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  • #46
    Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

    ............

    By vacating the lease, Tesla may be putting all their current lease revenue into some jeopardy, particularly when/as the lease trap becomes more commonly known in the future and home buyers of homes w/ PV leases simply refuse to accept the B.S. leases.

    .........
    This is hardly a case of voluntarily vacating a lease. Tesla's interest was foreclosed, involuntarily. Tesla did not have a choice in the matter except they could have cured the default in the original mortgage. They chose not to do that either because they didn't know or the financial burden and risk was greater than the value of their investment/

    The lease is with the former owner, who apparently lost the home in foreclosure. The important facts are that the security interest (UCC filing) of Tesla/Sloar City may have been wiped out by the foreclosure. The poster has title insurance and the operative issue is whether the title compny will defend their opinion about "clear title". There is a very small chance that the title policy contains an exclusion for personal property. The worse case is that Tesla/Solar City may have the right to remove the panels.

    The only thing that might influence future Tesla/Solar City policy is that when a lease becomes delinquent, they may wish to do something to avoid their security interest being wiped out by a foreclosure. That is beyond the scope of this thread.
    Last edited by Ampster; 04-27-2019, 06:37 PM.

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    • #47
      I have to wonder what kind of financial sense it would make for Tesla to pay installers to remove the system. What would a used system be worth to them?

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Ampster View Post

        This is hardly a case of voluntarily vacating a lease.

        The lease is with the former owner, who apparently lost the home in foreclosure. The important facts are that the security interest (UCC filing) of Tesla/Sloar City may have been wiped out by the foreclosure. The poster has title insurance and the operative issue is whether the title compny will defend their opinion about "clear title". There is a very small chance that the title policy contains an exclusion for personal property. The worse case is that Tesla/Solar City may have the right to remove the panels.

        The only thing that might influence future Tesla/Solar City policy is that when a lease becomes delinquent, they may wish to do something to avoid their security interest being wiped out by a foreclosure. That is beyond the scope of this thread.
        As I wrote, I'm mostly out of my knowledge base here, and unless others here are lawyers proficient in such things matters, so are all the other posters to this thread - including you.

        So, from my ignorant perspective, I would seem to me that if Tesla is the valid lessor, and if they do not pursue legal remedies as stipulated in that lease, then as one not versed in the ins/outs of such things, but still possessing some common sense, call it what you will, I'd say it looks to me that in that case, Tesla would have walked away.

        To (perhaps loosely) paraphrase what you've written in the past, it's all opinion anyway. Yours and mine are but two.

        BTW, have you even seen, much less read a SolarCity/Tesla lease ? If you're going to mouth off like you know something about it, I'd suggest you get informed before bloviate and possibly mislead someone reading your stuff. Otherwise, your opinion is no more valid than mine or anyone else's as posted here so far.

        I have several copies of SolarCity/Tesla leases. They have not changed much in the 11 or so years I've been reviewing those and other PV 3d party ownership arrangements that IMO, too many fellow HOA members have been and continue to get conned into.
        Last edited by J.P.M.; 04-24-2019, 12:16 PM.

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        • #49
          Also not a lawyer. But possession is 9/10 of the law and Tesla has no legal claim against you directly -- previous owner, yes. bank, yes. title company, yes. Nor can they trespass on your property to remove items that may or may not be their property (without a court order and a police / court official escort).

          That said, at the present moment, are the panels benefiting you in any way? Who are your purchasing power from? Your local PoCo? Do you have a bi-directional meter? Is the current PV production offsetting your consumption? Are you earning SREC's? I have no idea about the details of the previous homeowners lease / PPA. But if they were financing / renting the panels through a power purchase agreement from Tesla, I'm not sure what impact (if any) this would have on the "normal" grid-tied Net-Metering setup that folks who own their systems would have.

          It may be in your best interest to have your lawyer draft a proposal suggesting that Tesla remove their equipment and pay you reasonable and customer expenses for the replacement of your roof which was damaged / degraded by their installation.

          -Jonathan

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          • #50
            I sent an email to our title policy holders legal team this morning (there was not a number to talk to a direct person.) They have replied requesting my policy and the letter from tesla. I will get them both of those tomorrow morning.

