Does Sunrun Put a Lien on Your House?

No, Sunrun does not put a lien on your house. Instead, the lien is on the solar panels they own until the lease or loan is paid off.

Understanding Sunrun’s Lien Process

When you decide to go solar with Sunrun, understanding the financial implications, especially liens, is crucial. Here’s a clear breakdown of how it works.

Liens on Your Property vs. Solar Assets

Sunrun’s lien is specific to the solar equipment installed on your property, not the property itself. This distinction is important for homeowners to understand to avoid any confusion during the sale or refinancing of their homes.

What is a Lien?

A lien allows the lender to repossess an asset if the borrower defaults on payments. It secures the payment of a debt. For Sunrun customers, this lien applies to the solar panels, inverters, and other related equipment.

Sunrun’s Contract Breach: A Real Case

One homeowner’s experience highlights potential issues with Sunrun’s service. Squirrels damaged the solar panel wires, and despite multiple repair requests, Sunrun provided account credits instead of fixing the problem.

Key Incidents

Squirrel Damage: Wires were chewed by squirrels, leading to functional issues with the panels. 

Hailstorm Damage: A severe hailstorm damaged the roof, necessitating the removal of the panels for roof repairs. 

The homeowner had a Sunrun-approved contractor remove the panels for roof replacement. After repairing the roof, the contractor discovered the panels were a fire hazard and refused to reinstall them until Sunrun made the necessary repairs. Despite the homeowner’s numerous calls and emails, Sunrun only responded after the homeowner filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Impact on Selling Your Home

  • The unresolved issues with Sunrun created complications when the homeowner tried to sell their house.
  • The panels were not reinstalled, and the lien remained, obstructing the sale process.

Options to Deal with a Solar Lien

When selling a home with a Sunrun solar system, you have two main options to address the solar lien:

New Homeowner Assumes the Loan: The buyer must qualify for the solar loan and assume it, along with the lien on the solar equipment.

Pay Off the Loan: Use proceeds from the home sale to clear the loan, triggering the release of the lien. This is often the simplest and most effective option.

Common Confusion: UCC-1 Filing

The Uniform Commercial Code-1 (UCC-1) filing often causes confusion. When you take out a solar loan, the solar provider records this filing with the Secretary of State and the county. This publicly documents the provider’s legal claim to your solar assets.

Type of Lien Asset Affected Common Misunderstanding
Mortgage Lien House Lender thinks it’s on the property
Solar Lien Solar Equipment Lender thinks it’s on the property

Ensuring a Smooth Sale

Selling a solar-powered home with a solar loan lien requires extra steps but can be managed with proper preparation:

Understand Your UCC-1 Filing: Be prepared to explain this to potential buyers and lenders.

Educate Buyers: Highlight the value of your solar installation.

Use Experienced Real Estate Agents: Consider agents familiar with solar homes who understand the unique issues and opportunities involved.

Refinancing Your Solar Home

Refinancing a solar-powered home involves similar considerations. Contact Sunrun to confirm the lien is limited to the solar equipment, or pay off the loan to release the lien.

Refinancing Process

  1. Contact Sunrun: Confirm the lien is on the solar equipment only.
  2. Pay Off the Loan: Use proceeds from refinancing to clear the solar loan, releasing the lien.

Final Thoughts

Navigating a lien with Sunrun requires clear understanding and proactive communication. When selling or refinancing, you should know your options and educate all parties involved to ensure a smooth process. If Sunrun breaches the contract, you must persist and file formal complaints to resolve the issues.

Key Points to Remember

– Sunrun’s lien is on the solar panels, not your property. 

– Understand and explain the UCC-1 filing. 

– Educate buyers and use experienced agents. 

– Clear the lien by paying off the loan or having the new buyer assume it. 

By staying informed and proactive, you can manage the financial aspects of your solar installation without unnecessary stress. This knowledge empowers you to navigate the complexities of selling or refinancing your home with Sunrun’s solar panels.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I get out of my Sunrun contract?

Leasing contracts from Sunrun, Vivint, or other third-party-owned providers typically offer a short time frame where you can cancel the contract without incurring a penalty.

2. What happens at the end of a Sunrun contract?

At the end of the Initial Term, you may upgrade the Solar System under a new agreement with Sunrun. Your existing Agreement will be cancelled and Sunrun will design a new solar system using upgraded equipment for the Home.

3. What is the downside of Sunrun?

A major downside of Sunrun is the poor quality of its customer support. A large number of complaints on its BBB profile suggest disappointing post-installation service in recent years.

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