Don’t let homeowner associations block the sun

A loophole in Virginia law allows HOAs to impose unreasonable restrictions on solar

Homeowner Associations (HOAs) have prevented hundreds of Virginians from installing solar. This has cost solar contractors millions of dollars. Virginia law protects homeowners from “unreasonable restrictions” on solar in HOA communities.

Unfortunately, the law does not define what “unreasonable” means. This has enabled HOAs to unfairly stop installations. They’ve used the law to block the right of homeowners to install solar on their own property.

Legislators are considering a bill (HB 414/SB 504) that would fix this problem. The bill closes the loophole by defining what “unreasonable” means. It says that a restriction is unreasonable if it:

  • Reduces the performance of the system by more than 10%.
  • Adds more than five percent to the cost of the installation.

This definition strikes a fair balance. It protects property-owners’ solar rights and HOA authority. It allows HOAs to set reasonable restrictions. HOAs are still able to approve installations. They are also able to deny systems that are unsafe.

Contact your legislators and urge them to support this common-sense bill. Please include your personal story if your HOA has denied your solar installation.