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2 min read

Your HOA CANNOT Say No to Solar!

If you live in a community with a homeowners association, you’re probably very familiar with the many variables that your HOA has control over: the colors you’re allowed to paint your house, what kind of tile you can get on your roof, how high you can build your fences--and the list goes on.

Some of these rules make sense, others seem pointless, but some rules are simply illegal. When it comes to solar, your homeowners association cannot legally decide to inhibit solar system installations. Your HOA cannot say no to solar!


Solar Access Laws

Here in the Sunshine State, we have what’s called a solar access law. This law says that your HOA cannot restrict your right to have solar panels. If your homeowners association says that you can’t have solar panels, just show them the law (which you can find at this link or by googling “florida statute section 163.04”). It’s also good to remember that these solar access laws typically state that HOAs cannot intentionally try to delay the installation of your new solar system.


Your HOA may direct where and how your solar panels are installed so long as their direction doesn’t “impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.” For instance, they can mandate that your system get installed on a Southeast roof instead of a Southwest roof.


That being said, HOAs do not have unlimited power. Let’s say that the side of your house faces south, the best cardinal direction for solar energy generation. You’re talking to your HOA about going solar and you mention that your PV panels will work best if they’re in that great south-side spot.  Some HOAs might try to force you to install the system on the back of the house. If they don’t want to see solar panels from the street, they could very well say that you must put your system elsewhere, even though (in most cases) the panels won’t operate at the same optimal levels as they would if on the south-side. If this happens, show your HOA Chapter 163.04 in the Intergovernmental Programs section of the Florida Statutes:

A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices based on renewable resources by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings not exceeding three stories in height. For purposes of this subsection, such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45 degrees east or west of due south provided that such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.


By law, they cannot determine a different position on your roof for your solar panels if it impairs the effective operation of your PV system. As solar continues to gain popularity, having visible panels on the roof has become a badge of honor showing that the people living the home are financially wise and caring for our environment. Further, having solar on the house has been proven to increase property value and reduce the time to sell the house.  


Understand that when you’re going over your solar plans with your HOA, it can be easy to get frustrated if they’re not open to the idea of solar. But you have legal and moral standings on your side. Solar is an easy argument to win, and we’re happy to help you carry the torch or do it on your behalf.

If you have questions about going solar, are curious about what some of the benefits are, or need help getting HOA approval, contact us today! Want to talk to a real person? Call us at 407.331.9077. We’d love to help you make the switch to solar.