Z.M. from Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We own one of the units in a two-family condo. We are interested in getting solar panels. However, the other unit has refused to allow us to do so out of EMF concerns associated with solar. What rights do we have to install the solar panels on half of the roof if we cannot get consent from the other unit? Our condo roof has no issues but it is at the end of life. We would have to replace it to install solar panels. What rights we have to get the other unit to pay for the roof if we decide to go solar?
Mister Condo replies:
Z.M., it is unfortunate when unit owners in a two-unit condo disagree on anything, let alone something as important as a roof. Since solar was not included in the condo when built, it would require following whatever rules exist for modifying the existing home. If the condo is 50% ownership for each of you, my guess is that if either party doesn’t want it, that’s the end of the discussion as neither party will have a majority of votes. However, if you own more than 50% (I have seen some split 60/40 or other based on square footage), you might have some pull to get the project done and paid for by the other owner in that same 60/40 formula. However, since they are citing EMF concerns, my next guess is that they will sue you if you attempt to install the solar panels. My friendly advice is to let it go. However, I am not an attorney and offer no legal opinion on this matter. If you feel you have the legal right to install solar and wish to pursue the matter further, kindly speak with locally qualified council. Good luck!