Over the summer, a picture was floating around on different social media sites and news outlets. Headlines read: “How to Respond When Your Homeowners Association Won’t Let you Fly the American Flag” or “Man Paints House like American Flag in Protest”. The original story was that a homeowner in Cambridge, Maryland was banned from flying an American flag, so in order to stick-it to the Association he painted his house to resemble the American flag. Once the media got ahold of the story it went viral and the real story came out. The house was part of a historical society and when the owner set out to restore the home he was told the windows he chose were not up to the historical code. The owner got angry and knew that there was nothing in the historical code that pertained to paint colors. So to protest what he felt was unfair regulation; he painted his house to match the American flag, thus “sticking-it-to-‘em.”
There are plenty of examples where owners try and make a point by sticking it to someone. How about this one? Certainly sent a message. Or this one where owners paid their mortgage with pennies. Imagine if this would have happened in an HOA. The Historical Society has regulations like an HOA and an approval process like an HOA. Would he have been asked to repaint the house? Pay any legal fees that may have been incurred? Owners may need a gentle reminder that exterior modifications typically require Board or Architectural Committee approval, paint colors included. Have you had any instances where owners thought it would be funny to “get back” at the association and then their plans backfired? Share with us – we’d love to hear.