Check Your CC&Rs as HOA May Regulate Placement of Solar Panels

Question: I purchased a home in Gilbert that was in extremely poor condition at a foreclosure sale about six months ago. We have spent almost $40,000 refurbishing and repairing this home, which included the installation of solar heating panels on the roof. We just received a letter from our homeowner’s association (“HOA”) stating that the solar heating panels in the roof must be removed. If clean energy is the current goal of our society, why do we have to remove the solar heating panels from our roof? Can the HOA make us remove these solar heating panels?

Answer: I assume that your HOA has a provision in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) regulating the placement of solar heating panels in your community. This CC&Rs provision can regulate the placement of solar heating panels, including prohibiting the placement of solar heating panels on a homeowner’s roof, only if this provision in the CC&Rs does not “adversely affect the cost or efficiency” of the solar heating panels. A.R.S. §33-1816(B). Therefore, if the removal of the solar heating panels from your roof to another location on your lot would affect the cost or efficiency of the solar heating panels, you are not required to remove the solar heating panels from your roof.

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