Homeowner Leasing of Solar Panels Can Be Risky

solar panel installationHomeowner leasing of solar panels can be tricky and cause challenges when it comes to sell or refinance the home.

Kenneth R. Harney said at his March 22, 2015 article:  “Can going green by leasing solar panels for your roof cost you money — or give you headaches — when you go to sell the house?  Possibly both.”

Some home buyers are hesitant to get involved in a deal where they will need to qualify to buy the house – and also qualify to take over financial obligation on the solar panel leases.

When buyers take over solar panel leases, they take them as is – or that the home seller pays for entire lease obligation at close of escrow on the purchase and sale.

Residential solar installations are booming — up by 50% per year since 2012, according to the Solar Energy Industries Assn.  More than 600,000 homes and businesses now have on-site solar, with the fastest growth rates occurring in Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.  SolarCity is the biggest provider, and it’s well-supported by venture capital.

Home sellers need to beware of the potential legal and financing complexities that can occur when you lease, rather than buy, solar panels.  If you lease, you should know and understand your obligations, and talk to your current utility company about the savings claimed.  If you have a leased system and plan to sell, contact the leasing company in advance to learn about the lease transfer and buyout options – and be ready for problems.

By Harrison K. Long.  California Real estate broker (Cal Bre 01410855) and professional Realtor representative – also an attorney member of the California Bar Association (member #69137).  See my site at HarrisonKLong.com for information.  Contact me by email at HKLong@cox.net – or by cell or text at 949-701-2515.  Thanks.

Source of some information is the Kenneth Harney article (see link to article here).  This is for information only and is not the providing of legal services.

About Harrison K. Long

Professional real estate representative, Realtor, GRI, Broker associate, Evergreen Realty HomeSmart - Orange County, CA - CA BRE 01410855 - Helping property owners, estate trustees, executors and administrators, fiduciaries, bankers, investor group managers, property owners, with listing and sale of properties - helping people with their best decisions about selling and buying homes and real estate. Orange County Association of REALTORs, prior service on its board of directors. California Association of Realtors, now serving by appointment on its board of directors. National Association of Realtors, member. Also an attorney member of the California State Bar Association #69137 - Contact by telephone or text at 949-701-2515.
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