The Scandalous Swing Set
The first of our horror stories takes place in 2013 when a family in Missouri installed a backyard swing set and finished the wood with a muted purple stain. They thought the finish would go nicely with the purples and reds of their trees in the Fall. Unfortunately, their HOA found it unacceptable. What followed was an escalating series of fines and letters threatening legal action and even jail time, all over a swing set color choice. Once the case actually got to court, the judge quickly ruled in favor of the homeowners, and they kept their swing set.
As mentioned in this Consumer Affairs write-up, the family celebrated with a victory barbecue, which was also attended by their neighbors—the very homeowners that the home association supposedly represented. The family in this story was able to stand up and fight, but if you belong to an HOA, then you may want to make sure your potential swing set project meets their criteria. Here’s a list of 12 backyard swings everyone will enjoy. Just be sure to run them by your HOA before you get started!
When Angela and Jason Mitchell’s home was destroyed in a fire, they knew it would take time to rebuild their lives. They never dreamed that it would take nine months to simply get their homeowners association problems to accept their new home’s design. As detailed in this Houston Chronicle article, the disputes began over details as simple as brick color and devolved over time into increasingly open to interpretation HOA regulations.