As a homeowners association (HOA) board member, it is your duty to approve of most renovations that take place within your community. However, your HOA should be cautious with regards to restricting the installation or use of solar panels. Florida’s Solar Rights Act protects homeowners who wish to install solar panels on their property.
In this article, we will be discussing this law and what it means for HOAs.
The Florida Solar Rights Act:
As stipulated by Florida Statute 163.04, HOAs are forbidden from prohibiting the installation of solar panels on Florida buildings.
Specifically, the law states:
A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by ANY entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit.
Not only is your HOA not allowed to restrict the installation of solar panels, but it is also prohibited from restricting the installation of energy devices of any kind.
What Can HOAs Do?
While your HOA can’t prohibit solar panel installation, it does have a voice. A review board or committee can determine the specific roof location on which the panels are to be installed as long is it is “within an orientation to the South or within 45° east or west of due south, (which is what Solar installers seek for installation, South first) if such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.” Essentially, your HOA can choose where the solar panels go as long as it does not interfere with the system’s performance.
Source: Anonymous op-ed
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