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HOA tries to shut down one homeowner's attempt to add money-saving feature: 'They have no legal basis to not allow it'

"Trust me, I've fought them on every aspect of their responses."

"Trust me, I’ve fought them on every aspect of their responses."

Photo Credit: iStock

One Pennsylvania homeowner was certain their HOA was trying to pull a fast one when the board rejected their proposal to install solar panels on their home.

As the cost of electricity (and everything else) rises, solar panels are an elegant and effective way to save money. They also add value to a home, and since they generate electricity without creating air pollution, they're a good way to protect the Earth from the planet-warming pollution caused by other power-generating methods like coal.

However, while many homeowners are on board with the idea, many HOAs are not. That's what happened to this Redditor, who posted their complaint in an anti-HOA subreddit.

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"I live in Pennsylvania where there aren't any laws [preventing] HOAs from stopping homeowners from putting solar on their houses," the homeowner explained. "We moved into a new development and the HOA denied my request to put solar on my house and said they wanted to wait to put it to a vote."

Despite the lack of specific legal protection for solar panels, the original poster was sure that the HOA would at least have to follow its own internal rules. 

"I pushed back, got a lawyer to review the bylaws to show they have no legal basis to not allow it, and they came back saying the HOA is allowed to 'interpret' the bylaws however they want and they are interpreting a bylaw stating that satellites aren't allowed as not allowing solar," they said in disbelief.

Rather than push the issue, the original poster decided to wait for the promised vote. But as the deadline approached, they worried that they might have been set up to fail. 

"If 70% of the community shows up, will the 30% not there be 'voting' against the motion?" they asked.

Commenters shared the original poster's impression that the HOA needed to stick with the obvious reading of its rules. "You'll want to check with your specific laws for your state, but they can't 'interpret' the CC&Rs like that," said one user.

"That 'no satellite dishes allowed' is bs, also," another commenter pointed out. "The FCC prohibits that."

"Trust me, I've fought them on every aspect of their responses," the original poster replied.

During a dispute about money-saving and climate-friendly home improvements, homeowners may decide their best option is to change the HOA's rules. Learn how here.

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