Homeowners and Installers — HOA resistance?

By Michael Albrecht

TXSES is not in a position to give legal advice, but we are interested in hearing what your experience is with homeowner’s associations since the passage of HB-362.

In May 2011 the Texas Legislature passed and the governor signed into law HB-362. The new law restricts homeowner associations (HOA) in Texas from enacting provisions that outright forbid the installation of solar energy systems.

The law reads, in part: (b) “Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (d), a property owners’ association may not include or enforce a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits or restricts a property owner from installing a solar device.”

The law is not a perfect path for homeowners wishing to install solar, but it does put parameters on the restrictions an HOA can raise. The restrictions reside in Subsection (d) of the bill. Many, but not all, of these hurdles are common concerns that are often easily satisfied in a meeting between the homeowner, installer and HOA. Potential exemptions that could allow an HOA to restrict installation of a solar energy system are:

  • Threatens public health or safety
  • Is located on HOA property or common property
  • Is located on a homeowner’s property but not on the roof
  • Extends higher than the roofline
  • Does not conform to the slope of the roof
  • Has a frame, bracket, piping or wiring not acceptable to HOA
  • Is located in a yard and is taller than a fence line
  • Voids material warranties
  • Was installed without prior approval of the HOA
  • An HOA still in the control of a developer who is opposed to solar

Read the full bill here and a review of the bill from the HOA Reform Coalition:

TXSES is interested in hearing if you are having difficulty securing approval from an HOA since the signing of this bill in June. Drop us a note at solar@txses.org.