Homeowners associations and solar access in Virginia
Homeowners associations (HOAs) define a neighborhood’s aesthetic rules. Many have tried to restrict the ability of homeowners to go solar. Fortunately, Virginia law prevents HOAs from doing so.
Homeowners associations in Virginia
The Code of Virginia § 67-701 makes it illegal for homeowners associations to prohibit their members from installing solar on their homes. It does, however, allow homeowners associations to establish “reasonable restrictions concerning the size, place, and manner of placement” of their members’ systems. Unreasonable restrictions generally include rules that would increase the cost of the system or reduce its efficiency. Reasonable restrictions include requiring that homeowners first obtain HOA approval before installing their system and concealing wiring as much as possible.
Having trouble with your HOA? Post to the Virginia listserv and get advice from fellow solar owners.
- MDV-SEIA Guide for Homeowners Associations on Solar Installations in Virginia – The regional solar industry association has developed this useful guide about the rules for installing solar with regards to HOA regulations.
- Opinion letter from Virginia’s attorney general regarding HOA restrictions – This 2015 letter asserts that HOAs do not have the right to prohibit solar unless the prohibition is specifically written into the HOA’s recorded declarations.
- Solar industry group tells Virginia HOAs to let the sunshine in – Virginia energy blogger Ivy Main describes how solar co-op members in Blacksburg worked with HOAs to get solar installed.