Homeowner puzzled after learning HOA violates state law repeatedly: ‘I strongly believe this is wrong’ – The Cool Down

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A homeowner was stunned to learn that their HOA has been violating state law by denying solar panel installation.

In the state of Virginia, HOAs are not allowed to restrict solar installation if such restriction would negatively impact cost and performance by more than 5% and 10%, respectively.

However, according to the Redditor who shared the post, the HOA is violating this law. 

“The HOA is denying installation regardless of that fact, stating that their rules existed before the Virginia law,” wrote the homeowner. “I strongly believe this is wrong.”

Redditors were frustrated to learn of the HOA‘s actions and offered potential solutions for legally fighting the HOA.

“An HOA does not and cannot overrule federal law,” responded one user. “Right to solar access is a real thing that I’ve fought in 3 states vs HOAs and a historic district (tougher, but still doable).”

“Talk to local reputable solar installers,” suggested another Redditor. “They will know state law versus HOA because it’s their business at stake, and they will have addressed this issue on several installations.”

Across the U.S., HOAs have prevented homeowners from installing money-saving, eco-friendly changes, such as adding solar panels or growing native plant lawns. However, despite these challenges, homeowners can still work with their HOAs to revise established rules to make eco-friendly updates. 

Each year, you can save $1,500 as a result of installing solar panels on your home. On top of those savings, switching to solar panels can also save you up to 90% on your electric bill

When HOAs prohibit homeowners from adding solar panels, they not only prevent homeowners from saving money, but they also prevent eco-friendly updates. After about three years, most solar panels become carbon neutral, meaning they do not release any harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. 

“State law will always supersede an HOA rule, but finding a lawyer who will help you might be necessary,” suggested one Redditor. “You could also try contacting someone at your state government, but I’m not sure who.”

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