            As for if Tesla would waste the money to fight it in court, you could look at it either way.. they might not want it to go against them in another case like this, or they might want to fight it, because eventually this booming real estate market will crash a little and the potential for foreclosures could happen, some of which could potentially have leased panels on the house like ours. The big thing is Telsa had the opportunity to take the panels off when they were notified of the foreclosure back in September and chose not to.

            I am going to wait to see what the title company says. I think this really comes down to if they are fixtures or personal property at this point.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

              As I wrote, I'm mostly out of my knowledge base here, and unless others here are lawyers proficient in such things matters, so are all the other posters to this thread - including you.
              Attacking the person instead ot the argument? I worked for a bank for 11 years and ran a foreclosure department. On my own account I have participated in over 50 real estate transactions all of which carried title insurance.

              So, from my ignorant perspective, I would seem to me that if Tesla is the valid lessor, and if they do not pursue legal remedies as stipulated in that lease, then as one not versed in the ins/outs of such things, but still possessing some common sense, call it what you will, I'd say it looks to me that in that case, Tesla would have walked away.
              Valid lessor? Then who would be the valid lessee, the former owner? How is the lease relevant to the current owner? My opinion is that the security instrument (UCC filing) may or may not be effective anymore and that is the document that is important. I stated that in an earlier post.What about that do you not understand?

              BTW, have you even seen, much less read a SolarCity/Tesla lease ? If you're going to mouth off like you know something about it, I'd suggest you get informed before bloviate and possibly mislead someone reading your stuff. Otherwise, your opinion is no more valid than mine or anyone else's as posted here so far.
              Yes, I read the lease that was on the home that my daughter and her husband purchased 15 months ago in California. I also read the title report that showed the UCC filing. That lease contained a provision for the Lessee to have the system moved to another structure and I encouraged my daughter and son in law to insist that the seller do that. That was their dream house and they didn't want to rock the boat. I am working with them now to see about exercising the option to purchase the system when that opportunity comes around in another year and a half. It will all depend on the market value that is quoted at that time. The other option would be to prepay the system. However the lease is not relevant to the operative issue in this thread.
              I have several copies of SolarCity/Tesla leases. They have not changed much in the 11 or so years I've been reviewing those and other PV 3d party ownership arrangements that IMO, too many fellow HOA members have been and continue to get conned into.
              Then you can tell us what the remedies Lessor has if the lease is in default. Of course that is a moot point since the poster is not part of that contract. Also the lease form may be different in Massachusetts. The issue here is not the lease because the poster has not signed that lease so he is not bound by the terms of the lease. . The issue is whether Tesla/Solar City has any rights to the system. If they do, then the issue becomes what will the title company do to protect the poster. I am not a lawyer but I have had 50 years experience dealing with lawyers on mostly real estate contractual issues. I enforced mechanics liens when I was in the building materials business.

              In legal analysis it is important to understand what the critical issue is all about to avoid blovating and spinning your wheels on irrelevant issues.That is why I focused on the title issue and not the lease.
              Last edited by Ampster; 04-28-2019, 10:52 AM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by beans31 View Post
                ...........
                I am going to wait to see what the title company says. I think this really comes down to if they are fixtures or personal property at this point.
                Yes, I think that is how the issue will turn. You have gotten good advice and now it is up to Tesla to make the next move. I am sure your research and your lawyer has explained to you lots of instances where personal property when affixed to the real estate becomes part of the real estate. I know you would like to get closure but the facts appear to be on your side. Good luck.

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                • #53
                  I am still going to hold off on contacting Tesla for now. I just sent the documents that the title company requested and will see what they say.

                  I will keep this post active as the process moves forward for anyone else that may be or could potentially be in a similar situation going forward.

                  Thanks for all the replies!

