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Homeowner seeks advice on HOA's obligation to adhere to new state law: 'This is a question you need to ask a lawyer'

"Submit a request and go to the meeting."

"Submit a request and go to the meeting."

Photo Credit: iStock

Across the United States, homeowners are struggling to make upgrades to their homes because of frustrating homeowners association regulations. Many times, HOAs are even preventing changes that could save homeowners money. 

One Redditor posted in the r/HOA subreddit community and asked for advice on their specific HOA issue regarding installing native plants.  

The homeowner explained that a new statute was recently passed in Minnesota "that allows homeowners to install and maintain a managed natural landscape on their property." The Reddit user said they have their own yard, which their HOA maintains, but they'd like to submit a request to remove some of the grass and install native plants in its place. 

The Redditor continued: "I expect the HOA to deny my request as they have denied gardens in the past. If I push it hard enough do you think they will concede and allow me to make the native garden?"

Most commenters replied, stating they didn't think it would be permitted. One user said, "This is a question you need to ask a lawyer."  

Installing native plants instead of traditional turf grass can save homeowners time and money since they don't require as much maintenance, water, or fertilizer. Preventing a homeowner from making this switch not only negatively impacts the homeowner but is also bad for the environment. Traditional grass lawns often consist of non-native species that can be invasive and require excessive water consumption. 

Unfortunately, HOAs are preventing people from making other money-saving and eco-friendly updates. There have been battles with HOAs over the installation of solar panels (which can seriously reduce homeowners' power bills). Other people have also had to fight their HOAs over installing and/or using electric vehicle chargers

If you're dealing with a stringent HOA that won't permit money-saving and planet-friendly upgrades, visit TCD's HOA guide for assistance with getting bylaws amended.

Commenters on the Reddit post had other helpful advice to share. One user said, "Mention this new law to your hoa board and committee, since suing for permission is going to take a long time."

Another Redditor suggested: "Submit a request and go to the meeting. They may allow it but could have specific rules about the type of things you can plant."

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