‘We would be screwed for homeowners insurance’

Homeowners associations come with perks like protecting home values, but many Americans living in these communities struggle when it comes to installing solar energy systems.

Such was the case for one desperate Redditor, who took to an anti-HOA subreddit for advice about a holdup with their HOA that was preventing them from updating their roof and installing solar panels. It seems that they just needed a certification of ownership, but the association was unresponsive. 

If they didn’t get that certification, it could have disastrous effects, they added.

“We would be screwed for homeowners insurance and lose the amazing deal we got in our (solar/roofing) contract.” 

Benefits abound when it comes to investing in solar energy. Though it requires an initial investment, solar panels are becoming more affordable, and taxpayers can claim a 30% tax credit on the cost of solar systems to their income taxes. Plus, solar users can save money in the long run, as utility bills decrease. Opting to install solar panels often increases home values as well. 

Add to that the environmental benefits of going solar, a renewable and clean energy source that can help us divest from dirty, planet-warming energy sources like coal and natural gas.

Unfortunately, these types of challenges are par for the course with some HOAs. One Georgia homeowner was embroiled in a battle with his HOA over the installation of solar panels. After the HOA denied his request to install the panels, he did so anyway. Then they began fining him $25 a day.

Some states like Colorado have laws protecting homeowners who want to install solar. But even if your HOA’s rules are overbearing when it comes to solar panels, there are steps you can take to work with them or even change the rules. These include writing your HOA board, researching state laws, and working with neighbors to raise awareness or bring a unified proposal to the board.

The Reddit community had a ton of advice for the poster.

One commenter advised that they check to see if there were state laws that would supersede any regulations set by the HOA. “This may be a case where you can tell your HOA to kick rocks,” they said.

“Have you tried posting on a message board for your neighborhood?” another person asked. “Someone always knows everything on those.”

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