Could solar panels be acting as a sales deterrent?

The blows just keep coming for the government’s environmental objectives as research finds roofs fitted with solar panels could cause sales to falter.

Solar panels can either be owned outright by the householder or fitted and rented out to a utility supplier.

According to research by independent home finding company County Homesearch, purchasing homes with panels could prevent buyers from obtaining a mortgage if the roof has been “rented” to a utility supplier.

County Homesearch raised three questions about properties with solar panels:

1. Do the panels increase or decrease the value of a property for aesthetic reasons? A Cotswold cottage with solar panels may well be a turn-off and reduce its value while a modern town house with them maybe a plus and a revenue earner.

2. Can the seller confirm who owns the panels? If they have been put up and owned by a power company on a 25 year lease that may be a problem as lenders will be reluctant to lend on that basis. A legal transfer of ownership will need to take place.

3. Having solar panels on the roof – which are very heavy – might undermine the roof’s structure and it’s advisable to inform the insurance company that they have been installed.

What do you think of solar panels? Have you had an experience of them causing problems in the conveyancing process? Do you think the impact of the various environmental initiatives on the house sale process has been thought through? What needs to change to make things more efficient? 

Today's Conveyancer