Surveyors warn of Green Deal concerns

The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has raised concerns over the mechanism and risk to conveyancers, ahead of the launch of the Government’s Green Deal on Monday.

Chairman of the RPSA, Alan Milstein, said: “The Green Deal is a strong concept that could significantly help homeowners and tenants to reduce their energy consumption and as a result, reduce their fuel bills too.

“However, as the first Green Deal finance schemes come into place, our members have voiced a number of concerns about whether a Green Deal loan is actually the most cost effective route for many consumers, while highlighting a number of risks for the wider property profession.”

Mr Milstein explained that due to the early repayment penalties and uncertainty about the impact on property saleability, taking on a Green Deal loan may not be the most cost effective way for consumers to fund any green improvements to their property.

He also pointed to the extra work it involved for conveyancers and agents.

At the moment it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to advise if any Green Deal finance is attached to their property.

However, in reality, this information could quite easily slip though the net.

Mr Milstein added: “For those buyers who commission a Home Condition Survey (HCS) on their potential new home, they will enjoy the reassurance that as part of this survey, a copy of the most up to date EPC will be sourced, ensuring that any information relating to a Green Deal loan will be highlighted, early on in the process.

“Of course, this will not cover the four out of five of buyers who don’t commission a property survey at all — the majority of whom mistakenly believe that the lender’s valuation constitutes their survey.”

Today's Conveyancer