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I Can't Do WHAT?! 10 Outrageous Homeowners Association Rules

09/22/2010 12:34 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I understand the need for homeowners associations, but sometimes they take their power a little too far (and your crabby neighbor is quick to sell you out).

Here are 10 examples of HOA rules that got a little out of hand.

1. No Hurricane Shutters: My friend's parents live in Florida, and even though this state probably sees more hurricanes than any other part of the country, they're not allowed to leave up hurricane shutters because it's an "eyesore." They must install them right before the storm (because, you know, you have plenty of time to do that while Mother Nature is hurtling at your doorstep), and take them down afterward.

2. Must Be Cool: Being an artist, living in the coolest, hippest (and most expensive) neighborhood in NYC sounds awesome, right? Well, in a particular building, the tenants must be considered "on-the-verge artists" and have their craft approved by the board. Does the board not understand what "on-the-verge" implies? Hello, those crafters aren't making money yet!

Also (same building, mind you) you can't wear high heels in the house because of the noise. How can you be hip without heels?

3. No Structures Allowed: Neighbors are paranoid that POD in your backyard might be a meth lab. Hey, it could happen.

4. Laundry On The Line: So what if laundry dried on a clothesline is one of the best smells in the world (and saves energy)? No one wants to see granny's panties flapping in the wind.

5. Neutral Only: You're going to have to find other ways to spruce up your exterior because in some neighborhoods, you can only have neutral colors for your doors and trim.

6. No Weinermobiles Allowed: In a lot of neighborhoods, you better have a garage if you drive a commercial vehicle.

7. No Smoking ... In Your Own Home: Sure, smoking's bad for you, but when you can't do it in your own home, where can you light one up?

8. Fence & Hedge Nazis: Must be this color, must be this height, must be this material. Yikes! I bet those neighborhoods look like they're straight out of "Pleasantville."

9. Shingles Must Be the Same, Even If You're Home Has Been Hit By a Plane: A man in Florida went through a devastating event in which a plane crashed into his home, killing his wife and infant son. But the HOA had no sympathy for him and slapped him with a fine while he was rebuilding his home because the shingles didn't match.

10. Kids, Pack Up That Lemonade Stand: Sorry kiddos, your adorable attempt at making money this summer has been banned from the mean ol' HOA.

Do you have to abide by Homeowners' Association Rules? What are some of the most ridiculous ones you've heard of?

Written by Brittny Drye on CafeMom's blog, The Stir.