Spooky Season: Haunting Tales from Communities Across the USA

October 31, 2023
Posted in Blog
October 31, 2023 Sasha Cancél

Managing a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a year-round endeavor, but as the leaves turn golden and the air takes on a chill, it’s the perfect season to gather around in the lobby and share some truly spine-tingling tales from associations across the United States. These stories aren’t just for fright; they are cautionary tales, reminding us that even the most mundane management tasks can turn into nightmares if you don’t have the right tools. Learn about the association horror stories that property managers and boards continue to learn from.

Our investigator found these harrowing tales that involve weird creatures and creepy critters that will make you scream more than a water pipe burst at 3 a.m.:


The Fancy Meth Lab

In the upscale Majestic Towers Condo in Bal Harbour, Florida, residents were shocked to discover a meth lab operating just floors above them. The Miami-Dade police confirmed the existence of the drug processing center, leading to the evacuation of residents from floors 14 to 16. Bomb squads and hazardous materials teams were called in to neutralize the threat. This incident serves as a grim reminder that even in the most luxurious settings, danger can lurk in the shadows. Proper background checks and vigilant security measures are essential for maintaining a safe living environment. 


The Drought-Resistant Rebellion: When HOAs Clash with Environmental Ethics

Fran Paxson, a resident of San Ramon, California, took a stand for environmental responsibility by replacing her lawn with a dry garden filled with drought-resistant plants that required less watering. Despite a new state law against such fines and a rebate from her public water supplier, her HOA insisted on fining her $50 a month until she restored 25% of her lawn. This story underscores the need for HOAs to adapt to broader community and environmental goals, rather than clinging to outdated aesthetic standards.  


The Slithery Scandal

In an area of North Phoenix where wild reptiles are a common sight, one couple faced an HOA battle over their own pet snakes. Despite the HOA board deeming these reptiles as livestock and demanding their removal, the couple fought back. They invoked their right to access the HOA’s financial records, leading the board to back down and allowing them to keep their pets. This story serves as an inspiring example of how understanding your rights can empower you to stand up against unjust HOA decisions (even though having a neighbor packing his home with reptiles doesn’t sound too reassuring, to be honest!).


Poker Face Bust

Between 2011 and 2013, the FBI wiretapped a condo in the iconic Trump Tower in New York City. The target was Vadim Trincher, a World Poker Tour champion, who was later sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in a high-stakes gambling ring connected to the Russian mob. The operation left residents questioning their safety and privacy, emphasizing the need for stringent security protocols and resident screenings.  


The Beavers of Briar Chapel

In North Carolina, the Briar Chapel Community Association made the controversial decision to kill 20 to 35 beavers, believing they were causing high water levels that threatened the community’s infrastructure. The decision led to significant community backlash, as many residents had moved there specifically for its natural environment. The incident highlights the importance of transparent decision-making and community involvement in HOA actions.  


While these stories may send shivers down your spine, they also offer invaluable lessons for HOA management and the importance of having the right property management software, perfect to avoid your own association horror stories. With ONR, you can keep the monsters away by streamlining communication, enforcing bylaws effectively, and maintaining a safer, happier community. Don’t let your HOA turn into a horror story this Halloween; choose ONR and keep it heavenly rather than haunting!

Book a demo today.

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