Is there any difference if your home is in Wales or England?

Private Sewage Systems

In Wales all private sewage systems must now be registered at the Environment Agency!  If you have not registered you can still register ‘on-line’ with them and often there is no fee payable.  Most domestic systems are likely to have an ‘exempt’ status and require nothing more than an initial registration which does not need to be renewed.  You will also need to keep records of any maintenance or emptying that you carry out to the system as this will need to be passed on to any buyer if you decide to sell your home in the future.

If you live over the border in England as the government are still consulting on regulation there is no requirement to register if the discharge is domestic, less than 2 cubic meters a day and to ground.  The discharge point must not be in a water source protection zone.  You must also maintain the system in accordance with the manufactures instructions and keep records. You can register voluntarily if you wish but, you must register now if the discharge flows to water.

Throughout England and Wales if your system is a cesspool or cesspit as these are sealed systems that have no discharge there is no need to register.

Green Deal

You may have heard of the ‘Green Deal’ launched by the government earlier this year.  The Deal enables homeowners (both in England and Wales) to carry out energy efficient home improvements which are paid for by taking out long term loans (up to 25 years) which are paid back through electric bills.  The Deal envisages that the loan repayments will be covered by the savings in electric costs from the energy efficient improvements but, this may not be the case if your usage of electric changes.  You should carefully consider the implications of this Deal as, if you sell your home you must tell the buyers about the Deal and they have the choice of whether to take it on or not.  If not you would have to repay the loan which could have an early settlement fee in order to sell your home.  Beware, get full information and advice before signing up.

Solar Panels

Some companies are offering to place solar panels on roof spaces.  The home owner is being offered a rent for the roof space and a ‘feed in tariff’.  These deals seem to be lucrative for the home owner providing a guaranteed additional income in trying times at no initial outlay.  Is this too good to be true?

A home owner would be entering into a 25 year business lease of roof space.  There are provisions and time limits that must be followed to ensure that the lease will end after 25 years.  There is a risk that if notices are not served correctly before the end of the 25 years a protected business tenancy may be created that could perhaps be difficult to end.  The lease agreement must also be checked carefully as in some circumstances even if you sell your home before the end of the 25 years you could still be liable as ‘landlord’ to the provider. 

The other issue to be wary of is that any lender would need to be notified and agree to the lease provisions before you entered into the agreement.  This also means that if you sell your home within the 25 years any buyer who needs a mortgage must get their lenders’ consent ‘upfront’.  In these difficult financial times it may be that this could delay or even stop a sale going through!

If you would like to know more about the matters mentioned above or are considering moving house or want to discuss these or any other aspects of the conveyancing process please get in touch with Fenella Longstaff at our Hay on Wye office or e-mail


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