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                    Your seller paid for a policy of title insurance and the question for the title company is whether that policy covers claims arising from fixture filings (UCC filing). Did the lawyer read the title policy? Have you read the title policy?
                    I've owned 5 houses, and NEVER was I as a seller expected to pay for the title insurance policy. Always as a buyer, I was advised by my attorney to have one, especially this last when I paid cash. The lender policy (mandated in the Carolinas for a mortgage loan) would cover up to the mortgage amount, but the lawyer said I'd be bankrupt in the event of a suit; the costs are astronomical.

                    Now ... "closing costs paid by seller" exists ... but you are the one with the mortgage that needs the protection, and the owner coverage is a few dollars more than the lender policy ... in the Carolinas. States vary!

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by gbynum View Post

                      I've owned 5 houses, and NEVER was I as a seller expected to pay for the title insurance policy. Always as a buyer, I was advised by my attorney to have one, especially this last when I paid cash. The lender policy (mandated in the Carolinas for a mortgage loan) would cover up to the mortgage amount, but the lawyer said I'd be bankrupt in the event of a suit; the costs are astronomical.

                      Now ... "closing costs paid by seller" exists ... but you are the one with the mortgage that needs the protection, and the owner coverage is a few dollars more than the lender policy ... in the Carolinas. States vary!
                      Yes, states vary. In California the policy varies from north to south in terms of how escrows are handled. In the 50 or so transactions that I have been involved in Southern California the buyer only pays for a lenders title policy if there is a loan. Lenders usually get an ALTA (American Land Title Association) endorsement that covers more than just an owners policy. Of course non of that matters because the OP is in Massachusetts and the legal issue is whether Tesla has any rights to the panels on the OPs roof. I believe they don't but I don't know Massachusetts personal property law.
                      Last edited by Ampster; 04-27-2019, 10:28 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Update: Received another letter from Tesla on Saturday (dated the 23) saying that since I did not contact that I have 10 days to set up the IMMEDIATE (in caps, bold, and underlined) removal of their solar system located in my property.

                        I ended up sending the new person on the letter an email and assume we will talk today. Summed up it said that we were under the impression we bought th system with the house and that Tesla had their chance to remove it and didn't do so, when we received a clean title in our sale the panels became fixtures and that they are not allowed on my property.

                        Im assuming they won't be very happy with this. I will also be passing that along to the title company today.

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                        • #57
                          I still wonder if it would really be worth thier while to spend the $$ to deinstall the system. How much is that used gear worth to them?

                          Is Tesla in the business of selling used gear?

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by beans31 View Post
                            Update: Received another letter from Tesla on Saturday (dated the 23) saying that since I did not contact that I have 10 days to set up the IMMEDIATE (in caps, bold, and underlined) removal of their solar system located in my property.

                            I ended up sending the new person on the letter an email and assume we will talk today. Summed up it said that we were under the impression we bought th system with the house and that Tesla had their chance to remove it and didn't do so, when we received a clean title in our sale the panels became fixtures and that they are not allowed on my property.

                            Im assuming they won't be very happy with this. I will also be passing that along to the title company today.
                            Thank you for the update. I'll be interested to read how all this flushes out. There are ~ 25 SolarCity leases and ~ 20 leases/PPA's from other outfits in my HOA. People move, but so far only a few homes w/leases have changed hands. With one, the buyer accepted the deal w/ the lease. On the other, the seller had to lower the selling price. I'm unsure of the rest.

                            I can see this as a problem area in the future. PV lessees get ready for it.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                              Thank you for the update. I'll be interested to read how all this flushes out. There are ~ 25 SolarCity leases and ~ 20 leases/PPA's from other outfits in my HOA. People move, but so far only a few homes w/leases have changed hands. With one, the buyer accepted the deal w/ the lease. On the other, the seller had to lower the selling price. I'm unsure of the rest.

                              I can see this as a problem area in the future. PV lessees get ready for it.
                              The only issue here is the lease agreement with the previous owner is not valid. They are long gone.. but I am sure this cant be the first or last time that this situation will occur.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by beans31 View Post

                                The only issue here is the lease agreement with the previous owner is not valid. They are long gone.. but I am sure this cant be the first or last time that this situation will occur.
                                I missed the part where it was determined the lease with the prior owner was not valid. Still, I'll be interested to read of how future events unfold.

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