There are so many homes in the UK with solar panels and they offer many great benefits for the home owner. But when you are thinking of selling your home, can you do this with solar panels?
Do you take them with you? Do they stay with the house? Here I will answer all the important questions if you are thinking of selling your home with solar panels.
Why do people have solar panels?
According to The Eco Experts ‘There are roughly 1.2 million UK homes with solar panel installations, according to the latest MCS installations data. This means 4.1% of the 29 million homes in the UK are generating electricity from solar panels.‘
There are some really awesome benefits for home owners to have solar panels. You often have the initial cost to purchase and install the solar panels, but other than this its pretty hard to find a negative.
- They improve your EPC rating on your Energy Performance Certificate. Energy ratings are super important for buyers these days, especially with the increased cost of gas & electricity.
- They significantly reduce the cost of your electricity meaning the electricity is either cheap or even free! Yay for anything free!
- Solar energy has the least impact on the environment. They do not create any noise pollution, greenhouse gases and they do not impact our water or air.
- Increase the value of your home. Buyers will love them.
So now you can see why many home owners have solar panels. But what if you are thinking of selling your home? Do the solar panels cause a problem?
The big question. Leased or owned?
Do you lease or own the solar panels? This is a really important question.
If you have leased solar panels
Many moons ago back in 2010 the government introduced a ‘Feed-in-Tariff (FIT)’ scheme to help incentivise people to create their own renewable energy. The government would rent your roof space for an agreed period, often 20 or 25 years, and would install solar panels for you. There were varying agreements, some would get free electricity but not the FIT payments, others would just get the FIT payments. All depended on which leasing company you worked with. This ended for any new applicants in 2019.
This really took off and the number of residential homes in the UK with solar panels increased drastically.
If you have leased solar panels and you are thinking of selling your home, then the solar panels will remain. The solar panels are connected to the specific property, not the owners. The ‘Feed in Tariff (FIT)’ also remains with the solar panels, so the new owner will take over the tariff and receive the payments for the remainder of the period.
You will have signed a lease agreement with the leasing company so make sure you dig this out and read through it. It will very likely refer to any future house sale. There were many leasing companies at the time, all with slightly different terms, so make sure you read your agreement thoroughly. Your solicitor can also read the agreement for you.
If you own the solar panels
If you own the solar panels then you are free to take them with you.
However, this could cost you a fortune to both remove them and reinstall them at your new property, Plus you would need to return the roof to a very good condition. I have never come across any house seller who is taking their solar panels with them.
Mortgage lenders and solar panels
If your solar panels are rented, in effect the leasing company rents your roof space for the agreed period of time. If you are wanting to buy a home with has rented solar panels, then some mortgage lenders may have an issue with this.
I would speak with your mortgage lender, or your independent mortgage adviser, and explain the property you are interested in does have a lease agreement in place for solar panels. They can then advise you.
Knowledge is King when selling a home with solar panels
Selling a home with solar panels is possible. The key is to be upfront and knowledgeable from the very beginning. Give your estate agent a copy of all the relevant documentation and agreements. This means they have all the information from the very beginning and can inform interested buyers.
Having solicitors involved when selling your home will cost you money so make sure you read this information ‘How much are solicitor costs for selling a house‘.
Are you maybe thinking of extending your home instead of selling? This ‘How much can I extend my house without planning‘ is super helpful too and could save you lots of time & money.