Whenever the news media start trolling for stories about HOA abuse, they seem to be buried with them. This was one of many uncovered by reporter J. David McSwane, of Denver’s Westword Magazine.
He reports that Angela Quinn, a resident in an HOA in Western Washington, was told she could not have an air conditioner in her rental home. She says her neighbor had an A/C unit, and since she was in her third trimester of pregnancy, she figured she could install one in a back window which was not visible from the street.
Angela acknowledges that she has tangled with her HOA in the past, once when she complained about the poor drainage in a mosquito infested pond across the street, once over the state of her lawn, and another time when trash cans weren’t properly stored.
So, Angela shouldn’t have been surprised when she got a letter from her HOA with a picture of her non-conforming A/C unit taken from the back of her house.
Homeowners Associations were created to maintain the appearance of neighborhoods. But it’s a short step from there to micro-managing of affairs of certain homeowners.
Angela says she has rented her home for the past four years, which may actually be her biggest problem. HOAs just don’t like renters. Across the country there are many stories about HOA managers who seem to concentrate their energies on harrassing residents of rental properties, apparently to encourage them to find homes elsewhere.