We’re currently renting a nice house in an upper middle class neighborhood.

The landscaping around the house annoys me somewhat, because there is a section of grass in the front near the street and a larger section of grass in the backyard. We’re in a desert. Of course, there are rules from the HOA telling us how often we have to water the grass to maintain the appropriate level of green.

So, we’ve been watering the bare minimum that we can get away with.

There are also a number of trees and flowering shrubs in front, along the sides of the house, and in the backyard. These are desert-adapted plants. That makes me happy.

Last week, we received a notice from the HOA.

This is a planned community created and governed by deed restrictions. The purpose is to ensure that your neighborhood continues as a well-maintained community with enhanced property values.

The following non-compliance issue with respect to your property was noted:

It has been reported that bushes are missing. Please install additional landscaping in your front yard pursuant to the Design Guidelines or approved landscape submittal. (emphasis as received)

Bushes are missing? I would love to know how many we are supposed to have. And how they counted. The large number of flowering shrubs between our driveway and the home to the west are firmly on our side of the boundary. There are many additional shrubs directly in front of the house and in the yard to the east. (And I am super curious about all the homes on the street that have fewer shrubberies than do we. Indeed, some have none at all, and only a couple cactus or century plants. Did they all receive notices?)

Well, we’re renting. The only time this becomes my problem is when the landlord has people all over my space to install more shrubs. That aren’t needed. That I am then responsible for watering.


So, tonight’s poll: HOAs. Do you have one? Would you ever own a home where there is one? Would you be the neighbor who tattles when someone’s grass is 1/4″ too tall? Or walk around counting shrubs?