Internet Furious As Dad Made to Destroy Kids' Treehouse Over HOA Complaint

An angry note left by a dad who was ordered by his homeowners' association (HOA) to take down a treehouse he had built for his children has ignited fury online.

Overly officious HOA have proven the bane of many a resident's life down the years. While on the whole providing an important and much needed service that helps with the management of property and common areas, the internet is littered with examples of HOAs overstepping the mark.

Recent examples include one that ordered a disabled veteran to remove the ramp that allowed him access to his home and another that accused a family's 17-year-old son of repeatedly violating a curfew by coming back from work late at night.

Now another is stirring up anger on social media after a picture was shared to the facepalm subreddit on Reddit.

The picture is that of a note left stapled to a tree by an evidently disgruntled father called "Dave." The note, which is addressed "Dear anonymous passerby" begins by saying, sarcastically, "don't worry you're safe now."

"Your act of casual cruelty was successful," it continues. "The complaint you lodged with the HOA was heard. They had me take down the small treefort that I built on this location with my sons during the pandemic."

The note continues, in a similarly sarcastic tone: "No longer will its presence offend your walk past my house. Please enjoy your stroll free from the sounds of my children's play and laughter. They are safely back inside now watching television I'm sure."

It concludes with the angry father urging the complainants to "enjoy the unobstructed view of my backyard. I will try to keep it up to code."

First shared to Reddit by JediWithAnM4 alongside the caption "A local HOA Karen forced a father to tear down his kids' recently built tree house" the post has racked up more than 57,000 upvotes with followers flocking to slam the association's meddlesome actions.

Some came with comments recalling similar experiences. "A friend of mine got a call from his HOA asking why his car was parked in the driveway and not in his garage," Hamms_Bear wrote.

"Moved into a HOA. Parked our boat in the driveway for a couple of hours to eat lunch before driving down to the marina," soda-bear wrote. "Within the time it took to eat a pizza, one of our new neighbors filed a complaint."

Others like Iso-Agent, saw HOAs as an "extension" of Karens—a name that has become a term for a person perceived as being overly entitled or demanding. "One exists and plays by non-existent self imposed rules to give other people a hard time. The other exists to enforce rules to give people a hard time," they wrote. "Both have no common sense and hide behind a false sense of benevolence."

Socolimes agreed, and called on homeowners to "abolish" them. "HOA's are literally the organizational version of a Karen," they said. "Imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house, only to be told what you can or can't do with it."

For a few, like Nanasays, the potential for interference was so off-putting they made sure their "neighborhood didn't have an HOA" when they bought a home there.

Though in a minority, others like Shpooodingtime did offer up a potential explanation based on their own experience growing up.

"I had an unfinished treehouse out in the woods and we had to take it down after we realized the young neighborhood kids found it," they wrote. "The concern was that if they fell off and injured themselves in the woods there wouldn't be somebody to find them." they added. "My dad was afraid of a lawsuit scenario if someone was hurt."

Despite the backlash, the likelihood of avoiding or even abolishing HOAs is slim to none, with website HOA-USA estimating there are over 370,000 HOAs across the U.S. representing over 40 million households. That's reportedly over 53 percent of all occupied households in the country.

Newsweek has contacted JediWithAnM4 for comment.

A dad building a treehouse.
Stock image of a dad building a treehouse. A father's note in which he expresses anger at having to take down a treehouse has gone viral. Image Source/Getty