The bankruptcy filing by Pink Energy has left homeowners without warranty support for faulty solar energy systems. To make matters worse, some subcontractors who performed warranty work on solar energy systems have threatened to file mechanics’ liens against homeowners.
What is a mechanic’s lien?
A mechanic’s lien is a lien placed on property for a claim of unpaid bills. A subcontractor who is not paid by a contractor for work performed can file a lien on a property even if the owner had fully paid the contractor. A mechanic’s lien will essentially prevent a property from being sold or refinanced until the lien is paid. Aspen Contracting and other subcontractors hired by Pink Energy to work on home solar panels under warranty have sent letters threatening mechanic’s liens after they were not paid by Pink Energy.
Pennsylvania rules for mechanic’s liens
Under Pennsylvania law, a subcontractor cannot file a mechanic’s lien if the following three requirements are met:
- The homeowner paid the full price to the contractor,
- The property is used as the residence of the owner, and
- The property is a single townhouse or building with one or two dwelling units.
If a subcontractor made repairs or inspected a Pink Energy home solar power system, the homeowner likely did not pay separately for the service because it was under the Pink Energy warranty. The warranty was part of the purchase price for the system when it was originally financed. Even if payments are still being made on the loan for the solar installation, the contractor received full payment from the bank that financed loan. If the contractor, Pink Energy, received full payment for a home solar energy system that included a warranty, the contractor received full payment for service under the warranty. Based on these rules, a subcontractor does not have a right to file a mechanic’s lien against a home in Pennsylvania for service under the Pink Energy warranty because Pink Energy received full payment. Any lien on a home under these circumstances would be invalid.
Lien threats from servicers
Companies performing service under a solar power warranty should not threaten homeowners with filing a mechanic’s lien that is invalid under the law. If a company that performed inspection or repairs on your solar power system under warranty threatens to file a mechanic’s lien, you may be able to prevent or remove the lien.
Contact Roseman Law Firm for a free consultation to learn more out your rights.