Can the installation of solar panels be in breach of covenants not to cause a “nuisance or annoyance, or cause disturbance” where a property is subject to restrictive covenants?
A recent case in the EWLVT heard that a tenant of a long leasehold house fitted solar panels under the FITS Scheme. The lease prohibited additions without the Landlord’s consent (not to be unreasonably withheld) and also a user clause prohibiting any nuisance or annoyance. The LVT held that there had been a breach of the lease as there was insufficient evidence to show that the solar panels amounted to a “nuisance” and that a “reasonable person” would no more find protovoltaic (PV) panels annoying than a satellite dish. However, the LVT agreed that the installation of solar panels was an “alteration” that required consent, but that the Landlord had been unreasonable withholding that consent.
This decision should be viewed in context, as cases of this sort are always decided on their own facts and there may be similar situations where the LVT may decide otherwise and agree that there is a “nuisance”.