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HELMS Green Deal Solar Panels {Merged}

edited 10 June 2020 at 11:41AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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kPATmkPATm Forumite
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edited 10 June 2020 at 11:41AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Hello. Hope someone can help. My partner and I purchased our 1st property at the end of 2016. The property already had Solar Panels installed. As 1st time buyers we didnt know anything about buying a property. The panels where bought by the previous owner on the Green deal. After we moved in and looked into having our electrcity supplied to the house we where informed that the Panels do not belong to us therefore we couldnt set up a FIT. I much later came to find that the company who sold the panels to the previous owner was HELMS who have gone bust as you may well know. Trying to get this sorted has been pretty stressful as you could imagine. There is still an outstanding balance on the panels of a few thousand pounds. As far as I am aware it is being payed by the electicity generated by the panels but after all this stress I would much prefer to have them removed as I believe the previous owner was missold them in the 1st place. I have tried to find out who to contact for help in dealing with this but everything I have came across seems to be from a couple of years ago so I am really stuck and need some help please. Thank you

Replies

  • HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
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    Perhaps better advice here.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/green-ethical-moneysaving


    But was this not all sorted at purchase time by your solicitor?
    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • kPATmkPATm Forumite
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    No our solicitor never mentioned anything about the solar panel credit agreement taken out by the previous owner. Being 1st time buyers we obviously thought that something like that would need to be mentioned to us if we where interested in the property. We assumed the panels where bought and payed for by the previous owner.
  • kPATmkPATm Forumite
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    Could a mod please move my thread to the correct place please
  • kPATmkPATm Forumite
    10 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Hello. Hope someone can help. My partner and I purchased our 1st property at the end of 2016. The property already had Solar Panels installed. As 1st time buyers we didnt know anything about buying a property. The panels where bought by the previous owner on the Green deal. After we moved in and looked into having our electrcity supplied to the house we where informed that the Panels do not belong to us therefore we couldnt set up a FIT. I much later came to find that the company who sold the panels to the previous owner was HELMS who have gone bust as you may well know. Trying to get this sorted has been pretty stressful as you could imagine. There is still an outstanding balance on the panels of a few thousand pounds. As far as I am aware it is being payed by the electicity generated by the panels but after all this stress I would much prefer to have them removed as I believe the previous owner was missold them in the 1st place. I have tried to find out who to contact for help in dealing with this but everything I have came across seems to be from a couple of years ago so I am really stuck and need some help please. Thank you
  • TalldaveTalldave Forumite
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    kPATm said:
    No our solicitor never mentioned anything about the solar panel credit agreement taken out by the previous owner. Being 1st time buyers we obviously thought that something like that would need to be mentioned to us if we where interested in the property. We assumed the panels where bought and payed for by the previous owner.
    Then either your solicitor was rubbish or the vendors lied to their solicitor about the panels. Not sure how you get redress though. 

    If the panels aren't yours then you don't need to worry about them blowing down in a gale or being stolen one dark night ;-).
  • stewie_griffinstewie_griffin Forumite
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    HELMS scammed a lot of households and as you're finding out there's still fall out of this. Your solicitors really should have looked in to the ownership of the solar panels during your purchase.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/making-energy-efficient-home-improvements/helms-home-energy-lifestyle-management-ltd-and-green-deal-concerns-and-complaints/
  • tim_ptim_p Forumite
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    If you can sort out the legal implications then I’d leave them there. You are benefiting from them and with some careful planning could benefit further. This really should have been picked up by a competent solicitor and you should have some redress as it wasn’t. 
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    I'd think you are pushing your luck regarding the solicitor after four years but I guess he should still be liable if he failed in his duty of care.

    . Are you actually paying for the panels as the Green Deal was a fiance option to pay for them and it would have been transferred with the house - you should be aware of that in your energy bills and your solicitor should have picked it up when you purchased the property. Go back through all your paperwork and if necessary refer back to your solicitor - if he fouled up then go to the Law Society to get advice. Maybe it was a rent-a-roof scheme where the installation company owned the panels and collected the FIT and you got the benefit of the generated energy, in which case I guess it's tough if they've gone bust.

    You really need to understand what is going on - getting "stressed" wont sort out your problem. If the ownership of the panels wasn't transferred to you either as a person on with the house then as far as I can see you shouldn't have any liability, so just accept the leccy that they generate.

    If someone is trying to get you to pay for them and you've no indication of the ownership then I'd tell them to get stuffed unless they can prove that the liability got transferred when you purchased the house. You need to check all your paperwork to see if you missed it whilst buying the place. However the solicitor should have pointed it out if there was a liability on you after purchase. 
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    I think you need to be clear exactly what is going on.  You talk about buying and selling panels, but also say that they don't belong to you.  That doesn't make much sense.
    There are two common ways to get solar panels:
    1. Actually buying them.  The panels belong to you, and you get the FIT payments.  If you sell the property, then the panels are sold with the house.
    2. A "rent a roof" scheme where you pay nothing, and somebody else installs their own panels.  You get free electricity, they get the FIT payments.
    The Green Deal was a scam scheme where people would sell home improvements, with finance, with the finance cost being added to the customer's energy bills.  In theory, the energy savings from the improvements would be greater than the finance cost.  Frequently, the improvements were so over-priced that they ended up costing more than they saved.  The finance payments continue to be added to all the energy bills even if the property is sold on to somebody else.
    Perhaps you should ask your solicitor why they didn't explain to you when you bought the property what the situation was with the solar panels.  It's the job of the solicitor to make sure that their customer knows what they are buying.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
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