that he would neglect them in case of trespassing, if they were witnesses for him in court. Then he called the board members cops for trespassing, breaking and entering (they had actually used a bolt cutter to get into the garage).
The process must have been glorious. Not only did they have to reimburse him for the lock and the shaft (which was worth a ton of money, north of $50,000 if I remember correctly), plus damages for the second shaft. But these idiots actually thought the lawsuit would have been unfair and tried to fight it, which probably cost them another $10-15,000 in attorneys and court fees. All in all, this trial must have cost them over $120,000. Then he went to another civil court and sued them for moral damages. He told them how much these trees meant to him, since his great-grandparents had planted them, with seeds from the country of origin (he really put as thick as possible). Also, he felt threatened by the HOA and can barely sleep, as he is always afraid that they will try to enter his house. The court actually bought him and gave him $500,000 plus the costs of a state-of-the-art alarm system, so he could feel safe in his own home again.
So put together, it cost the HOA almost $750,000. They had to declare bankruptcy and have someone check the books for my friend to receive his money. It’s getting better. The ombudsman found out that these three assholes had been defrauding the HOA for over 10 years and were handing out as many fines as possible so they could use it to boost their income. All three had to sell their house to be able to pay my friend. Now he is, for most people, one of the favorite people who live there, and he is constantly invited over for grills and so on.
You see, most people never wanted the HOA in the first place, but the board member practically forced them to sign the contract, saying it wouldn’t be optional, and if they didn’t sign before move, it would be a $500 fine. Only six of the 50+ members actually wanted this HOA.