Mortgage lenders hate homes with free PV solar panels

Last updated on November 2nd, 2017 at 04:45 pm

“If you were one of the lucky homeowners, who had free PV solar panels installed last year, then you may wish to sit down for this. With the rush and rise in popularity of rent a roof and free solar panels schemes, nobody asked themselves how do the banks feel about this?”

We advise you to own your PV solar panels.

We advise you to own your PV solar panels.

For those that installed solar panels themselves, the outlook is good. The saleability of your home should you choose to, over the next 20 years has increased tenfold and mortgage lenders are happy to lend.

But if you have a third party PV solar panel system on your roof, mortgage lenders are already beginning to reject mortgage and re-mortgage applications.

Unfortunately for those that did participate in such schemes, early indications are not good for thousands of people who have these systems and are now contractually locked in for 20 years.

The rent a roof and free solar panels schemes were designed by some solar panel companies, to take advantage of the generous feed-in tariff scheme, which proved popular, in 2010-11 with the 15.44 pence per kWh financial incentive. However, the government had to act quickly to curb the torrent of applications late last year, because the number of installations taking place was unsustainable.

Stuart Lovatt from Heat my Home adds “If you are a homeowner with this type of solar panel installation, I would double check your small print and contact your free solar panels company for clarification.

Legally they had to include a buy-back clause, so if you anticipate selling your home within the next 20 years, the only solution is to buy your solar panels outright so the problem will no longer apply. What these companies do not want you to do, is buy them out.”

Buying your own solar panels

Buying the solar panels yourself will also give you the generous financial feed-in tariffs reward, which ultimately is, why your chosen solar company installed them in the first place. Benefit yourself from the panels; the sell-ability they provide and the generous feed-in tariffs too will be yours.

If you are unable to buy out your solar panels, then, unfortunately, the signs are not good. Mortgage lenders are unhappy about lending to properties with third-party technologies attached, especially to the roof. This new, never been seen before, mortgage barrier, could begin floods of legal disputes as people find it impossible to sell their homes further down the timeline.

The bottom line is the feed-in tariff scheme was only designed as an incentive for individual homeowners in mind, and the rise of the free solar panels schemes took even the government by surprise.

If you think you may be affected, then read and double read your contract to see what options are available to you, because the details of these contracts vary considerably from company to company. A buyout option is always available, usually at a cut-price or discounted rate, which may allow you to still benefit from the solar panels on your roof.


"Feel the pride."
March 30, 2012
Founder of Power My Home.

  • Scott Thompson

    Cheers still

  • Scott Thompson

    It’s not false it’s true as the lease is miss leading and was miss sold, you statement is very bold, to mention company names is also brave, the lease solar panels are the new ppi.

  • Scott Thompson

    Have you getting them sorted yet

  • Scott Thompson

    I’ve had same problem with lease panels and seeking damages in court for mis selling

  • Simon Ware

    Hi mark, I’m having problems selling my house, did you have any luck selling yours?

  • Simon Ware

    I’ve just had my buyers pull out because of the solar panels on my roof installed by Ashade greener, and when I try phone Ashade greener it just goes to answer phone.

  • Simon Stanford

    No I must confess I didn’t , got the mortgage I needed so stopped there. I wouldn’t actually choose a rent-a-roof scheme myself. This is a buy to let property which already has them installed. On my own house I bought the solar pv system myself (from a reputable supplier found through this forum) and I’m very happy I did. One of the best investments I’ve ever made. My own mortgage provider (hsbc) are certainly fine with this , but I guess it’s the lease terms which some lenders don’t like rather than pv systems per se.

  • Have you researched all the other banks and building societies? At the time of writing the article, all the major banks were refusing.

  • Simon Stanford

    Not true. Skipton building society to my certain knowledge (they have just offered me a mortgage) approve A Shade Greener installations.

  • b sharp

    Hi Mark,how are you getting on with selling your property, regarding the solar panels,cheers ,Brian

  • Mark rose

    I’ve just come across this post as we have a property with a shade greener panels on and no lenders will offer a mortgage. That really is none.
    We have asked a shade greener repeatedly for they’re list of lenders and they have sent us nothing.
    I am now looking at removing the panels to make the home

  • Claire

    Hi there what was the name of the company?

  • posty mark

    I`m trying to remortgage my house to buy another property and am having a nightmare due to having free solar panels put on my roof.The company I signed up with has gone bust and a new company are trying to get me to sign a lease.The previous company hasnt registered my solar panels and I can`t find a signed official contract with anyone.Anyone know where i stand on this

  • Stoop

    Really happy we went with ASG but to be honest we do see this as our last home anyway. We re- mortgaged to help our son buy a flat with no problems two years ago and we are saving about 49% on our electric bill.

    I’m sure there are many rent a roof schemes that cause concern but I went through our lease with a fine tooth comb and could see nothing untoward.

    Maybe we are just lucky we chose a reputable company.

  • Gary Miljour

    Wow, this is a great post. I am a mortgage lender and I just got my first call from my pre-approved buyer who is wanting to put an offer on a property with a solar lease. I am looking into it right now to see if my company will finance this home, but I never knew about this. Is coming from a person with 10 years mortgage lending experience.

  • As with anything in life there are always exceptions to the rule.

    I wonder how many out of the hundreds of free solar companies, did what you did?

    The article is intended to raise the fact that some people, who did take advantage of free solar panels have encountered after installation problems, and for others who did the same, it would be advisable to double check their contract for similar potential issues.

    On this basis the article is not misleading.

  • Sarah Dyson

    This article is factually inaccurate and misleading. It suggests that everyone with free solar will have problems. That is simply not the case. Our company (A Shade Greener Ltd) works with over 30 mortgage providers on a regular basis, and they are all content with our lease. It adheres to the Council of Mortgage Lender’s guidelines (as do our procedures) and we also have agreements in place that meet the individual requirements of each particular mortgage company. The list of mortgage companies on our website have all confirmed that our lease would have no bearing on any decision to offer a mortgage or remortgage. Many of our customers have sold their property with our lease in place and up until now none of our customers have had problems remortgaging. You are making very sweeping statements and ‘tarring’ every free solar company with the same brush.