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Quotations, Contracts and Paying Money
Things you should be aware of with Solar Panel Quotations and Contracts...
Before you sign anything always make sure that you have obtained a quotation that details the expected benefits that you will receive based on your recent expenditure on electricity and the location of your property and the specification of the equipment you are planning to purchase.
If you are asked to pay a deposit it would be advisable to withhold this until you are sure that you have evidence that your property fits within one of the higher bands for FIT's (Feed In Tariff's) because if the property falls within band E or lower then you may not be able to recover the money you have invested for a very long time. In addition suppliers abiding to the REAL code should ensure that a technical site survey is carried out before the consumer signs the contract and whilst as a customer you may be charged for this any such fee should be reasonable.
On signing the agreement you should not pay more than 28% of the cost as a deposit and once such agreement is signed then members abiding to the REAL code will give consumers a cancellation period of 7 working days in which they can cancel the agreement without forfeiting their deposit or incurring any further charges. Members of the code are also bound to retain such deposit within a third party or client account to protect the consumer from any losses should the supplier enter into any insolvency arrangements. In addition this also covers any further payments that are made prior to the company supplying the goods or services.
Be careful of hidden rules and charges...
If you are having equipment installed for which you have not paid for there are a number of other issues to be aware of which may have severe implications. Invariably you may be locked into a 25 year contract as a result of obtaining the equipment for free this may include a situation where you have no ability to terminate the agreement, or to terminate the agreement there may a termination fee to pay which may be as much as £20,000 or more. If you decide to move house within this period you are reliant on the purchaser taking over your financial obligations which may limit the number of prospective buyers that you receive for your property. Whilst you might view the solar panels as an asset other people may view them as an eyesore!
On the 17th April 2012 the Mail Online published an article titled "House hunters warned against buying homes with free solar panels fitted". The article suggests house hunters have been warned that mortgage applications may be turned down where solar panels have been fitted for free. The warning appears to have originated from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) whose responsibility it is to value houses for the various mortgage lenders in addition to home buyers. The warning comes due to allegations that lenders are refusing loans on properties where solar panels have been fitted for free where possibly the supplier had not completed the paperwork initially in line with the guidance of the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The RICS are quoted as further implying that in the worst case scenario any supplier who wanted to be difficult where there is no buy- out clause could pursue the current owner for substantial sums of money to terminate the agreement and refuse to assign the current agreement to potential new owners . Effectively this would have serious implications on the ability of the current property owner to dispose of their property.
If you feel that your Solar Panels have been mis-sold and that you would like to make a claim please note that we do not charge any upfront fees for our service and the only fees we will charge you are 28% + VAT of any benefit that is obtained on your behalf.