Summary: Despite many of the recent claims in the media about problems with mortgages on homes with free solar it turns out it is just a lot of scaremongering and misreporting. Installing free solar panels does not affect your chances of getting a mortgage or re-mortgaging.
You may have read some of the stories in the media about free solar panel schemes and problems with getting a mortgage. The stories have evolved from a single story where a couple were trying to re-mortgage after they had panels installed under the rent a roof scheme.
The major mortgage lenders do not have a problem providing mortgages or re-mortgages on properties that have free solar panels installed.
It is estimated that there could be up to 50,000 homes in the UK with free solar. Many people opt for free solar at it means they get the benefits of much lower electricity bills without the needing the initial investment or exposure to any potential maintenance or repair costs.
Wanting to get to the bottom of the mortgage situation and where people stood when it comes to installing panels I contacted the leading installer in the UK to find out the facts about mortgages and re-mortgaging if you have free solar panels.
According to A Shade Greener's contract you lease the air space above your roof to the company in order that they can get access to the roof to install the panels initially and then later access if any maintenance or repairs are needed.
The issue appears to be from the media themselves, in particular the newspapers that are saying that people are unable to get a mortgage to buy a home that has a lease on the roof. Other than the one case, which was subsequently resolved, there has been no proven cases where people with solar were unable to get a mortgage - merely supposition.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders publish guidelines on such leases, if the installer meets these guidelines then mortgage companies have not got a problem with providing mortgages or re-mortgages on properties with such as lease.
A Shade Greener have confirmed that they comply with these guidelines and were actually consulted by the CML when these guidelines were put together.
Our lease and our procedures comply with the Council of Mortgage Lenders' guidelines as recommended by the BBC. In fact our in-house solicitor and Legal Director, Anne Emmerson, was consulted when the CML were formulating the guidelines.
I asked whether or not mortgage companies were refusing to provide mortgages on any of the 7,000 plus homes that A Shade Greener has installed free solar panels on:
We have liaised with mortgage companies individually to ensure that individual lenders' requirements are also taken into consideration. Since we commenced installing in April 2010 many homes have been sold with our free system in place without any problems and many of our customers have obtained re-mortgages, again without a hitch.
Have you had any problems with your lease stopping people from getting a mortgage?
Not that we are aware of. Every mortgage company that we deal with (list on our website) have confirmed that our lease would have no bearing whatsoever when considering lending on a property. If a mortgage company does not appear on our list, it does not necessarily mean that they won't deal with us, it could mean that we have no yet dealt with that company or that we are still in negotiations with them. The list is expanding all the time as new companies hop on board.
To help out anyone considering getting free solar I have republished the list of lenders who are free solar friendly.
As far as I can see this list seems to represent most of the mortgage lenders. Please bear in mind that this is a list of lenders reproduced from the A Shade Greener website and may not reflect individual agreements between other free solar installers and mortgage lenders.
So it seems that lenders do not have a problem with providing a mortgage or re-mortgaging a property that has free solar panels installed.
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Grants & Schemes
A roof facing as far as a West-South-West (almost West facing) direction or East-South-East (almost East facing) can still potentially generate up to 90 percent of a roof facing South.
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