Yes, a leaseholder would generally need to apply for permission to install solar panels on the roof of a leasehold property. This is because the roof is usually considered to be part of the common areas of the building, and therefore falls under the control of the freeholder or management company.

It is critical in each case to review the terms of the specific lease and to be aware that different flats within the same building can be owned on differing lease terms.

The lease agreement will typically outline the rights and responsibilities of the leaseholder in relation to alterations and improvements to the property. In many cases, the lease will require the leaseholder to obtain prior written consent from the freeholder or management company before making any changes to the property, including the installation of solar panels. This allows the freeholder to control alterations to demised property and prevent alterations being made to property that does not belong to the leaseholder (which may include the roof).

It’s important for the leaseholder to review their lease agreement and seek legal advice if necessary to ensure they understand their rights and obligations. If alterations are possible, they may need to submit an application outlining their proposed solar panel installation and any associated plans or documents, and await approval before proceeding with the installation. It is also common for the requesting party to meet the reasonable legal and surveyors costs of the party considering the request.

Ricky Coleman
- Post author

Ricky Coleman

Ricky has been advising on landlord and tenant issues for nine years, and now heads up the Landlord and Tenant team at Bate & Albon Solicitors.  He has been advised on numerous complex, high value and technical leasehold disputes for properties in Brighton and London.