Can Your HOA Prevent You From Installing an Emergency Generator?
The answer to the question Can Your HOA Prevent You From Installing an Emergency Generator is, well maybe.
Installing a stand-by emergency generator is a daunting task that will require many permits and inspections from your local governing governmental municipality. The installation will start with your front yard to be dug up so a large propane tank, probably about 500 gallons, can be installed underground. Then, then the generator itself will be installed in the back yard, with underground piping connecting the generator to the tank in the front yard, and also underground electrical conduits to the electrical service to your home will be installed. If you are the owner of your entire property, including both the front and back yards then you should have no problems with our HOA. The governing municipality to whom you apply for the installation permits will require proof that you own all of the property where the generator and its required components are installed.
So what happens if you live in an HOA community where there are zero lot line homes? A zero lot line home is a residential property where the house structure is situated near one edge of the lot, which means the property on that side of your house is not owned by you but rather it’s owned by either your neighbor or the HOA. Lets say the area where the generator and its required components need to be installed are owned by the HOA. Can your HOA prevent you from installing an emergency generator on HOA owned common element property?
Currently there is no Florida law that allows a homeowner to install a stand-by emergency generator and most association governing documents do not address this issue. If a homeowner required a stand-by emergency generator due to some medical condition, then the HOA would be had pressed to deny the homeowner’s request if it was made under the Fair Housing Act or FHA. For those homeowners who do not have a qualified medical condition under the FHA and who live in a zero lot line community, there is no easy answer.
HOA communities with zero lot lines would need to amend their governing documents to allow for the installation of a stand-by emergency generator, which is usually a nearly impossible task due to the quorum and/or voting requirements of an association declaration in order to achieve the amendment. The better option is for the Florida Legislature to amend Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, known as the HOA Act, to allow homeowners in zero lot line communities to install a stand-by emergency generator if, 1) 100% of the installation cost was paid for by the homeowner; 2) the homeowner must reimburse and indemnify the association for any damages; 3) the installation must be permitted by the governing governmental body; 4) the homeowner must pay to replace any grass damaged in the installation; and 5) the homeowner must hide the generator with landscaping, at their expense.
If your HOA is preventing you from installing a stand-by emergency generator, Contact Ferrer Law Group and we may be able to help.
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