Solar panels can be life-changing for homeowners. They’re a straightforward way to save money on electricity every month and get independence from local utilities while protecting the environment and minimizing air pollution.
However, they’re also a common point of conflict between homeowners and homeowner associations.
Visible solar panels change the look of a home, which HOAs worry will bring down property values — even though they have been shown to do the opposite. As a result, HOAs may take drastic action to prevent their installation, sometimes even in areas where restrictions are illegal.
In the case of this Redditor’s parents, they say the situation wasn’t quite as dramatic. However, it did lead to the couple departing for a less restrictive neighborhood after only a short while in the house. According to an email from their mother that the original poster shared in a comment, the couple had just finished renovating the home a few months prior.
In the email, the mother described the steps she and her husband took to try to work with the HOA before this final move. They proposed installing solar panels on a detached garage in a back alley — not even at the front of the house — and were willing to be fully financially responsible for the roof moving forward.
However, according to the mother’s account, the HOA firmly refused, and the couple made the difficult decision to move out of the HOA to another neighborhood nearby. The mother said, “In the year 2023 and beyond, the [HOA] Board should be willing to look at what it can do for homeowners/neighbors who care about environmental and like issues, not what it can’t.”
The original poster shared a screenshot of one board member’s reply. “I hope none of your or your family members’ future plans involve air travel, as that contributes more to destroying our environment than virtually anything else we do,” it said. “Not everyone is a good fit for living someplace that is part of an HOA.”
Commenters were not impressed with the board’s response. “It blows my mind that HOAs are even a thing,” said one user.
“Some people never grow up,” said another commenter.
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