More from the Rooftop

March 1, 2011 | Aaron Atcheson

An earlier edition of Leasing Times highlighted the opportunity for some landlords to lease unused roof space for solar power generation, especially in Ontario under the Green Energy Act. As this market has matured over the past two years, developers and landlords have become conversant about issues as diverse as the process to obtain a connection to the provincial power grid, to whose responsibility it will be to remove snow from the rooftop around this sensitive equipment. One issue raised by landlords of multi-tenanted buildings is whether leasing their rooftop to a solar developer will lead to other tenants refusing to pay common area costs relating to roof repair, as the roof has now been converted to tenanted space. The answer here lies in the language of both the rooftop lease and the leases of other tenants. Another concern is the potential for property tax increases due to the development of the rooftop. While solar power generating equipment is exempt from municipal taxation in itself, it remains to be seen whether the income from the system, or from the leasing of the rooftop, will cause increases in assessed values. Your thoughts?

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