So you find the perfect neighborhood, and locate the ideal house. You move in and start meeting the neighbors. Someone invites you over for coffee, and you sit out on the porch. You’ve purchased your little slice of the American dream.
One day you come home to find a simple letter, folded in half and placed in your mailbox. As you walk up the drive to your lovely home, your curiosity gets to you and you unfold your letter. It’s from the Keep our Neighborhood Beautiful Homeowner’s Association. You suddenly realize you didn’t know there was an HOA in this neighborhood. The lovely folks at Keep our Neighborhood Beautiful would like you to move your green garbage receptacle out of site from the street. That seems reasonable enough, so you lug the green smelly thing down the hill toward the back of your home, and stick it in a small alcove. It’ll be more work now to get to and from, not to mention dragging it up to the curb on Tuesday mornings, but it’s worth it.
The following week, another letter appears. You quickly look toward your lovely home and cannot see your green garbage receptacle, so you assume a mistake has been made. But no, it’s your grass. You see, the HOA feels your edging is not up to snuff. Some of the blades have overgrown the curb, ruining the beauty of the street. You realize your yard work this weekend will be a little more involved than it normally is. Well, we’ve got to Keep our Neighborhood Beautiful. For the first time, you wonder who puts these letters in your mailbox.
As you pull up to your mailbox the following week, grass neatly trimmed and street view receptacle free, you fear no additional letters. However, as you open the box, there sits the folded paper. Perhaps it’s a pat on the back for a job well done. Actually, it’s a new bylaw, passed unanimously by the board last week. No satellite dishes can be visible from the street. Additionally, there will be no leaving of Yard Trimmings Bags on the curb for more than 24 hours. There have also been several complaints about dogs running free in the front yard. While the HOA realizes some people have invisible fences that keep the dogs in the front yard, passers by would not be aware of this and may be startled by the presence of your vicious Shih Tzu.
You feel a certain amount of rage building as your Beautiful Neighborhood starts getting under your skin. That night, your wife lets you know that she received the HOA Quarterly at the Wives Club meeting last night. The HOA has a Quarterly? What does it say? Well, it lists violations of the bylaws over the last quarter and asks politely for our immediate attention to them. The HOA does not want to have to start naming names in the HOA Quarterly.
The list of indiscretions is quite extensive:
- Cats in the neighbors yard – 1 offense
- Mailbox replacement needed – 1 offense
- Tree leaning over road – 1 offense
- Yards need maintenance – 36 offenses
- Vehicle parked on grass – 5 offenses
- Large cage in backyard – 1 offense
- Homeowner removed tree and dumped in canal – 1 offense
- Political signage violation – 13 offenses
- Internet cable exposed – 1 offense
- Dogs Barking – 17 offenses
- Dying shrubbery in yard – 2 offenses
- Yard debris blowing into street – 10 offenses
- Car parked on street overnight – 5 offenses
- Christmas lights on house 4 months post Christmas – 4 offenses
- Garage doors open – 3 offenses
- Homeowner revving engine repeatedly – 1 offense
- Dead tree in yard – 2 offenses
- Homeowner burning leaves and other yard debris – 1 offense
Maybe this wasn’t the perfect neighborhood after all. Such scandalous behavior.