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Homeowner battles HOA over draconian ban on money-saving home addition: ‘Your best bet here is to engage an attorney’

The fight to get HOAs on board may be frustrating, but it can be worthwhile.

The fight to get HOAs on board may be frustrating, but it can be worthwhile.

Photo Credit: iStock

Homeowners associations don’t have a friendly history with solar panels. From illegally denying requests to threatening to steal them right from residents’ homes, they’re often a point of contention, and one Redditor had a similar experience. 

Posted to the r/f***HOA thread, their story details a frustrating journey to get their front-facing solar panels approved by the HOA

They described needing signatures from 67% of the residents in the HOA to get an amendment that would allow this. However, after getting those signatures, their amendment was voided.

The HOA argued that the additional properties that had been platted, or planned out, still counted toward the 67% — but no one had signed the deeds yet. 

The Redditor is now looking to prove that a plat is not a transfer of property in order to fight this. In terms of battling your HOA, the Redditor did everything right — attempting to solve the issue amicably by going through the correct channels to create change and looking into state guidelines for HOAs.  

Comments on the post weighed in on the original poster’s options, where the Redditor discusses how state laws come into play.

North Carolina — their state — says that HOAs cannot prohibit solar panel installation as long as they’re out of sight while still being “reasonably” useful. This means that you could install them where the public can’t see them, but they may not be getting their full use as they’re not adequately exposed to sunlight. 

Another validated the Redditor and agreed with the move to get a lawyer, “Your best bet here is to engage an attorney that specializes in property law, because this is where your question centers,” they wrote. 

HOAs are often concerned about the aesthetics of solar panels — a disproportionate concern considering their benefits. 

Solar panels may be more expensive to install, but they can save homeowners money for years to come on their utility bills, and you can even get a 30% tax credit for them. Plus, they increase the value of your home and hold up against power outages. 

In addition, they’re a renewable resource, so they don’t release planet-warming gasses in their production of energy. 

The fight to get HOAs on board may be frustrating, but it can be worthwhile — others have found success in doing so, and hopefully, more will in the future. 

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