Richard Harris, 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. 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 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.
For further information about this or any other property matters please contact Richard at AMD’s Clifton Office on 0117 9744100 or call 0119 9621205 to speak to any other member of the conveyancing team. Richard can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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