Condominium

Ohio SB 61 Adds Protections for Solar Panels on Condominiums and Planned Community Homes | Roetzel & Andress

[co-author: Abigail Burke]

Senate Bill 61, signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in June, takes effect September 13, 2022. The bill allows homeowners and co-owners who are subject to the Homeowners Association (“HOA”) and the Condominium Owners Association (“COA”) rules and regulations for installing solar panels on rooftops and other designated locations in their lot or on their unit with less interference by the HOA or COA.

Once in effect, unless the HOA or COA statement specifically prohibits solar panels1, owners and co-owners may install solar panels or solar energy collection devices, subject to certain conditions described below. Previously, Ohio law allowed HOAs and COAs to broadly restrict homeowners’ ability to switch to solar power.

Conditions for Homeowner Associations: Unless expressly prohibited in the statement, homeowners may install solar panels on a roof or elsewhere on their land if either of the following conditions apply: (1) the owner is responsible for “costs of insurance, maintenance, repair, and replace”2 the roof or other location in the lot or (2) the statement specifically authorizes and regulates solar panels and “establishes liability for the cost of insurance, maintenance, repair and replacement of such devices”.3

Conditions for Condominium Owner Associations: The COA provision is reflected in the provisions of the HOA and establishes that, unless specifically prohibited by the statement, condominium owners may place solar panels on a roof if either other conditions apply: (1) the unit, as defined by the declaration, includes the roof and the owner is responsible for the “cost to insure, maintain, repair and replace”4 the roof or (2) statement specifically authorizes and regulates solar panels and “establishes liability for the cost of insurance, maintenance, repair and replacement of such devices.”5 Condominium owners who have units directly below or above their unit are specifically excluded from installing solar panels.

One of the goals of proponents of the bill was to provide greater access to solar panels with fewer restrictions imposed on homeowners by HOAs and COAs in Ohio. The law does this by preventing HOAs and COAs from imposing unfair restrictions on landlords by allowing only “reasonable restrictions regarding the size, location, and manner of placement.”6 solar panels and solar energy harvesting devices. “Reasonable restrictions” may vary and look different for each community.

In conclusion, Senate Bill 61 significantly expands the rights of homeowners and co-owners to install and benefit from solar power while allowing homeowner associations and condominium homeowner associations to restrict the “size, place and method of placement” in a reasonable manner.


1 SB 61 § 5311.192(A); SB 61 § 5312.16. (A)
2 SB 61 § 5312.16(A)(1)
3 SB 61 § 5312.16(A)(2)
4 SB 61 § 5311.192 (A)(1)
5 SB 61 § 5311.192 (A)(2)
6 SB 61 § 5311.192(B); SB 61 § 5312.16(B)

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