HOAs doesn’t control solar installations

Adrienne SorensenAugust 29, 20182130

HOAs doesn’t control solar installations

Thanks to a change in California law, homeowners no longer have to get approval from the HOAs. While rules on the appearance of buildings and surrounding property is a great way to ensure community standards, many times these rules can restrict people in ways that were never intended. Thanks to these new laws, California HOAs can’t obstruct solar installations on their properties.

It’s the law 

Under the new law, HOAs cannot prohibit solar installations. They must conform to the state solar policy. Here is a quick summary of the law. If a condo owner wants to install solar panels on their own rooftop, adjacent garage, or carport, HOAs can no longer prohibit them or require a member vote for approval. If a condo owner wants to install solar panels onto a common rooftop, garage, or carport, the condo owners might require a solar site survey before the installations. The survey determines the breakdown of usable space among all homeowners sharing the area designated for potential solar hardware.

This way the installation can be on a common roof or parking lot that everyone shares, for example. Everyone gets their own designated solar panels and even though they are all tied together, condo owners won’t end up paying for their neighbors’ electricity.
The only case where the HOA could deny the solar installation is if the site survey determines that the rooftop solar system would be impractical or if space allocation is impossible. This law change will make solar adoption in condos far easier and more likely for these shared-space buildings. The market was already heading in this direction. Developers already build condos with solar panels, this law just speeds the process up and allows existing condo owners to join the solar revolution.


No waiting in line for installing solar 

It is important to understand that this new law does come with some requirements. Solar applicants in multifamily dwellings with common roof areas will likely have to notify each owner in the building of the proposed solar installation. If you share a roof with your neighbor, even though you have your own roof over your condo, you probably have to notify your neighbors that a solar panel installation is coming. Owners who apply for a solar installation through the HOA might also be required to have homeowner liability coverage. They would need to provide the HOA with proof of insurance within 14 days of approval, and they would need to show proof every year.

Right now is an exciting time for condo owners in California who feel they are missing the solar revolution. Solar is better, more powerful, and less expensive than ever. Now because it is extended to condo owners under the rule of homeowners associations, everyone who owns a condo or a townhome can enjoy the benefits of going solar. If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years. For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.


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