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Solar Panels and Lease agreements

Sorry starting another thread for some advice! If anybody can help be greatly appreciated.

My uncle is selling a house with solar panels on it. He had them installed in 2012 and the lease ends in 2037. He had them installed by a company called A Shade Greener, who just a few months after the installation sold part of their business to Solar Power Investments. My uncle has never had any correspondence by this new company and only found this out a couple of weeks ago when he contacted A Shade Greener. The sole director of Solar Power Investments is supposedly on a beach in Malta somewhere and they can't contact him.

Does anybody know where he stands on the transferring of the lease? He would prefer these removed to be honest to proceed with the sale. The original lease only has a few words about termination such as a breach of contract or if they are damaged.

Ideal scenario would get the lease terminated if possible, but not sure how this works. His solicitor has been useless although perhaps not his specialist area I guess. He will go speak to a solicitor but said I would try to get some advice beforehand.

Cheers guys, know I am a bit of pain asking for advice (I have helped Lifers myself though)

Comments

  • Is it a lease agreement for the panels or a PPA, where he has agreed to purchase the power generated by the panels at a set per-kWh price?
  • LenGlover said:
    Things may have changed over the past 2-3 years but one of my daughters looked at a house with solar panels on and the mortgage lender (High Street name) didn't want to know.

    She consequently gave up on that one and eventually purchased another without panels.
  • Addickted said:

    Is it a lease agreement for the panels or a PPA, where he has agreed to purchase the power generated by the panels at a set per-kWh price?

    I am fairly certain it is a lease for the panels. He agreed to lease for 25 years with Company A. Company A sold this to Company B a few months after.

    He has only just found this out, although Land Registry still has Company A listed who I believe were liquidated and operate now under a similar name. I think they have asked Land Registry to remove Company A.

    To be honest the lease agreements mentions being told of changes to the lease. Ideally we want to get this lease voided now.
  • LenGlover said:

    LenGlover said:
    Things may have changed over the past 2-3 years but one of my daughters looked at a house with solar panels on and the mortgage lender (High Street name) didn't want to know.

    She consequently gave up on that one and eventually purchased another without panels.
    Agreed, my uncle was a bit silly. The buyer of the house absolutely loves it and is willing to wait to get this sorted. But their mortgage company aren't keen hence why my uncle ideally wants the panels removed. Just can't get in touch with the owners!
  • My advice - stay well away from leasing your roof to solar panel companies - after my Dad died last year my mum decided to sell up and move house - that's when I discovered the solar panels were on a lease - buyer of mum's house did not want the lease in place - total mare to sort out - solar panel company very difficult to contact and total arseholes to deal with - cost my mum £20k to terminate the lease

    The feed in tariff stuff is tosh as well

    Bottom line - if you want panels, buy them - if you can't afford them, forget it
  • My advice - stay well away from leasing your roof to solar panel companies - after my Dad died last year my mum decided to sell up and move house - that's when I discovered the solar panels were on a lease - buyer of mum's house did not want the lease in place - total mare to sort out - solar panel company very difficult to contact and total arseholes to deal with - cost my mum £20k to terminate the lease

    The feed in tariff stuff is tosh as well

    Bottom line - if you want panels, buy them - if you can't afford them, forget it

    Agreed from what I have read. Except in this case it's too late.

    Fear your story might be replicated here though to be honest.
  • I get the reason why it's a problem if mortgage lenders are refusing to lend, but it needs explaining to me why mortgage lenders see it as such a serious potential risk against the property value.

    Firstly there is the right of access. The owner must alway allow access to the leased roof by the solar company. I doubt if they would move in and build a bathroom and kitchen, so not sure why there is a problem there.

    A survey should determine if there is any flaw in the installation which affects value, in which case it's knocked off the mortgage offer.

    Secondly there is a long term financial arrangement that is attached to the freehold of the property that passes to a new owner in the event of a sale, unless the obligation is bought out. Relative to the average value of a house, any such financial obligation is small and the buyer's mortgage company simply needs to insist on it being bought out on completion. The buyer gets a free solar installation and the seller might be able to take account of it in his sale price.

    Sounds like a hare started running by mortgage company reports from their conveyancing lawyers pointing out insignificant third party rights and potential problems on sale. The companies can't be bothered to find a practical solution to support buyers and sellers.
  • I get the reason why it's a problem if mortgage lenders are refusing to lend, but it needs explaining to me why mortgage lenders see it as such a serious potential risk against the property value.

    Firstly there is the right of access. The owner must alway allow access to the leased roof by the solar company. I doubt if they would move in and build a bathroom and kitchen, so not sure why there is a problem there.

    A survey should determine if there is any flaw in the installation which affects value, in which case it's knocked off the mortgage offer.

    Secondly there is a long term financial arrangement that is attached to the freehold of the property that passes to a new owner in the event of a sale, unless the obligation is bought out. Relative to the average value of a house, any such financial obligation is small and the buyer's mortgage company simply needs to insist on it being bought out on completion. The buyer gets a free solar installation and the seller might be able to take account of it in his sale price.

    Sounds like a hare started running by mortgage company reports from their conveyancing lawyers pointing out insignificant third party rights and potential problems on sale. The companies can't be bothered to find a practical solution to support buyers and sellers.

    My daughter was told by her mortgage company that it essentially came down to issues of liabilty.

    For example if, independent of anything to do with the panels, the roof needed repairing and panels needed to be removed for access purposes and maybe got damaged whose fault would it be?

    They pretty much told her that was not a debate they particularly wanted to get into and also implied that any insurance, if indeed it could be obtained, would be prohibitively expensive.

    I suggested to her, once she relayed this information to me, that she did not need the expense and hassle either then or if and when she herself wanted to sell in due course.

    Unusually for her she actually listened to me and decided to look elsewhere and ended up with a bigger, better located for her purposes house without solar panels and the accompanying hassles.
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