Contractor faces off with homeowner after HOA stops solar panel installation: ‘He should be working with us instead of … – The Cool Down

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Many homeowners have had run-ins with their HOAs when making upgrades to their homes, but one may have tried to offload the responsibility onto their frustrated contractor.

“A homeowner signed a contract to install solar panels. The contract shows the panels on the front and back of the house. The homeowner never told us they have an HOA or said there was any issue with the layout,” the contractor explained on Reddit in the subreddit r/Construction

Much to the original poster’s surprise, the HOA took them to task when they began installing the panels on the front of the house. 

“The homeowner believes it was our responsibility to get approval from his homeowners association. I explained that we have no way of knowing he has an HOA unless he tells us and it’s not our responsibility to check the covenants. Am I wrong?” they asked

Other Redditors overwhelmingly agreed that the unfortunate homeowner was responsible for the situation unless there was a stipulation in the contract that made it clear the contractor needed to contact the HOA first. 

“I live under HOA rule and had solar installed on my home. I submitted the plans and got HOA approval before my contractor commenced work. … The homeowner is on the hook for all this,” one person wrote, eliciting a relieved response from the OP, who said the homeowner is a lawyer who appears to be ready to fight them in court. 

While the homeowner’s ire appears to be focused in the wrong place, one Redditor pointed out that he might be able to push back against the HOA’s ruling. 

The organizations have been known to try to prevent all sorts of eco-friendly, money-saving adjustments, from solar panels to rewilded yards, but having a clear understanding of local laws can be a good launching point for meaningful conversations or eventual policy changes.

“My state Virginia and many other states passed laws banning HOA from regulating solar panels on homes,” the commenter shared

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In fact, 29 states and Washington, D.C., had laws protecting rights to solar power as of 2023, according to CNET, which noted certain restrictions may apply depending on the state.

The contractor, who is based in Georgia, said that no such law was in place at the time of writing but seemed to embrace one commenter’s constructive idea. 

“Maybe the homeowner lawyer can help draft up some documentation to get the ball rolling in your state,” the Redditor said

“That’s actually a great idea. I will send them the info about that. He should be working with us instead of against,” the OP responded

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