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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2211
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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I just read the article on WatchDog warning consumers that

Customer Question

I just read the article on WatchDog warning consumers that SolarCity can put a lien on peoples property in the guise of "SolarCity has the right to file any
UCC-1 financing statement or fixture filing". This was not explained to be by the seller or SolarCity. I am horrified that there is a 20 year contract on the home I am currently in "contingent" status on a purchase. I originally signed the house offer stating that the lease would be transferred to me based off the sellers sales points that is was a great deal.
As a prospective buyer do I have any recourse to not sign the SolarCity contract and get out of that part of the home offer? After I had signed, SolarCity asked for a credit check that I find odd.
In their contract, the homeowners have no rights.
For example, I hired a home inspector to check for EMF radiation and she found high levels of dirty electricity coming from the solar panel which is consistent with in with single inverter solar panel systems. SolarCity said they will not shield it to protect the homeowner nor is a third party aloud to do any installations of shielding. I am waiting for further clarification from SolarCity.
So as the homeowner, if I purchase this house and sign the SolarCity contract I will have no exit clause or rights. If I want to put in skylights for example to let in more light where the panel currently is, I cannot. If i want to get a home equity loan to improve the property I may be declined because of their lien.
I would like to buy the home, but break the SolarCity contract for the home or not take on the contract (leave that to the seller). Do I have any rights to fight this? I have invested a good amount in inspections but if buying the house means I have to be held hostage to SolarCity, I will have to try to back out of the purchase of the home which would be at a loss for both myself and the seller.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The Solar City contract is hard to interpret and without a sales rep, I wouldn't know what I was dealing with. Does this give me right to remove this as part of the purchase, or am I stuck regardless in an ALL or NOTHING scenario?
Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! I am an attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

I am sorry you are dealing with this and you are wise for inquiring about this situation. Here is the deal in a nutshell, if you takeover the lease you are hostage to SolarCity, it is as if you agreed to have the panels put on your house and you step in the shoes of the current owner.

What can you do? Really it comes down to either signing knowing you really have very little rights in the one sided SolarCity contract or have the seller buy out the remaining lease or else you can't go through with the sale of the house. This is not an unusual problem anymore and the seller likely was apprised of this if they have a Realtor. So unless you can get the seller to buy out the lease you either have to walk away or be held to the terms of the contract.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which truthfully addresses your question. Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you!Even if SolarCity put the equipment on an 18 year old roof that is in need of repair? Seller seemed to think that solarcity doesn't put solar on the roof unless it is in good shape.Also, with these findings, do I at least have a right to get out of the purchase of the home due to SolarCity terms being revealed and their putting a system an old roof in need of repair? I was sent the contract from the realtor before I signed the offer but I didn't see that it had more than the first page, and even if I had, I wouldn't have understood the issue of the hidden Lien and no right to protect myself from the high levels of dirty electricity emitting from the inverter.
Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

You may be at risk of losing your earnest money if the contingency period is over for the inspections. So if you are still within the inspection period you may walk away. If you are not, you may lose your earnest money, I am sorry to say. However, you have a valid argument given what has been unveiled to have your earnest money returned if you terminate the contract.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer at the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am in the contingency period now and inspections are due July 5th. What do I need to do now to protect myself before this period has ended?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also I can't get my inspection $$ back correct? I will just be protected for my $7K in escrow.
Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

You will need to ask the real estate agent for a "Cancellation of Contract, Release of Deposit and Joint Escrow Instruction". This form is set up to accomplish the following: One, it allows a buyer or seller to document that a contract is being cancelled and why. Two, it allows the buyer and seller to document a mutual agreement on the release of any deposit money held by escrow.

If you want to try an proceed with the having seller pay off the solar contract and repair the roof then you would request and if the seller agrees then the contract can proceed but if the seller does not want to do that, then the contract will be terminated and the form mentioned above will be needed to document the cancellation.

Unfortunately, no you can not recover the inspection fees, but you can take satisfaction the inspection worked and you did not get into a multi-thousand obligation that appears will be a headache.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or pleaseRATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer at the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

Can I answer any additional follow up questions for you or clarify anything I have written above? If not, can you please press a positive rating above this message box in the ratings section so I will be paid for my time assisting you on this matter? Pressing a positive rating will not cost any additional money - it is simply the trigger used by Just Answer to pay me for my time (pressing the middle star or the fourth or fifth star on the right are all positive rating buttons).

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