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Guide to Selling a House With Solar Panels

Property Saviour » Problematic Properties » Guide to Selling a House With Solar Panels

Looking to sell a house with leased solar panels?  It is true that to sell a house with solar panels can be a challenge.  In this guide, we will cover:

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Problems with selling a house with solar panels.

Were you persuaded to get free solar panels in return for free electricity?  Hundreds of thousands of British homeowners signed up for this. 

What homeowners did not know is their roof was leased to the solar panel company for the next 25 years.  Even to carry out basic repairs, you would need the permission of a solar company because they now own the roof of your property!  It means you cannot sell your property or re-mortgage it.

The reality is that any homeowner must sell their property as life plans change, children move out, and health focus means downsizing or moving into a bungalow.

Clauses within the signed leases are so punitive that mortgage lenders have refused to re-mortgage properties with leased solar panels, and homeowners are still unable to sell their property to a buyer on the open market.  Homeowners are finding that their roof space belongs to an unknown solar panel company – something of which they were not aware. 

In all the cases we come across, very few homeowners obtained independent legal advice before signing up for this deal.

Solar panels on top of a roof
The reality is that any homeowner must sell their property as life plans change, children move out, and health focus means downsizing or moving into a bungalow.

Pros and cons of selling a house with solar panels

One of the main benefits of having free solar panels was the use of free electricity, and the cons include:

  1. Long leases and reduction in feed-in-tariffs
    All of the leases were signed for at least 25 years.  Feed-in-tariffs, or FIT for short, have been reduced over the years to a point where they are as low as ¼ of the initial incentives available.
  2. Lenders refusing to lend, making it impossible to sell your property
    All the lenders wish to have full control over their properties.  Their properties are their real assets against which they will lend the money.

    Having a property with 25 years of lease to a solar panel company and punitive clauses do not bode well for them.  This also makes it impossible to re-mortgage a property or to sell a house with solar panels on the roof.  So, what can you do?

  3. Leases sold to solar panel providers became insolvent
    There was a gold rush because solar panels were promoted as green energy.  The offer of free solar panels was too good to miss.  Hundreds of companies installed millions of solar panels.  Many are out of business, and leases were sold to companies that survived.

    These defective leases are so punitive that you are not allowed to replace tiles on your roof.  That is, even if the roof tiles being replaced are away from the solar panels.  Many sellers are trapped, unable to sell their houses with solar panels or re-mortgage their properties.

Selling a house with financed solar panels

Let us say you paid for your solar panels using a finance company, it is worth checking whether you own your panels outright or if has finance company has put a restriction on your property, therefore, preventing you from selling on the property.

If you wish to sell the property, you might have to pay a very inflated price upfront, and wait for the Land Registry to update their records which can take several months before you can sell your property.

Planning permission solar panels and wind turbines
We are specialist property buyers, which means that we can purchase your property with solar panels in place.   We are not reliant on bank mortgages. 

Can you sell a house with solar panels?

You can sell your house to a specialist like Property Saviour.  We are specialist property buyers, which means that we can purchase your property with solar panels in place.   We are not reliant on bank mortgages. 

We will buy any property even if the lease of the solar panels is defective.  If you do not have a copy of the lease, we can still purchase your property for cash.

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How to sell an inherited property with solar panels?

If you have tried to sell an inherited property with solar panels, you know how difficult it is to have a proceedable buyer for your property.   This is where Property Saviour come in.  A typical buyer would insist on a warranty, installation document and proof that you own the panels. 

Sadly, the original owner who signed the lease has passed away, and the beneficiaries have no idea about copies of signed leases or any other documentation relating to the solar panels, such as warranty certificates.  Try these tips:

Do not struggle on your own.  Let us help.  We do not need documentation relating to your panels. Call us or fill in the enquiry form.  We can buy your inherited property quickly and complete within a couple of weeks at most.

Our We Buy Any House service ensures that we will pay your legal fees and complete within your timescales.  You can sell with certainty and stop worrying.

How to get out of a solar panel lease?

You will need to find out who owns your solar panels and see if they would be willing to sell them to you.  Usually, this is quite an inflated price as over the years, your solar panels will have depreciated as better, more efficient panels are available.

Can I sell my house with free solar panels?

If you bought solar panels outright, can you sell them with the house or separately?

It makes sense to sell your solar panels to your buyer.  You can declare them within the Fixtures & Fittings form.  Once you sell your property, the new buyer will get a reduced feed-in tariff. 

This scenario only applies if you own your solar panels outright, not leased or financed.  You would have to negotiate a sensible price with your buyer.  You will not get 100% of the value as it depends on the age of the panels, reduction in feed-in tariff and any remaining warranty.

You would have to demonstrate cost savings, and that’s the savings they will get on their bills.  The cost of solar panels is coming down.   Therefore, you may have to factor in how much usage you’ve had out of your solar panels and how much you have saved as a result of your investment when considering an offer from your buyer.

If your buyer is not keen on your solar panels, you would have to pay for removal, storage, and fitting at your new property.

If your buyer is not able to buy the solar panels, then there is another option.  This option will require you to draw up a lease of solar panels between yourself, as a seller, and your buyer. 

Effectively, you lease them the solar panels in return for free electricity and for you to receive the cheque for the feed-in tariffs.  Of course, this is a complex situation which will require solicitors’ involvement – and independent legal advice is necessary.  The cost of this is likely to run into thousands of pounds.

Selling a house with owned solar panels
If you paid for your old solar panels, the optimum time to sell a property is between 8 to 15 years from the date of your solar PV installation.

Selling a house with owned solar panels?

If you bought your own solar panels outright, then you will have benefited from:

  1. Reduced electricity usage and, therefore, a financial savings in electricity bills
  2. Payment in feed-in-tariffs each year
  3. Enhanced energy performance ratings.

The best time to sell a house with solar panels is usually between 8 to 15 years, assuming that you have received feed-in-tariffs (FIT) or benefited from free electricity over the years if you had signed up to a lease agreement. 

Older models of solar PV panels are less energy efficient and produce less energy than newer models.  The average payback for solar panels is around 10 years.  This is also partly to do with the fact that Britain has a cooler climate. 

If you paid for your old solar panels, the optimum time to sell a property is between 8 to 15 years from the date of your solar PV installation.

If you have leased the roof to a solar company, sadly, you may have reduced the value of your house because of punitive lease clauses and, as a result, the property being unmortgageable.  We can still buy your property.  Our service is free, and there are no fees to pay.

Is selling a house with solar panels difficult?

Selling your house with leased solar panels can be difficult!

If you own your panels outright, you can do whatever you like.

If you have tried to sell a house with solar panels on the open market, and you have not been successful, then we are here to help.  Whether you own the solar panels outright or are leasing the roof, we can buy the property. 

Please give us a call if you are thinking about selling your property with solar panels.  

It takes just 60 seconds to complete, giving us basic details of the property and how we can get hold of you.  We will call you back within 24 hours with an offer.

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