Heat Scape

Has anyone use these?

We have had a survey and they are willing to put on 31 - 38 panels giving us 6Kwh but pay £500 up front and nothing else.

Anyone any thoughts on this?

We cant afford to put solar panels up ourselves and FIL would pay the £500 for us.

We both dont work (due to my disability) and only run electric (no gas supply) over 2 phases, so would have to decide which phase we would use the solar panels on either the normal electrics or our 12Kwh electric boiler.

FIL would have 21 panels at 3.9Kwh and SIL needs a survey on it yet.

FIL would pay by credit card to give him greater protection.

I am asking as it would be our house, FIL house and SIL house all getting done and paid for by FIL. They have said they would all start to be fitted within 6 weeks as there is no mortgage on any of the properties.

Thanks
Is a Bipolar bear :p
«1

Replies

  • grahamc2003grahamc2003 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    I suggest you read the thread currently just above this thread - there's been plenty of thoughts (thousands of them) on the 'free' schemes, and also plenty on the schemes which charge you £500 to rent your roof so someoen else can collect the large subsidy, leaving you with just almost certainly less than £100 worth of 'free' electricity each year. I'd get your extended family to read through all the posts too.

    My personal thoughts are that the 'free' schemes offer such a paltry return for a long lasting agreement written into your house land registry certificate, that they are not sensible. Paying £500 for that seems even more unsensible, imv.

    But some people appear to like the deal (often those who have already taken the deal up before the disadvantages were known, and didn't take legal advice).

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2072787
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Totally agree with the above, to pay £500 to some firm who will place a restriction on your lease and make a lot of money from your roof, is just madness!
  • Cardew wrote: »
    Totally agree with the above, to pay £500 to some firm who will place a restriction on your lease and make a lot of money from your roof, is just madness!

    What restriction do they place on your lease? Your statement doesnt make any sense at all. Only the landlord granting a lease can place restrictions and most home owners have freehold title to their property.

    I assume you mean that these companies ask the home owner to grant a lease which has conditions?
  • grahamc2003grahamc2003 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    PeterZ wrote: »
    .

    I assume you mean that these companies ask the home owner to grant a lease which has conditions?

    Yes, I think that's what Cardew means.

    The point is that I suspect many poeple taking up such an offer do not realise exactly the implications of what they are signing. They are agreeing to a lease, written by the lessor with terms mainly looking after their own interests (naturally), and granting permission for the lease to be registered on their land registry certificate (making it as legally binding as is possible). Signing such contracts affecting your property without legal advice (which I suspect many don't seek) is really asking for trouble imv.

    Leases are frequently for 25 or 26 years. If the owner wishes to sell in that time, then they must seek the permission of the lessor, who can block the sale should they decide not to agree with the leaseholder transfer (for example, if the purchaser doesn't want to take on the lease). To 'buy out'and cancel the lease seems to usually (judging from threads on here) involve both paying for the panels (either totally or some proportion depending on their age) plus the foregone fit payments (which together are prohibitive imv). Obviously, individual leases from individual solar companies may vary a lot, but these terms should be checked carefully in advance of signing any documents imv.

    I don't wish to 'scaremonger'. I'd simply advise the op to seek his own legal advice by someone looking after his interests rather than the solar company's, before signing any documents.
  • Yes, I think that's what Cardew means.

    The point is that I suspect many poeple taking up such an offer do not realise exactly the implications of what they are signing. They are agreeing to a lease, written by the lessor with terms mainly looking after their own interests (naturally), and granting permission for the lease to be registered on their land registry certificate (making it as legally binding as is possible). Signing such contracts affecting your property without legal advice (which I suspect many don't seek) is really asking for trouble imv.

    Leases are frequently for 25 or 26 years. If the owner wishes to sell in that time, then they must seek the permission of the lessor, who can block the sale should they decide not to agree with the leaseholder transfer (for example, if the purchaser doesn't want to take on the lease). To 'buy out'and cancel the lease seems to usually (judging from threads on here) involve both paying for the panels (either totally or some proportion depending on their age) plus the foregone fit payments (which together are prohibitive imv). Obviously, individual leases from individual solar companies may vary a lot, but these terms should be checked carefully in advance of signing any documents imv.

    I don't wish to 'scaremonger'. I'd simply advise the op to seek his own legal advice by someone looking after his interests rather than the solar company's, before signing any documents.

    My father has had plenty of experience over the years with leasing out both land and commercial property, the process is most likely the same for these solar leases.

    A lease of 25 years should be registered at the land registry, the tennent (the solar company) will no doubt word the lease to protect their investment. They are after all putting in a lot of cash and they will want to protect the investment, hence the whole reason for having a lease.

    There is one point I think you have mis understood. I find it very unlikely that the landlord (home owner) would need permission from the tennent (solar company) before selling the property, unless they have written a specific clause to that effect. The leases we have granted in the past have never restricted us from selling property.

    If you are not familiar with the wording used on leases or do not feel confident then most solicitors would only need an hour to review the document (assuming its a regular size lease and not 100 plus pages) and would be able to highlight and explain the key points.

    My biggest concern is the upfront fee of £500, which seems like a rip off to me when it appears that other companies such as british gas are not charging anything. I have no beef with these companies making a profit as they are after all putting in the money, but £500 up front seems strange. What is their justification for this?
  • grahamc2003grahamc2003 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    PeterZ wrote: »
    My father has had plenty of experience over the years with leasing out both land and commercial property, the process is most likely the same for these solar leases.

