Japanese Knotweed

An invasive plant known as Japanese Knotweed can seriously affect the value of your home.

The plant is so problematic that it is now a standard enquiry on the Law Society’s preliminary enquiry form completed on every sale of a property. The presence of Japanese knotweed can result in damage to foundations to the house, and the real danger is the pace at which it spreads. Pockets of the plant have now sprung up throughout the country, travelling mostly with humans assistance!

When buying a property that has Japanese knotweed it is vital to have an expert surveyor inspect the land, and determine a plan for its removal. Even if the plant is removed save for a 2p size piece, it can regenerate and grow even faster. If you are utilising mortgage funding then they will certainly want a specialist knotweed survey. In 2012 mortgage lenders rejected loans on properties where Japanese knotweed was present irrespective of treatment. This position has changed to some extent, but they are still extremely wary of lending where it is present.

Normally treatment plans take up to 5 years, or soil removal plans can also be used, both of which will eventually provide a guarantee certificate to satisfy any future purchaser or lender.

Some people are actively growing the plant, as it can look quite appealing, so it is important to identify the plant early, and the best way of doing that is by having a specialist survey carried out. A plant that can grow up to 10cm a day with up to a three metre root system can seriously impact on a property’s value!

Matt Rimmer – Principal