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Japanese Knotweed – Be Aware If You Are Buying Or Selling…

Beginners Guides, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Japanese Knotweed, Property, Property Market, Quicker conveyancing

What Is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) has reared its ugly head in the news again lately reminding us all of the terrible problems this weed can cause for homeowners. This troublesome plant is renowned for growing at a ridiculous rate of up to 10-20cm a day during the summer months and is classed as an invasive species in the UK. Left untreated the roots of Japanese knotweed can be considered a risk to the structural integrity of a building, mortgage lenders are very wary of it, prospective buyers may not get a mortgage and it can sometimes make the property unsellable.

It’s A Serious Business!

Due to its fast growing and destructive nature, it is an offence under Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or cause it to grow. It is also classed as controlled waste and requires specialist disposal to prevent spreading; substantial fines or even prison sentences can handed to people disposing of the weed irresponsibly if it results in a spread in the wild.

What Happens If You Want To Sell Your Property?

Although it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed growing in your garden, you are under a legal duty to disclose it when you sell. Not disclosing it would be classed as a misrepresentation and a buyer can take a seller to court for compensation if its proved the sellers deliberately withheld information or tried to hide its existence.

Don’t despair…

If you think your house is affected by Knotweed, it can be treated effectively. It has a large underground network of roots which need to be destroyed to kill the plant using chemicals, although it can take up to five years to be totally eliminated.

Contact a specialist

If you discover your property is affected , you will need to contact a Japanese Knotweed specialist who will be able to assist with a Management Plan. This plan can be submitted to Mortgage Lenders and Valuers and often assists in gaining lending that may otherwise have not been offered. In addition, on advice from the Institute of Chartered Surveyors many larger lenders have relaxed their rules as some evidence suggests that surveyors have been unsure of how to assess the risk of Japanese knotweed, resulting in inconsistent valuations.

Get In Touch 

If you have question about this issue or would like a Conveyancing quote – please give our specialist team a call on 01623 45 11 11.

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