Homeowner’s associations (HOAs) work to maintain property values and promote a harmonious appearance throughout the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for making homeowners conform to strict rules.
If you’re hoping to install solar panels, you may be worried about how your HOA will react. After all, solar panels are often highly visible from the street, and the installation process is akin to a small construction project. Better Tomorrow Solar can help you obtain HOA approval for your solar installation.
Know Your State’s Laws
Over 25 states have some form of solar access laws that protect the rights of homeowners who want to install solar panels. For instance, North Carolina’s first solar access law passed in 2007, and the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act passed in Georgia in 2015. Homeowners still have some responsibility to their neighbors when going solar, but the “reasonable use of solar collectors” on detached single-family homes should be permitted across these states.
Learn Your HOA’s Rules
Solar access laws expressly allow solar panels, but some HOAs continue to ban such installations. HOAs have broad authority to make decisions that benefit their communities, but ignoring solar access laws is illegal. Homeowners have the right to appeal their HOA’s decision if the association bans reasonable solar installations.
Fill Out an HOA Approval Form
Before you jump to any conclusions about how your HOA will react, submit an application and see what they say. You just might get approved without issue.
First, request an application form for your HOA or give your solar contractor permission to do so. You can either fill out and submit the paperwork yourself or ask your contractor to do it for you.
Then, to ensure a streamlined approval process, pay the required application fees and ask your contractor to submit plans and images of what the solar installation will look like. Do you suspect your HOA will put up a fight? If so, your contractor can include information about how solar panels increase property values, lower your utility bills and provide examples of successful installations in similar neighborhoods. HOAs can rarely oppose such detailed and ironclad arguments.
Be Prepared to be Creative and Flexible
If your application is approved as-is, you can move forward with the installation. Just be aware that HOAs can still make certain requests about where and how you install your solar panels. For example, they may require a ground-mounted system surrounded by fencing or other obstructions to hide the panels from view. Don’t worry—a skilled solar installer can work with your HOA to find a compromise everyone can agree with.
You may feel intimdated about seeking HOA approval for your solar installation, but working with a knowledgeable solar provider makes it as straightforward as possible. Better Tomorrow Solar would be happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions that crop up along the way. To get started, please contact us and request a free quote today.