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Frustrated homeowner seeks advice to make major changes within their HOA: 'I have had some bad interactions'

"It's not beneficial for me to move my family, so I am staying here for some time."

"It's not beneficial for me to move my family, so I am staying here for some time."

Photo Credit: iStock

One homeowner who was frustrated with their homeowners association decided it was time to bring in a higher authority: their state government.

"I currently live in a subdivision governed by an HOA," the Redditor explained in a post on an anti-HOA subreddit. "I have had some bad interactions with my HOA in the past and currently."

Sadly, that's a common problem for homeowners across the country. Many HOAs are against money-saving, beneficial home upgrades that are also good for the environment, such as solar panels, vegetable gardens, compost bins, and native plant lawns.

Some homeowners have had success fixing their HOAs from the inside out, so learning your association's process for changing the rules is a good place to start.

This homeowner, however, needed something stronger.

"I am getting annoyed and looking at making a change since I have time on my side. It's not beneficial for me to move my family, so I am staying here for some time," they said. "Was gonna get the ball rolling with emailing my senator and potentially having him sponsor a bill if I could submit some good information."

To do that, they asked Reddit to help identify the many laws that have recently been put in the books that limit HOAs' power over homeowners in various states. "Recently a senate bill was signed into law in Missouri about solar panels, which take away the power from HOAs of enforcing solar," they said as an example.

Commenters chimed in with excellent information from other states.

"California has a good law on this, Civ. Code § 714," one user said. "Basically the HOA can't unreasonably restrict homeowners [from installing solar panels]. 'Unreasonably' means doing anything that increases the cost more than $1000 or reduces efficiency by 10% or more. … There are solar access and drought resistant landscaping laws."

"One of the good things that was passed some years back in Arizona was that HOAs can no longer apply your association fees to any unpaid fines without your permission," another commenter wrote.

Other examples included a "right to food" law protecting gardens in Maine, another law protecting native gardens in Maryland, and one defending water-wise landscaping in Colorado.

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