March 7, 2019

Successful Ruling Against HOA Regarding Solar Panels

By: Abby Pryor

We successfully defeated a Chesapeake Home Owners Association (HOA) in its claim against our clients, homeowners, who were being sued because they installed solar panels after the HOA voted to disapprove the installation.  Va. Code § 67-701 provides that an HOA cannot unreasonably prohibit the installation of solar panels unless such a prohibition is in the HOA’s Declaration.  In this case, the HOA argued that language in the Declaration since the 1990s restricting “electronics” applied to modern solar panels.  The court disagreed and held that the language in the Virginia statue suggested that the General Assembly wanted HOAs to specifically reference “solar panels” if the HOA wished to restrict them.

Miars Plantation Homeowners’ Association, Inc. v. David Smith and Patricia Smith; Chesapeake General District Court, Case No.: GV18-17850