Increasing numbers of homeowners associations across the country have learned there’s profit in being confrontational. Lots of profit. HOA attorneys advise their clients to attack every violation of the covenants with a vengeance. Insignificant fines often turn into tens of thousands of dollars in fees, fines, collection costs and attorneys’ expenses. Some of those confrontations defy common sense.
Ted Faraz of Irving, Texas, found that out the hard way. He installed some solar panels on his roof. His intent wasn’t malicious. He wasn’t doing it to intentionally anger his HOA. He actually invested $15,000 in an effort to be more environmentally responsible.
His solar panels couldn’t be seen from the street. In fact, only one neighbor could see them and that neighbor said they didn’t bother him at all.
But the Ranch Valley HOA felt differently. They began fining Faraz $50 for each day the solar panels remained. It got worse. The HOA filed a lien and began to foreclose on Faraz’s house.
Faraz felt it was a blatant case of extortion. There was no real point for the HOA to prove. It was always about publicly slamming down a homeowner who strayed outside the rules.
The Homeowners Association has proven one thing, though: that young starry-eyed prospective homeowners would be wise to avoid the Ranch Valley HOA.
Avoid it like the plague.
With homeowners associations across the country taking a nose-dive in real estate values specifically because of this kind of community fascism, homeowners would be well-advised to look elsewhere for a new place to live.