When you’ve tried diplomacy and pretty much everything else you can think of to get along with someone or something, malicious compliance, aka following the rules to the letter, may be the only thing left in your arsenal. When people who think they know the rules realize they’ve been interpreting them incorrectly for years, the results are spectacular.
Home owners associations can be especially difficult to deal with because they are often very demanding and lack empathy and common sense. Redditor u/Independent- Grape586, a car collector, described what happened when their HOA tried to limit the number of vehicles allowed in a person’s driveway. The story spans a year and is living proof that if you know the law well, you can come out on top.
Scroll down for the full story on the legendary r/Malicious Compliance subreddit, and let us know what you think in the comments, Pandas. Would you have done anything differently? Have you ever had a disagreement with your local HOA? Please notify us! Meanwhile, read what redditor u/Independent-Grape586 told Bored Panda below.
#1 Knowing the law better than they do is one of the best ways to deal with overbearing homeowners associations.
#2 A car collector explained how they beat their HOA at their own game by strictly adhering to the rules.
According to Redditor u/Independent-Grape586, after finally beating their HOA at their own game, they "just went back to living" their life.
Meanwhile, the OP had this to say about dealing with homeowners associations and getting along with one's neighbors: "Don't make assumptions about what the rules mean." "They mean what they say," they explained.
"You and your neighbors agreed to the same ground rules. Some will most likely benefit from a true understanding of them," the story's author stressed the importance of knowing the rules inside and out.
The OP also discussed the significance of automobiles in their lives. "Cars are just a part of me." Some people enjoy painting. Some sort of garden. "I build cars," they explained to Bored Panda.
"Starting small is the best way to start a collection." "I build my cars one at a time, and I never spend money on new cars before completing a project," u/Independent-Grape586 explained.
"Once completed, do not sell it." You'll almost certainly lose money because the cars that the average person can afford to buy cheap and rebuild aren't worth what you had to invest to complete the project."
The OP's story is one of deception and triumph. They demonstrated that their knowledge of the rules was superior to that of their homeowners association.
Following the letter of the law, the redditor convinced their neighbors to petition the HOA to change the driveway regulations to something resembling common sense. It only took a few strategic parking spots. Everything was worthwhile: the OP is now officially allowed to have as many registered vehicles as they want. They're even considering purchasing a few more vehicles!
The first and most important step in dealing with any homeowners association or similar organization is to thoroughly understand your laws and bylaws.
Your HOA may try to dictate everything about your life in the neighborhood, from vehicles in driveways and fence placement to the size of sheds and the length of your grass (freshly baked apple pies not included).
Conflicts are unavoidable. Most people in your neighborhood may have good intentions, but their philosophies and approaches to achieving their goals may differ greatly. We usually believe that our way is the best way, but if you want to get along with your neighbors, everyone will have to compromise on something at some point. The flow of life in the suburbs is one of giving and taking, of gently pushing and pulling. You can't have it all! You shouldn't have to put up with someone constantly pushing your boundaries.
A lot of problems can be solved with effective communication. Even if you are angry with someone, try to be as diplomatic as possible. If you believe that someone is disrespecting you or your home, try to gently but firmly remind them of your personal and physical boundaries.
You never want to appear to be attacking your neighbors because that will only make them defensive, and you will not get any closer to actually resolving any issues. Aim for compromise while staying informed about what's going on in your neighborhood.
In the worst-case scenario, if you believe your HOA is clearly breaking the law and abusing its power, consider consulting with a legal representative to see what options you may have. The mere fact that you are seeking legal counsel may prompt the HOA to seek compromise with you. After all, no one wants to be involved in lengthy and potentially costly legal battles.