15 September 2016
Solar Panels: Will They Have a Positive or Negative Impact on Your Property?
Kerry Carter, Associate at Buss Murton Law LLP, explains the implications of installing Photovoltaic (PV) panels (known as solar panels) in your property.
Question: I want to make my home “greener” and I am considering installing solar panels to my property. Will this affect my ability to sell or re-mortgage in the future?
Answer: Possibly, as this depends upon a number of factors. You can choose to pay outright for the solar panels, or agree to lease the roof and airspace to the solar panel providers and they retain ownership of the panels. In the latter case, the home owner receives free electricity whilst the provider retains the income from the Feed in Tariffs.
Many choose the lease option as it is cheaper, but this comes with drawbacks. If you have a mortgage registered against your property, you must obtain the consent of your lender.
Mortgage companies are very cautious when lending on a property with solar panels and any lease must meet with strict criteria. A lender will want to ensure that they have the right to break the lease and have the solar panels removed in the event that the property is repossessed. They will also want to ensure that the solar panels have been installed by a provider registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Furthermore, each lender has its own specific requirements when it comes to the installation of solar panels. When you come to sell your property, this could limit your buyer’s choice of mortgage companies and, therefore, the number of buyers considering purchasing your property.
If you are re-mortgaging, you may be limited with your choice of mortgage lenders who are willing to lend on a property with solar panels leased to PV panel providers.
If you wish to proceed, it is really important that you take legal advice and instruct solicitors to review the lease to ensure that it complies with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ guidelines.