Laura Wilkinson, Property Law Specialist with AMD Solicitors, looks at issues that can arise on sale or purchase when a home-owner has paid for energy saving improvements to their property under The Green Deal.
Do you fancy having your home upgraded with energy saving improvements such as cavity wall insulation or solar panels with no up front costs?
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, you start with the free lunch but payment comes later.
The Government is desperate to get us all to reduce carbon emissions particularly as domestic households are responsible for 25% of overall emissions.
The idea is that approved installers will assess your home for eligibility and if approved they will let you have a quotation for the capital cost of the work which they will front up leaving you to pay off the cost over, perhaps, a 15 year period.
You will pay interest at a fixed rate of something over 5%.
The whole idea is that the amount you pay by this means will be less than the energy bills you would have received had you not carried out the improvements.
However, things then start to get more complicated when it comes to selling the property.
First, there will be a duty on the owner or the estate agent acting in the sale to disclose the existence of The Green Deal prior to first viewing and unless you agree to pay off the debt before the sale goes through, the buyer will be left to make the repayments.
If the seller fails to notify the buyer of The Green Deal, it will be possible for the buyer to avoid taking on the liability which will then remain with the seller. Anybody going into a Green Deal will need to make sure they have got all necessary Planning and Building Regulations consents. Initially this was going to be left to the installer to obtain but this has now been cut down to just an obligation to notify the home owner of the need to obtain these consents.
If you buy a property that has been subject to a Green Deal your conveyancing solicitor will need to ask some searching questions as to whether all appropriate consents have been obtained, that the work is guaranteed and that the repayment arrangements are satisfactory.
Copyright, AMD Solicitors