PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) - A homeowner is up in arms after he says his neighborhood association crossed the line.
The HOA even admits that a previous board used Google satellite technology to scope out violations. It happened in the Highland Park North Neighborhood in Pflugerville.
When Gavin Henry purchased his home in Pflugerville there were several factors that weighed into his big decision.
"One of the reasons why I purchased my home was because I didn't have to buy a shed after buying the house," he said. "It was already there."
Gavin says he also liked the idea of living in a neighborhood with an HOA to help maintain the upkeep of the community.
But three years after buying the property, the Henry's received a letter from their homeowner's association.
"It said that they were doing an audit and they noticed I had a metal shed in my back yard and it wasn't approved by my homeowners association," Henry said.
Gavin, who is a disabled veteran, told the HOA the shed was there before he bought the property and none of his neighbors had ever complained about it.
He was then told it was now his responsibility to remove it, change it up to code, or else.
"They said they would put a lien on my house and this is problem now," Henry said.
But that wasn't his only problem. Since the shed isn't visible from the front yard and no one knocked on the Henry's door, Gavin contacted the HOA to ask how they performed the audit.
"I was told they went on Google Earth and they were looking into the backyard of the residents to find any disputes," Gavin said. "I felt like that's an invasion of our privacy for one."
The company that manages the HOA is Alliance Association Management they told KXAN that the board that did the Google Earth search has since been changed.
Gavin received an e-mail on Thursday stating the shed would still need to go. However, when KXAN contacted Alliance, we were told something else in a statement saying: "The current board is and has been actively working with the homeowner and offered to vote to grandfather in the metal shed at the next board meeting if he submits an ACC application."
Before contacting KXAN, Gavin had already arranged for a veteran's attorney to handle his case. He also was planning to send a petition around his neighborhood.
While he is now relieved some light has been shed on his problem, it has still left him with a bad taste in his mouth.
"The whole purpose of them is to make our life easier, not to cause problems," he said.
According to state laws when a new homeowner moves in they do inherit any previous and existing violations.
However, if you do sign up with an HOA they're supposed to perform an inspection to look for violations so that you are made aware.
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