Beaumont Tashjian Law Blog

Monday, January 1, 2018

AB 634 - Solar System Requirements

AB 634 (Eggman) Solar System Requirements.
Civil Code §714.1, §4600 & §4746
Effective January 1, 2018

Under AB 634, associations cannot establish a general policy prohibiting the installation or use of solar energy systems on the common area roof of the building where the owner resides, or a garage or carport assigned to the owner for exclusive use. Additionally, a vote of the membership is not required to grant exclusive use of common area for such purposes, and associations cannot require approval by a vote of the members as a condition to approval.

In connection with reviewing a request to install a solar energy system on a multifamily common area roof shared by more than one homeowner, the association must require:

    (1) An applicant to notify each owner of a unit in the building on which the installation will be located; and

    (2) The installing owner and each future owner to maintain a homeowner liability coverage policy at all times and     provide the association with the corresponding certificate of insurance within fourteen days of approval of the application     and annually thereafter.

AB 634 does allow associations to impose additional reasonable requirements that:

    (1) Require the applicant to submit a solar site survey showing, among other things, the placement of the solar energy     system prepared by a licensed contractor or the contractor’s registered salesperson knowledgeable in the installation of     solar energy systems to determine usable solar roof area; and

    (2) Require the installing owner and each future owner of the solar energy system to be responsible for cost of damage     caused by the solar energy system, cost of maintenance repair and replacement of the solar energy system and     disclosing to prospective buyers the existence of any solar energy system and the related responsibilities of the owner.

Without a Solar Energy Installation Policy (“Policy”) associations will be unable to ensure that owners installing such solar panels are held financially responsible for any damage to the common area roofs as a result of the installation. We strongly recommend Boards immediately adopt a Policy addressing the duties and obligations of owners installing solar panels, and record with the County Recorder's office a Covenant to Maintain and Repair Solar Panels and to Indemnify the Association.

By recording such a covenant associations will be putting future owners of the unit on notice of their maintenance obligations related to the solar panels and common area roof. Contact our office for a quote to prepare custom documents unique to your community's needs.

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