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Do solar panels affect the value of your home?

Do solar panels affect the value of your home?

By In Conveyancing On April 14, 2016


Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular , providing environmental and financial benefits, but homeowners should not rush to install.

If you are thinking about it, there are two basic packages available, either a purchase or a lease. Both options require careful consideration.

You could pay for the installation and claim the income (called a “feed in tariff”) yourself.

A number of solar panel installation firms are approaching homeowners, with attractive the promise of no upfront costs and more importantly, cheaper or free electricity. This will usually involve you giving the company a 25 year business lease of the air space above your house. The company will install the panels and then claim the feed in tariff. A lease is needed to regulate the ongoing relationship between you and the solar panel firm. The lease will be an extremely important document as it will regulate issues such as maintenance of the solar panels, maintenance of the roof, insurance, rights of access and what happens if someone is injured on the roof or if damage is caused to the property. The lease should also regulate who will be responsible if the installation or presence of solar panels create structural problems to the property. The lease will also need to comply with Council of Mortgage Lenders minimum terms – dont forget even if you dont have a mortgage your future buyer probably will need one and so the lease will need to comply for them to get a mortgage.

Remember, if you have a mortgage, the lender’s consent will be necessary before you can install the panels. Most lenders support green energy initiatives but want to ensure that the lease does not adversely affect the value or saleability of the property. Local authority consents may also be required.

Some solar panel installation firms offer a good service to consumers, a great deal on the electricity generated and are prepared to negotiate the terms of the lease. However, other firms ask homeowners to sign non-negotiable leases without allowing homeowners to obtain legal advice, giving the homeowner only 7 days in which cancel the lease. It is essential for homeowners considering solar panel leases to obtain independent legal advice as soon as possible. Homeowners should not be deterred from solar panel leases, but should proceed with caution after taking detailed advice
– contact Mark Cook on 0191 5677244 or mark@cooklaw.co.uk


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