Woman spray-paints own house with Hitler graffiti

Frustrated by recent run-ins with her homeowners association over her inability to pay dues, 45-year old Sheila Jones of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida spray-painted this message on the side of her house: "Hitler would be a welcome neighbor here. Stop the harassment to my family."


  1. If one or two of the most active officers in the home owner’s association happen to be Jewish, this would be hate speech. Perhaps she Godwined herself.

  2. I love the response of the president of the homeowner’s association: “Any painting that does not conform with current (by-laws) should get approval.”

    Yeah, that’s the problem. Non-conformist house-paint.

  3. HOAs love to put liens on the property of homeowners who do not pay their dues. This will result in the HOA owning the home themselves, unless the bank gets to it first. I understand her sentiment. I won’t live in an area where I have to pay someone to tell me how to live. Some of the rules makes sense, in order to keep the neighborhood looking nice, but others are just idiotic and draconian and lord help you if you don’t follow them. People should not be able to seize someone’s home for unpaid association dues, I don’t care what they signed.

  4. I won’t live in an area where I have to pay someone to tell me how to live.

    She’s been cited by the HOA for not paying her dues, not for non-conformance to a visual code. In my HOA, dues cover things like water and maintenance. If she doesn’t pay her dues, everybody else has to pay more dues to cover the shortfall.

  5. $120 per month seems like a very high fee, especially for a home that’s only worth $117k. I don’t pay a HOA fee but nearby people do, and their fee is about $200 per year.

  6. If it’s only worth $117K, it’s probably a condo or townhouse. That means that the HOA is responsible for roofs, exterior painting, landscaping, pools, roads, and other common areas. My HOA dues are $240 a month, and they cover all that and more.

  7. Condominiums give you the worst aspects of renting *and* of ownership. Admittedly they also give you some of the best aspects of both. But if you buy into someplace that has a HOA, you have to think of that as part of the mortgage payment and/or taxes.

    If she really can’t afford to pay right now, she should be actively trying to work something out with them, such as running a tab and paying interest thereupon. And they should be trying to work out same with her. From the brief clip, it isn’t clear which side, if either, is in the right here.

  8. As somebody actively dealing with an overzealous HOA, I can understand the frustration. But there’s got to be a better way of dealing with them than this. Ultimately, these disputes can end up in court and you really should want the judge to think of you as a reasonable adult.

    Most HOAs have appeals processes that must be followed, or there may be a legal remedy. But it FTA it sounds like she’s well over a year behind on her dues. She should expect some action from them…I don’t know the specifics in her case, but if they haven’t put a lien on her house yet she ought to be grateful. That’s the usual thing for them to do.

    Besides, spraying a Godwin on the side of your house doesn’t get any points for creativity. Certainly she could have done something more tasteful, right?

  9. Wow, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face…

    As for HOA fees, I know with my condo (in Cambridge MA almost all homes are condos as they are 2- or 3-family homes) that if I fail to pay the fees the bank can repossess my home. The fees are part of my mortgage agreement (though not paid to the bank of course).

  10. Wow I just researched the power of HOAs in the States.

    As a Canadian I see less draconian measures in our few and shameful gated communities.

    Property ownership my ass! Better to have a government controlling you at arms’ length (and to a lesser degree, since they have bigger fish to fry) than the neighbour who demands an exacting horticultural or aesthetic standard.

    Do you really own a property when you can’t even paint your front door the colour of your choice?

    We can and should be considerate of our neighbours, but it cuts both ways!

  11. Typically, the other owners wouldn’t have to pay more dues, but the reserves of the association would fall to such a low level that prospetive buyers will not be able to get certain loans to buy units in the development. So, they basically make it harder for good owners to sell their propeties. If a large scale project had to be completed (roofs, etc.) and the reserves were too low to fund it, then the association has to take a loan and pass a special assessment on to all owners. This recently happened to my accociation to the tune of $8K per unit. So, no I don’t feel bad for this woman at all.

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