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Discussion Starter #1
We're looking to upsize our house. Currently have a fully-owned 3.2kw PV system which gives decent returns. One house we quite like the look of has a similar-sized set-up, but the sellers are saying that it's a Sun Edison installation, which now has its FiT and Export tariffs paid to Ecotricity. I'm not overly keen on this set-up, but it's probably not the end of the world. We would get the daytime generated power.

Has anyone any experience of buying or selling with this type of set-up, or even any knowledge of whether Ecotricity would allow a buy-out of the lease? I'd prefer to own the panels and the FiT if I could.
 

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Has anyone any experience of buying or selling with this type of set-up, or even any knowledge of whether Ecotricity would allow a buy-out of the lease? I'd prefer to own the panels and the FiT if I could.
You'd have to check the terms in the lease. It could affect getting a mortgage too, apparently. Whenever the panels lack MCS accreditation or were installed as part of a rent a roof scheme tread with caution and seek legal advise.
 

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I think some sellers have had to buy out their PV leases to get a buyer?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks folks. We're buying out the contract from Ecotricity (or Microtricity as they call that part of the company) for a surprisingly fair price. Our mortgage providers (Halifax) have insisted that we commit to it as part of the house purchase.
 

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Thanks folks. We're buying out the contract from Ecotricity (or Microtricity as they call that part of the company) for a surprisingly fair price. Our mortgage providers (Halifax) have insisted that we commit to it as part of the house purchase.
Good to know. Does that entitle you to FiT payments (as per the original date of install?) and export payments?

It does seem a bit silly that these rent a roof deals cannot simply be transferred though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good to know. Does that entitle you to FiT payments (as per the original date of install?) and export payments?

It does seem a bit silly that these rent a roof deals cannot simply be transferred though.
As far as Ecotricity / Microtricity are making out then yes, it is at the same rate. They would be happy for us to just take on the same contract that the current owners have, it's the mortgage companies who don't like it. As part of the scheme the contract owners have the right to recoup their contract costs from the sale of your house if you die or default and have equal claim to the money as any secured loan or mortgage held on it. Mortgage companies prefer to be in full control of any defaulted properties.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was my mortgage adviser who told me, but I had read it online in many different places anyway. Most mainstream lenders just won't touch these houses with a bargepole, some are okay with it but won't give you their best rates and others insist that your LTV is low enough that the panel owners' share of any repossession won't prevent them getting their full dues (plus costs) if you default. Basically there were three options:

1. Transfer the contract to us and get a poor mortgage deal (the best was working out at well over £100/month more);
2. The current owners buy out the system and add it to the sale price of the house, but then I'd pay LBTT (Scottish version of stamp duty) on it;
3. What we're doing - buy out the system ourselves as part of the conveyancing process.

Panels fully owned by the current householder (such as I currently have) are not a problem, there's just a couple of forms to fill in to transfer the FiT payments to the new owner.
 
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