Simi Valley, CA asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: Is my real estate case valid?

We purchased a home about 2 years ago. The MLS listing states FULLY PAID SOLAR (we still have a copy of the listing and it is still live on Zillow)! We purchased this home and made our offer due to this feature. After purchasing the house we found that it was actually leased solar which we needed to make monthly payments on. During the house closing process we thought we were signing a transfer of ownership of the solar panels but we did not read the documents completely in the closing process "rush" and it was actually a lease takeover. Do we have any options?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your situation raises concerns about potential misrepresentation or nondisclosure in the real estate transaction. The listing's assertion of "FULLY PAID SOLAR" when in fact the solar system was leased constitutes a significant discrepancy that could have impacted your decision to purchase the property. This discrepancy between the listing information and the actual contract terms you unwittingly agreed to by signing a lease takeover might form the basis of a valid real estate dispute under California law.

California law requires sellers to make certain disclosures about the property being sold, including details about leased equipment that may affect the property's value. If these requirements were not met, you might have grounds to seek remedies. This could involve negotiating a resolution with the seller, such as compensation for the difference in value between owned and leased solar panels or potentially unwinding the transaction, although the latter is more complex and less common.

Given the complexity of real estate law and the specifics of your situation, it would be wise to consult with a real estate attorney. An attorney can review the details of your transaction, the disclosures made, and the documents you signed to assess the strength of your case. They can advise on the best course of action, whether it be negotiation, mediation, or litigation, to address the misrepresentation and seek a fair resolution.

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