Homeowner associations (HOAs) are notorious for making it difficult to make certain upgrades or modifications to the exterior of a home. Generally, HOA rules are established to maintain aesthetic uniformity in the neighborhood. Some also go as far as restricting projects that can cause changes in property value.
Installing solar panels on your home goes against these rules in both instances. Once installed, solar panels effectively make your home’s curb appeal stand out, which in turn, can mess with the aesthetic uniformity of the neighborhood. They also typically increase property value.
So, can you install a solar array in Maryland without HOA approval? Here’s what we know.
The short answer is yes!
Your HOA cannot prohibit you from installing solar solutions in MD because you’re protected by the law.
With that said, it’s always best to get the HOA approval before you begin your solar installation project. These things can get complicated fast, and it’s not worth it to go through the hassle of involving the legal system just so you can install solar panels. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’d even win the case. So the prudent thing to do is to just get the approval first and then get your solar up.
What does the law in Maryland say about HOAs prohibiting solar panel installations?
“A restrictive covenant regarding land use may not impose or act to impose unreasonable limitations on the installation of solar collection panels on the roof or exterior walls of improvements.”
This essentially protects the rights of homeowners in Maryland to install solar panels on their homes.
On a wider scale, subsequent legislation on the Solar Rights Act (CA Civil Code 714) has expanded the restrictions, which bar HOAs from prohibiting solar energy system installations, to include all public entities and areas of common interest.
How much say do HOA’s have in the matter?
With more than 370,000 HOAs regulating over 40 million households, there is a good chance that you will need to work with one for your solar panel installations. HOA rules can impact your efforts to go solar. They may not be able to arbitrarily prevent a solar installation project, but the law does say they can place reasonable limitations.
Unfortunately, ‘reasonable’ is a relative term and was often the bone of contention whenever clashes occurred between HOAs and homeowners.
Amid growing concerns about the possibility that HOAs might misuse the term and attempt to make the solar installation cost-prohibitive, the Solar Rights Act was amended in 2014 to define just how much an HOA can impact the project. The amendment specified that the amount imposed on the homeowner be pegged at no more than $1,000 over the cost of the original system.
Another consideration is your location. Most solar access laws recognize special exception cases. For example, historic districts may restrict or even completely deny solar panel installations on the grounds that such modern inventions can interfere with the charm and ambiance of the neighborhood.
Working with your HOA
It’s completely understandable that some HOAs may want to influence solar array installations. They have obligations to the community, after all.
The key is to work with a solar installation company that genuinely cares about how your solar energy system can impact the look and feel of your neighborhood. At Solar-verse, our solar consultants and designers are happy to help you meet the approval requirements set by your HOA. We can answer any questions they may have about the project, as well as educate them on the importance of switching to solar.
The installation process itself is straightforward and covered by our comprehensive “worry-free” warranty. This means you can rest easy knowing that our installation and labor will not affect the warranty on your roof.
Contact Solar-verse for quality MD solar solutions today!
Aside from the perks of going green, the cost-saving benefits of switching to solar have become too compelling to ignore. Let Solar-verse help you take advantage of these benefits today. We are a leading residential solar installation based out of Millersville, Maryland. Get in touch now by calling (443) 455-0313 or through our contact form.