Buying a house with roof leased for solar panels

(6 Posts)
LyraMortalia Sat 24-Sep-16 20:00:31

Just that really we're cash buyers so no worries about getting a mortgage. It's a nice three bed house needing a bit of work so we're buying it as a bit of a project then going to rent it out. I'm struggling to understand why anyone would give over their roof. The estate agent and seller are drip feeding info which is always a bad sign. So far we have a copy of the contract which is from a firm that has gone bust! The seller doesn't live in the house but has told us it gets free electricity and some money. I have solar panels on my own house so I'm pretty sure that's not true, reduced electricity maybe. There is a buyout clause which we would possibly take up but it seems really high. Any one with any experience or advice??

specialsubject Sat 24-Sep-16 20:22:25

beyond 'don't'.... these installers have a reputation for not being too bothered about how they treated the roof, whether the panels actually face the right way and if the loading/building regs are correct.

and that's before you get to the legals. If the company went bust, who were the assets sold to?

LyraMortalia Sat 24-Sep-16 20:28:05

Yes that does worry me and it seems that the company wasn't msc certified. I'm starting to feel sorry for the seller.

SternlyVoice Sat 24-Sep-16 23:04:54

We bought a house with a lease on the roof. Although you are cash buyers, get your solicitor to check that the terms of the lease comply with the guidelines from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. If it doesn't, then the house is unmortgageable and will affect any future sale. If it isn't correct, it can restrict the number of times that the panels can be removed for, say, roof repairs. So, not good! Also, it's very unlikely that the seller is getting money from the panels. We get use of the electricity that we generate when we're at home but any excess is passed back to the grid and the solar panel company get the money. Although now that this company's gone bust, you would need to check who now owns the panels and who is getting the feed-in tariff. And as you say, the cost of buying out the lease is huge. Basically, you're paying for the cost of the panels themselves and the profit that the company would make over the length of the lease. In our case, the company were still in business and agreed to change the terms of the lease (done by our solicitor but paid for by the seller) and only then did we formally apply for a mortgage. And our survey didn't indicate any problems with the roof bearing the load of the panels. For us, we loved the house and it has been worth it, but only because the terms of the lease were changed.

LegArmpits Sat 24-Sep-16 23:09:04

We sold our house last year with leased panels on, was no problem whatsoever in terms of our buyers getting a mortgage. They'll be benefiting just like we did from super cheap electricity. There was also in the contract the clause that the company would refit the panels should the need arise due to them, for example, adding a loft conversion.
So as far as our experience went, it was fine.

LyraMortalia Sun 25-Sep-16 19:57:49

Thank you I'm speaking to the ea tomorrow and going to ask for a full and clear answer from the seller as to the exact benefits and who actually owns the panels now. Dh is sick of the obfuscation and wants to withdraw our offer so probably need to start looking again.

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