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Solar panels on the roof of a house; our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston discuss six things to consider when buying property with solar panels.
Purchasing a house fitted with solar panels can be an appealing prospect for many homebuyers, especially with the increased awareness of eco-fuels over the last 5 years, or so. The promise of reduced electricity bills, a smaller carbon footprint, and potentially earning money by selling excess energy back to the energy grid are significant incentives. However, our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston would explain that buying a property with solar panels also requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure the investment aligns with your expectations and financial goals.  
In this article, Chloe Cardwell, Director, Conveyancing Solicitor, and Head of Conveyancing at MG Legal, explores key considerations you should have when buying a house with solar panels. 

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MG Legal's leading Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston offer all of our Conveyancing services on a clear, fixed-fee rate.  
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Solar Panels: the difference between ownership and lease agreements 

One of the first aspects for your Conveyancing Solicitors is to clarify whether the solar panels are owned outright by the seller or under a lease agreement with a solar company. Owned solar panels usually add value to the property and come without additional costs. Conversely, leased panels might involve long-term contracts that the new homeowner will need to take over. Understand the terms, duration, and any transfer fees associated with the lease, which your Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston will be able to advise on. 

Solar Panels: consider the age and condition of the panels 

The efficiency of solar panels generally diminishes over time, and older systems may produce less electricity than newer ones. Before purchasing your property, your Conveyancing Solicitors will investigate the age, condition, and expected lifespan of the solar panels with the sellers’ solicitor. Consider whether any warranties cover the panels and if they are transferable to you as the new owner. It is also wise to enquire about the maintenance history of the panels, to check they are in full working order and maintained appropriately. 

Should I inspect solar panels before I purchase a property? 

Solar panels can have various financial implications: 

Savings on Energy Bills 

You should estimate the potential savings on electricity costs. You may wish to instruct your Conveyancing Solicitor to request past utility bills from the seller to understand the system’s impact on reducing energy expenses. 

Financing and Insurance 

Verify if the presence of solar panels affects your ability to secure a mortgage or influences your buildings insurance premium. Some lenders and insurers have specific requirements or considerations for properties with solar installations. As your Conveyancing Solicitor will act for you and your mortgage lender, they will need to satisfy the lender’s requirements in this respect, too. 

Incentives and Tariffs 

Research any government incentives, rebates, or feed-in tariffs available for solar panel owners in your area. These can significantly affect the financial viability of the solar panels. 

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Check the installation and building regulations approval for solar panels 

The quality of the solar panel installation affects the efficiency, safety, and longevity. Ensure the installation was performed by a certified professional and complies with local regulations and standards. Check for certifications from recognised bodies, which can also impact eligibility for certain incentives or tariffs. 

How do solar panels impact property prices? 

While solar panels can increase a property’s appeal and value, the impact on the property value can often vary by location and buyer preferences. Consider the potential impact on the property’s resale value, especially if the solar panels are leased or if the installation does not aesthetically complement the house. 

What planning permission is required for solar panels? 

In many cases, you will not need planning permission to install solar panels, although you should refer to your local authority’s standards to be sure. The HEIS Scheme has more useful information about planning permission, here
Whilst planning permission may not be required, you may need to consider covenants which affect your property, and whether solar panels may breach these. Covenants are rules which are made, usually by the original owner of the land or by the owner of the freehold, which the owner of the land is bound to follow. 
Buying a house with solar panels can offer many benefits, from environmental sustainability to potential savings on energy costs. However, it is crucial to approach the purchase with a comprehensive understanding of the system’s ownership status, condition, financial implications, and legal considerations. By thoroughly investigating these aspects and seeking advice from professionals, when necessary, you can make an informed decision that ensures you are aware of all the aspects of solar panel ownership before you complete the purchase. 
Our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston can assist with your property purchase. Once your offer has been accepted, contact our Conveyancing team for a fixed fee quote, using the form below, or call 01772 783 314. 

Why choose MG Legal, Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston? 

Clear, fixed-fees 

Fully-Qualified Conveyancing Solicitors 

Tailored Service 

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Decades of Experience 

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