    A lease of 25 years should be registered at the land registry, the tennent (the solar company) will no doubt word the lease to protect their investment. They are after all putting in a lot of cash and they will want to protect the investment, hence the whole reason for having a lease.

    There is one point I think you have mis understood. I find it very unlikely that the landlord (home owner) would need permission from the tennent (solar company) before selling the property, unless they have written a specific clause to that effect. The leases we have granted in the past have never restricted us from selling property.

    If you are not familiar with the wording used on leases or do not feel confident then most solicitors would only need an hour to review the document (assuming its a regular size lease and not 100 plus pages) and would be able to highlight and explain the key points.

    My biggest concern is the upfront fee of £500, which seems like a rip off to me when it appears that other companies such as british gas are not charging anything. I have no beef with these companies making a profit as they are after all putting in the money, but £500 up front seems strange. What is their justification for this?

    The justification for the £500 charge is, I assume, to maximise their profit, like all companies try to do. If they can get enough people to pay £500 (for something they can esasily get totally 'free'), then I expect they'll keep charging it. Some companies even charge an additional £5 pm. It's all just supply and demand I expect.

    Obviously, you seem to be in the position of fully understanding the implications of a lease, so easily capable of weighing up the pros and cons of such an arrangement. But most who post on these boards in other threads seem to simply think they are getting free electricity with no possible downsides. I think those people should seek legal advice before signing (don't you?).

    I'd be surprised if I were wrong on the fact that the lessor can stop the sale of the house - that is usually implicit in the company'sd bumpf, although often worded positively when in fact it is a restriction I wouldn't want on my property. The leaseholder in normal property transactions can usually stop the sale of a leasehold property by not assigning the lease - but in this case, it is the lessors who write into the agrteement that the leashold cannot be sold without their consent - at least that's what I gather from all I've read about these schemes. If you want to sell, then your purchaser must take on the obligations of the lease. If he won't, you can't sell to him. I think it's obvious the solar company would make that a condition of the lease otherwise they would have little protection of their panels (or their business model).

    There are mixed messasges coming from mortgage suppliers - some appear to be happy to loan on a property with such an agreement, others don't seem happy - remember these are new schemes and it takes time for them to evaluate them. But even if they are happy now, it doersn't mean they will always be happy to. They may change their mind in 15 years for some reason, and if they do, such properties could be difficult to sell. So there's a risk there to be evaluated. Balanced against the risks are the benefits, which, imo, are usually overestimated, and work out in my opinion, at around £60 or £70 pa (and interestingly, it doesn't vary much with the capacity of the installed panels), which is less than the solar companies like to quote. The details of those numbers and the rational behind the estimates are on the other thread I linked to.
  • I am guessing the £500 upfront fee is for all the paperwork?

    I have contacted the other companies who do the solar panels for free, but are only willing to fit upto 3Kwh system where as these will fit 6Kwh.

    This is obviously something i need to look in to more, as if we decided to sell, which we may do in the next few years, i dont want it affecting who ever wants to buy it as they would need a business loan to buy (agricultural) and i dont want it effecting us selling it, even though we have had interest in it for many years, people keep trying to persuade us to sell.

    I will look and read that thread posted up, thanks
    Is a Bipolar bear :p
  • dane-katie wrote: »
    I am guessing the £500 upfront fee is for all the paperwork?

    I have contacted the other companies who do the solar panels for free, but are only willing to fit upto 3Kwh system where as these will fit 6Kwh.

    This is obviously something i need to look in to more, as if we decided to sell, which we may do in the next few years, i dont want it affecting who ever wants to buy it as they would need a business loan to buy (agricultural) and i dont want it effecting us selling it, even though we have had interest in it for many years, people keep trying to persuade us to sell.

    I will look and read that thread posted up, thanks


    £500 sounds like a lot to cover the paperwork....

    If you have agricultural land then I would imagine the lease would be less of an issue when you come sell as leases of this nature are much more common than on domestic properties. However -

    As Graham says, any future buyer would have to be prepared to take on the lease for the remainder of the term. How any future buyer would view the panels is debatable, some may see it as a positive, some as a negative.

    Is your land in an area suitable for building new housing? I wouldn't be surprised if that is why you have had interested buyers. For a property developer the lease would be an issue.

    If you go ahead I would make sure that there is some sort of buyout cluase added. If you sell to property developers you will get such a good price that buying out the lease will the last of your concerns.
  • Where our house and barns are its green belt, but eventually will prob go for planning permission but not for 10 or 15 years. I think people are after it as its out of the way, but still close to industrial buildings etc

    Dont know if we would sell and tbh dont know how much its worth, prob 500-600k without the 52 acres we have.
    Is a Bipolar bear :p
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    There is no justification at all for any charge. Just think of it in these terms:

    1. A company wants to rent your roof and make a lot of money from installing equipment on your roof.

    2. You must sign a legal agreement that binds you, and anyone who purchases your house, for 25 years to certain conditions - trees must not be allowed to grow and shade the roof - conditions are imposed on roof repairs - possible insurance complications etc etc.

    3. The 'rent' you receive is the ability to use any generated electricity. These firms greatly exagerate just how much of the generated electricity you can use, and its value.

    4. All this and they want YOU to pay £500!! - Madness.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Bacon flavoured toothpaste

Can you help this Forumite track some down?

Join the Forum discussion

£10 Christmas bonus

For benefits recipients

MSE News