Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
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I am very sorry for your situation.BACKGROUND
You are correct in your matter. Under the California Solar Rights Act
, the tenant can install solar panels. The HOA can only restrict the installation reasonably
What is "reasonably?" "Reasonable" restrictions included those that: 1) do not significantly increase the cost of the solar system, 2) do not significantly decrease the system’s efficiency or specified performance, or 3) allow for an alternative system of comparable cost, efficiency and benefits. "Significant" is further defined as those restrictions that increase the system’s cost by over 20 percent or decrease the system’s efficiency by over 20 percent
In Tesoro del Valle Master Homeowners Assn. v. Griffin, 200 Cal. App. 4th 619 - Cal: Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate Dist., 2nd Div. 2011
, the restrictions are presumed valid unless the Court feels otherwise that they are "wholly arbitrary, violate a fundamental public policy
or impose a burden on the use of affected land that far outweighs any benefit."
So this means the presumption is against you, and you'd have to prove otherwise.YOUR SITUATIONDo I have to get a lawyer? I cannot afford to fight the HOA?
You do not have
to get an attorney but one is strongly recommended. For example, you would have to draft a petition, file it, serve the other party, go through procedural and evidentiary steps to trial, etc. This is not easy. I know you stated that funds are limited, and if so, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory/california.html
…and another list:http://www.lawhelp.org
Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:http://www.hg.org/law-schools-california.aspCan I go to court myself? What recourse does a normal person have against the HOA?
Yes, if the HOA is unwilling to budge, you may have to go to Court and file a declaratory judgment
under Ca. Code of Civ. Proc. § 1060 et seq
to have the Court decide this. The normal person first threatens to go to Court, and if the HOA does not budge, they do.
Let me know if you need a sample letter threatening to sue
, which may help scare them into agreeing to something simply to avoid litigation
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