• Home Home

Resident seeks advice after HOA frustratingly bans electric transportation: 'This is becoming more common unfortunately'

"Most HOAs have a lack of understanding."

"Most HOA's have a lack of understanding."

Photo Credit: iStock

Homeowners trying to go green are facing HOA roadblocks.

Electric bikes e-bikes are surging in popularity for commuters looking to save money on gas while reducing harmful carbon pollution. But some condo associations and homeowner groups are putting on the brakes when unit owners try to make the switch.

One Reddit post highlights this increasingly popular issue. The original poster shared a letter from their condo board that banned the storage and charging of e-bikes and other "battery/electronic based mobility devices," including e-scooters and hoverboards.

"I was curious if anyone else has similar experiences to this, and if so, what you've done to successfully push back against the HOA/landlord/other property management entity?" the original poster asked Reddit's r/ebikes community.

Reactions from commenters came quickly. 

"It seems legally questionable," one Redditor commented. "Why aren't they banning other products such as vapes? Or electronic wheelchairs with [lithium-ion] batteries?"

Others pointed out the ironies. 

"I think this is becoming more common unfortunately," one Redditor said. "Most HOAs have a lack of understanding and if they really wanted to do it right, they would just say 'only UL certified charges allowed.'"

E-bike fires, though unusual, are a valid concern that require education on safety and prevention. But many HOAs opt for outright bans instead of compromises, stymying residents' attempts to make eco-friendly upgrades.

Across the nation, condo associations and planned communities are stopping homeowners from adding rooftop solar, xeriscaping with drought-tolerant native plants, or even composting. The common justification is to preserve uniform aesthetics — and, in this case, curb presumed dangers to other homeowners.

But in an age of rising global temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by our polluted atmosphere, it makes sense for aesthetics to adapt. 

And, indeed, sustainable living is now considered attractive by many consumers, who also save money on utilities or transport as a result. 

Luckily, HOAs can update rules when enough residents demand it. Check out our guide on reversing outdated HOA regulations for tips on how to rally your community to create positive change.

Because the bottom line is this: Helping homeowners adopt affordable eco habits is a win-win for family budgets and the planet, and a bit of respectful candor can create positive change for everyone involved. 

Meanwhile, another Redditor suggested a more hands-on approach.

"Anytime clients came to me with an HOA issue, I'd recommend getting elected. Of the few that tried it, most won and fixed the issues," they wrote.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider