My Neighbor is Sending Pictures of my Property to the HOA, Is This An Invasion Of Privacy?

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“We have a neighbor who is hell bent on reporting any tiny violation of HOA covenants to the HOA, and takes pictures to email them. This has included having our grass an inch too high to having a few dog poops in the back yard that had not been scooped yet. The pictures they have taken include the basement bedroom window of our roommate, who is not happy about pics being taken.

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We do have an HOA covenant that says pet waste should not accumulate, but even our HOA says that it’s very subjective and not enforceable…unless you have tons of the stuff in your yard, which I can understand.

Is there anything we can do about a neighbor who takes pics of things like this? The HOA is forced to send us a letter after these wackos file a complaint, but shouldn’t the HOA be the ones taking pictures? Somehow I feel like this is an invasion of privacy, but don’t know what to do.”

This is a tough situation, and is one of the disadvantages of buying into a complex that has a HOA or other association. Yes, at some point your neighbor could be going over the line and violating your privacy . . . and you could seek a restraining order against them. If that sounds like trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer, it’s because it is.

You may need to try to get creative in focusing your neighbor’s energies elsewhere. Perhaps there is some common ground that you can get more friendly with them? Perhaps it would help to submit to mediation (some cities and counties have free or low-cost mediation services for neighbor disputes) and let your neighbors air their concerns.

In the long run, this is one of those situations that can either escalate or be defused, and which way it goes will depend on the personalities involved as much as anything else.



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Author: House Attorney

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