It's no secret that Homeowner's Associations are some of the most reviled entities in the real estate world. One of the biggest sticking points about HOA's is that it's difficult to get out of paying any upcharges that they levy against their members: if they decide to charge folks, even for "nothing" as some residents claim, contesting these charges can often be an agonizing process.
However one Redditor delineated how their parents managed to get one over on their local Homeowner's Association after a hurricane decimated the roof fn their home.
As a result of the destruction, water began trickling into their home along with bits of debris, necessitating the need for an entirely new roof.
After looking into various roofing companies and options for the home, the Redditor's dad decided it would be a good idea to get a fancy new metal roof because it was more energy efficient than the shingles that they were previously rocking.
Not only would it save them money on power in the long run, but it was also better at withstanding storms and the temperamental weather that could occur in the region. The downside, however, was the same downsize that usually comes with getting a better product: it was pricier than the other option.
Before bringing up the roof repair to the Homeowner's Association, however, OP's parents decided to review their agreement with the entity, which stipulated that metal roofs weren't allowed in the community as of 1989. However, upon further inspection of this particular bylaw, it was evident that the law was specifically referring to dingy, crumby tin roofs and not the type that the Redditor's dad wanted to get.
So they called the HOA and explained their situation to them, to which the HOA said that they would be reviewing the matter as there were several other folks in the community who were looking into metal roofs in order to prevent the same type of damage to their home in the event of another hurricane. Plus, again, energy savings were a big, big plus.
After receiving no responses from the HOA on the approval of the metal roof, they ultimately decided to just start construction on it; they hired a contracting company to install the new metal roof and then got to work.
Since the HOA was spending a lot of money on repairing other damage to the property as a result of the hurricane, however, they were hitting residents with fines left and right.
Including OP's parents, who were told by the HOA to remove the metal roof in addition to being slapped with a $25,000 penalty.
OP said that since his mother was a very "play by the rules" type of person, she was worried sick about the whole affair and spent many sleepless nights stress over the situation.
His father, however, had other plans, and began placing a ton of calls and looked into some very specific research about the fines and how to contest the HOA in a meeting about the penalty along with the removal of said roof.
The meeting, which OP describes as "essentially a 'burn them at the stake'" type of job, probably didn't go the way the Homeowner's Association planned, as his parents came prepared.
OP's mom did the talking in the meeting, since she was of a more calm temperament than their father, and told them that they couldn't make them remove their metal roof.
The board then pointed to the 1989 bylaw in the HOA agreement, thinking that they had their parents' dead to rights.
This wasn't the case though, and OP reveals the ace their parents were holding up their sleeves: "Turns out, there’s a law in Florida stating that an HOA (or really, any regulation) cannot be used to prevent a n eco-friendly improvement from taking place on anyone’s private property. And wouldn’t you know it— the passive solar of the metal roof counts as an eco-friendly improvement."
Their parents worked with the local roofing company who pointed to some letters of accreditation and previous legal cases where HOAs lost their disputes with residents after contesting the installation of eco-friendly roofs.
Since the board was "strapped for cash" at the time, the thought of them getting into a legal battle, where previous precedents indicated they would probably lose, must not have seemed like a chance they were willing to take.
This caused them to ultimately concede to OP's parents' decision to install the metal roof and allow the new home fixture to preside on top of the home.
However, OP's parents didn't stop there, as they also invited several other residents to the meeting who were interested in installing metal roofs.
OP's mom then asked for a call to vote to remove all current residing members of the HOA board and elect herself and her husband as the new board. As it turns out, folks who were sitting in on the meeting absolutely loved the idea and passed a vote that saw a changing of the guard
The Redditor ended their tale by writing: "With that, my parents are now on the all new board, and dad is putting his contract negotiation skills/own craftsmanship skills to work repairing the front entrance. And metal roofs are now allowed by the all new HOA."