BLOG: Solar Panels on House Roofs – A Cautionary Tale!

In the frantic Government-promoted push to boost the installation of photovoltaic (PV) roof panels to generate electricity, many residential property owners were persuaded to lease their roofs to third party operators and share the feed-in tariff.

However, upon the sale of the house, the rents/premiums may not pass to the new owner of these homes, so this is a consideration for homeowners, vendors and buyers to be aware of in the conveyance process.

Another consideration is: did the original homeowner secure the freeholder’s consent in a situation where there was a long leasehold interest (e.g. 999 years)?

There have been reported instances of freeholders retrospectively demanding punitive sums of money (£5,000 in one case) – this was for a potential breach of covenant for not obtaining the freeholder’s consent to alterations affecting the external appearance of a property, and also a potential breach of lease where there was an obligation not to undertake any business activity from the address!

The moral of the story being that property professionals need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of properties with photovoltaic (commonly referred to as solar) roof panels fitted, and be aware that these issues can sometimes have an effect on a property’s value.

Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors carry out all types of surveys on residential properties including Valuations, RICS Homebuyer Reports and full Building Survey Reports throughout Lancashire and the North-West and we are highly experienced in identifying defects, disrepair as well as issues such as this, so that prospective purchasers are well informed!

For more information relating to our services, please one of our Chartered Surveyors on 01254 260196 or 01772 458866 or Email:


“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn