Persistent HOAs run afoul of the law in blocking new homeowner investment: ‘All you need is one homeowner to move … – The Cool Down

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Homeowners associations can have strict rules that can prohibit you from making environmentally friendly changes to your home, as homeowners in Ohio have found out.

In a post in the subreddit r/solar, one user published a predicament they are in, titled “HOA Blocking Solar Installs.” The OP is working with customers in Ohio within the same HOA to install solar for their homes, but the HOA is blocking them.

“I looked up the laws and I see that SB 61 passed last year restricting the ability of the HOA to block Solar front being installed,” the post reads. “One other homeowner I spoke with said if the HOA specifically says in their HOA agreement that Solar is not allowed that they can still block it even with this law in place.”

“Has anyone in Ohio gone through the approval process for solar [installs] with a difficult HOA and found a solution. Any thoughts or ideas on approaching this?”

Solar panels provide renewable energy that does not create harmful pollution. They work in a variety of climates and can save you money. With tax credits, eligibility programs, and increasingly affordable installation, more people are investing in solar power, with the country having the ability to power approximately 33 million homes utilizing solar energy.

However, with high interest rates and HOA interference, it can be difficult to install these on your home. This is another instance of HOAs across the country preventing homeowners from adopting money-saving and eco-friendly updates. 

One homeowner was left stunned when their HOA required them to purchase a $1 million insurance policy to install an electric vehicle (EV) charger. Another homeowner was frustrated when their HOA hired a company to spray pesticides in their yard. Others have faced similar issues with their HOAs when it came to planting native gardens or installing solar panels.

In the Reddit thread, users provided their ideas for OP, which can be useful if you are attempting to change bylaws in your HOA or community

“Ideally some or all of your customers in this situation are willing to go up against the HOA” one user commented. “If so, I would have them get a lawyer to review their bylaws. If nothing in it is anti solar, and the lawyer agrees that SB61 applies, then just do it.”

“Some HOAs think they are above the law,” commented another user. “All you need is one homeowner to move forward with solar and the rest will follow suit. The HOA may have a rule prohibiting it – but the actual bylaws are what matter – ‘rules’ don’t matter.”

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