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New homeowners concerned about restrictive HOA: ‘You should have gotten a copy of the [rules] before you signed…’

“They will almost always deny the installation.”

"They will almost always deny the installation."

Photo Credit: iStock

New homeowners are concerned about their ability to electrify their home thanks to a strict HOA.

In a post on a subreddit about HOAs, a user explained that they are worried about their new HOA denying their attempt to put solar panels on their new home.

“I want to electrify the home as the builder has set it up with propane tanks which will be a huge expense YoY with the gas prices skyrocketing,” the user explained in the post.

The user also linked to a CNET article explaining where HOAs have the power to deny solar panel installation. Many states have solar access laws in place to protect homeowners from restrictive HOAs, but 21 states do not have these laws, including Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, which is the user’s home state.

It’s easy to understand why someone might want to install solar panels on their home. We estimate that solar panels can save you $1,500 a year on electricity, and save 3,300 pounds of pollution from your home every year.

Unfortunately, HOAs can sometimes be very restrictive on solar installation, so homeowners may need to work with their HOAs to change policies to get approval (or find a creative solution, like putting the panels in your yard instead of the roof, as one Californian did). You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) of your community so you can put in a proposal to change an HOA policy with the board. For more information, visit TCD’s HOA guide.

Redditors chimed in with their advice in the comment section.

“You should have gotten a copy of the CC&Rs before you signed any closing papers, or put a deposit down. Go through them carefully and compare the restrictions to the way you intend to use your home,” one user wrote

“If the HOA is responsible for the roof, they will almost always deny the installation and more than likely any state laws will likely go along with this thinking,” another user said

“I was originally denied but pointed out the denial was illegal. They changed their tune but put in additional installation restrictions after the approval but before the install, altering the agreement post approval. My HOA sucks,” a third user commented.

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