French court rules against homeowner on ‘misleading’ solar panel deal

The claimant was told he must continue to repay the bank loan taken out to pay the solar panel company

Solar panel cold-callers often claim that bank loan repayments will be met by selling electricity produced by the panels

A homeowner who claimed he was misled into installing solar panels is still obliged to repay the bank loan for the work, a court has ruled.

Previously, the law had favoured property-owners where work was of poor quality and the bank had not checked before paying the installer, or in cases where homeowners said they were tricked into signing for panels in the first instance.

Read more: Rise in solar panel scams in France and how to spot the tricks

Claim the panels never produced electricity levels promised

Solar panel cold-callers often claim that bank loans will cover the installation, with future repayments met by selling electricity produced by the panels.

However, the case heard in September ruled in favour of the bank, after the homeowner stopped repaying his loan three years after a solar installation.

He argued that the panels had never produced the amount of electricity promised in his contract, and that the bank should have checked the figures before agreeing the loan.

Work had been completed before loan was made

He also said the bank should have ascertained if the installation was prompted by cold-callers.

However, the Cour de cassation noted that when the loan application was made, the work had already been done and the homeowner appeared satisfied.

This absolved the bank of responsibility for any work done before this, judges said.

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