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New homeowner seeks advice on avoiding recourse after HOA issues unjust fines: 'Is there any legal option to take?'

"It took 10+ voicemails and 20+ emails for them to even respond to my requests."

"It took 10+ voicemails and 20+ emails for them to even respond to my requests."

Photo Credit: iStock

One Nevada homeowner who said they went through their homeowners association's approval process for solar panels was shocked to find that wasn't enough when the HOA fined them anyway.

In a Reddit post on r/HOA, the homeowner outlined their situation. "A few months after I purchased my home, I decided to get solar," they explained. "Solar company did all the work, received approval from the HOA, and solar was installed. Fast forward a year. HOA sends me a violation notice that I don't have an application on file for solar."

HOAs are notorious for denying residents access to solar. They are often more concerned about maintaining a certain look for the neighborhood than about the financial savings, independence, and safety that solar panels can give to their residents.

That's why many states have laws protecting homeowners' rights to solar, even if their HOAs are opposed to it.

That's why the original poster thought they were safe. "Nevada is a right to solar state, so the HOA cannot disapprove the application unless you are doing crazy things that affect the neighbors," they said.

But the HOA still moved forward with its penalty. "I email back explaining the information and sending the required documents that were sent in again," said the original poster. "They said to do a new application, which was subsequently approved. However, they still kept sending me notices and ultimately fined me for not having an approved application."

The homeowner had run out of patience. "This has been going on eight months now," they complained. "It took 10+ voicemails and 20+ emails for them to even respond to my requests. Is there any legal option to take?"

"You could wait until the next meeting, attend, and bring it up," suggested one Redditor. Indeed, following the HOA's internal processes for appeals can go a long way, and most even have a way to change the rules.

You can also visit EnergySage to learn more about solar energy access in your area. EnergySage is like the Expedia of solar panels, offering many resources and tools to make your options clear and easy to understand.

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