Why Condominium Associations Need a Solar Energy System Policy

A California law that took effect January 1, 2018 permits condominium owners to request HOA permission to place solar energy systems on common area roofs or an exclusive use common area garage or carport located adjacent to the owner’s building. Associations can no longer require approval of the membership to grant use of common area or exclusive use common area to a member for the purpose of installing a solar energy system. The law also requires a member seeking HOA approval to install a solar energy system in common areas to notify every owner of a unit in the building on which the installation will be located.

What will a Board do when facing multiple requests from homeowners in the same building seeking to install solar energy systems? What if the roof only has so much usable space that can be utilized for solar energy systems? What is the most equitable way to approve these requests from homeowners? Can an Association ever deny a request by a condominium owner to install a solar energy system in the common area? Can the Association require insurance and a covenant to maintain the solar energy system? What if a homeowner’s installation, maintenance or repair of a solar energy system causes damage to the common area roofs?

We can help your Association answer these questions and craft a practical policy to protect the HOA. Such a policy can set forth reasonable restrictions to assist the Association in evaluating and processing these requests fairly and in accordance with California law.

Please contact us for more information.