LOL! I found the first one! A homeowner in a Texas Homeowners Association is furious because his HOA used satellite photos to spot covenant violations in his backyard.
Gavin Henry bought his house in the Highland Park North Homeowners Association about three years ago. One of the things he liked about the house was the garden tool shed in the backyard. He could keep his lawn mower and tools put away and he liked the nice clean look of the neighborhood.
All of a sudden Henry got a notice of violation for the shed. If he didn’t remove it he was going to be fined and sued.
“Why?” he wondered. The neighbors can’t see it. It can’t be seen from the street. Henry inquired further and was told that the HOA uses online satellite photography to track all the neighbors and micro-manage their private behavior.
Count me as a cynic, but after watching the television story on Gavin Henry’s predicament, three things stood out to me. He’s a veteran. He’s disabled. He’s a minority. After all, the Homeowners Association Movement was originally founded to get around the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And disabled veterans are often targets of HOA bullying. That’s the mindset.
There’s actually a fourth element at work here, pure speculation on my part. But I would bet dollars to donuts that Gavin Henry has some equity in his house.
The equity in your house is on the public record and it’s tracked by every HOA board official and manager. If you have significant equity in your house it’s like painting a bull’s eye on your back.