May 23, 2024 at 9:20 pm

HOA Wouldn’t Allow A Family To Put Up An Sign In Their Backyard, So The Dad Had To Find A Loophole To Outsmart Them

by Heide Lazaro

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance/Canva

HOAs are notorious for making rules that seem helpful, but are just plain silly.

This story shows what happens when a father wanted to help a small, local business advertise its services, and the hilarious revenge he got at the HOA’s expense.

Would you have done the same thing?

My Father vs. the Home Owners’ Association

I’m a little fuzzy on exactly when this was, but for loose context, it’s 2018-ish.

We’re living in this little two-story in a subdivision in upstate South Carolina, which my parents still own. My family just had a full run of renovations done on the house – kitchen remodel, new floors, wallpaper removed, new paint on the walls, etc.

The folks who painted did an especially good job, and since they were a small, local business, they wanted to know if they could put a little sign in our yard for a few days as advertisement (y’know, those little plastic type yard signs, nothing big or fancy).

My dad was happy to oblige, and showed them where to put it to avoid the sprinkler system. Everything’s great.

It was supposed to be a harmless sign, but…

Two days later, a letter arrives in our mailbox. It’s from the HOA (Home Owners’ Association).

According to the bylaws, no signage can be placed in a yard for more than 24 hours. We hadn’t been planning to leave it up more than a few days, maybe a week at the most, but to be told that supporting a small business was an eyesore came well out of left field.

Get ready for the father’s reaction.

This is the part where I tell you that my father, despite being a very considerate and respectful man, has something of a problem with authority – especially when that authority is arbitrarily telling him what to do on his own property.

First thing he does is pull out his copy of the neighborhood bylaws.

He and my mother both look over it, and lo and behold, the quoted passage does indeed state that “no signage or similar mode of advertisement is to be displayed in a yard for more than 24 hours”.

Wait, there might be more to it than just the no-advertisement line.

Not one to go down quietly, my father took to combing through the applicable section, looking for any loophole he could find.

And he found it in the word “yard”.

All it takes is a little wit to outsmart a HOA agreement.

Two or three days after that, one of the ladies who work for the HOA came down to our house to personally ask us to remove the sign. She and my dad stepped out on the front porch, and must have been out there for nearly half an hour.

I don’t think I heard him say anything other than the occasional “mhmm” or “yes, ma’am” until the very end.

But the sign is not in the yard.

See, the sign was no longer in our yard – it was in the flower bed.

Other parts of the bylaws, even in the cited section, distinguished the flower bed as separate from the yard, and since this particular clause mentioned the yard alone, the flower bed must have been fair game.

And he told this (honestly quite nice) woman as much, without so much as knitting his brows or raising his voice.

The sign stayed in our flower bed, perhaps out of spite, for nearly another month, before we finally took it down.

Do you think it was a smart move? Let’s see what the commenters have to say.

The HOA lady surely didn’t expect it.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Here’s how one commenter would have done it differently.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

If you want to annoy the HOA even more…

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

Here’s a good point about “your house, your rules”.

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

And here’s one commending the father!

Source: Reddit/MaliciousCompliance

If they’re being unreasonable, just be creative.

Find that loophole and stick it up to them.

If you enjoyed that story, read this one about a mom who was forced to bring her three kids with her to apply for government benefits, but ended up getting the job of her dreams.