Reddit | ReservoirKat

Homeowner's Association Fines Car Owner Over Suggestive Shape In Parking Spot

The funny thing about homeowner's associations is that most people buy homes in search of some control over their lives. When you're a renter, you generally have to abide by the rules set up by your landlord or superintendent. You usually have to put up with the wall colors they choose, the carpets they install, and so on. In your own home, you can change that stuff all you want.

A homeowner's association takes away a lot of that freedom. There must be a good reason why people join them though, right?

Homeowner's associations definitely aren't for everyone.

Unsplash | Peter Gonzalez

They can get some big things done, pooling the resources of everyone involved to do things like get the neighborhood plowed or bring in lawn maintenance or maintain a community pool or green space.

But they also come with some baggage that often rubs people the wrong way, especially rules and regulations. And that's where things got weird at a Tennessee homeowner's association.

A ridiculous complaint to the homeowner's association left a couple so confused and amused that they had to post on Reddit about it.

Unsplash | John Volante

As the Reddit user, going by the username ReservoirKat explained in a post, she and her husband left their house one morning after a light snow overnight, thinking it would just be another ordinary day, but a few days later they a letter from the homeowner's association about that snowy day saying they were being fined.

"They aren't very specific at first," her post reads, "but they are saying it's about the snow and our cars. We are very confused."

Reddit | ReservoirKat

"There is not enough snow to shovel, as you will soon see. Finally after a few back and forth emails, they simply send us a picture 'describing the problem.'"

It's easy to see from the photo above why she titled her post "HOA is fining me for something beyond my control."

Lest anybody doubt that the HOA was a bit uptight, the emails themselves are pretty revealing.

ReservoirKat shared the actual email chain with Jalopnik.

"We are emailing you in regards to a recent incident involving your car on January 23rd," the first one read. "We have received reports that it is in violation of our by-laws. We have photographic evidence regarding this fact. Please know that you will be fined $100 in accordance with regards to our by-laws about displaying offensive images or slogans."

Is anybody else a bit skeptical about the "offensive image" here?

The next email, sent after ReservoirKat understandably asked for some clarification, is even more revealing.

"We are referring to the incident on January 23rd, in which we had a small snow overnight. Your car, specifically the Honda, left this offensive image on the ground after you left. I believe you will see why we have had complaints about it. One of our residents took the photo and reported it to us out of concern for our younger residents."

So, they acknowledged that ReservoirKat and her hubby hadn't actually intentionally formed and fashioned that shape on their parking spot.

The car left it there, not them. And frankly, it seems like that dark, damp spot on the pavement is more of a Rorschach test than anything.

If people are seeing vaguely phallic shapes there, doesn't it seem like they're looking for vaguely phallic shapes?

Needless to say, ReservoirKat refused to pay the fine.

"I died laughing y'all," she wrote on Reddit. "This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of being fined for, and we flat out told them we weren't paying. Eventually, they realized we were serious about not paying, and since there were no by-laws on the books about something like this, they dropped it."

After reviewing their by-laws and finding that, in fact, they didn't have a leg to stand on, the HOA backed down.

Honestly, it's kind of a miracle that lawyers didn't get involved here. A militant homeowner's association is not the sort of thing you want to be targeted by! Even over something as ridiculous as this.

h/t Jalopnik