A Knotty Issue!
Is Your Garden Harboring Japanese Knotweed? Know the Issues
The effects of the plant known as Japanese Knotweed on property are becoming a well known issue amongst conveyancers and surveyors and now the question as to whether the same is apparent at a property is a standard question on the Law Society’s Seller’s Property Information Form, being a form completed by all sellers of residential property.
If you are affected it can impact on the saleability of your property and its presence can influence a lender’s decision even if the plant is seemingly well away from the boundary. It is difficult to eradicate and its complicated root structures can reach far beyond what is visible to the naked eye.
Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive plant which has long been recognised for its notorious ability to grow through concrete and tarmac, exploiting weaknesses in structures and potentially growing through walls, floors and even roads. Brought to the UK by the Victorians it was able to thrive away from its natural predators in native Japan and now, according to official records, there is not a single 6 mile scare patch of the country where it is not present.
This extremely destructive plant is classed as “controlled waste” in Part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and it can only be disposed of at licensed landfill sites as even small cuttings can grow into new root systems. Japanese Knotweed can have dramatic impacts on property asset values and suitability as lending security. It can be successfully treated with herbicides but to completely eradicate a crop can take many years and is costly.
The only comprehensive method is for a surveyor, with specialist Japanese Knotweed expertise, to undertake a site inspection.
Liz Wallis at Ridley & Hall comments “In recent weeks I have experienced issues with lenders wishing to identify suspect plants in gardens of property being purchased prior to the issue of Mortgage Offers and whilst this might be seen to be a delay and inconvenience to buyers, clearly the lenders’ caution appears well-founded.”
For further information, please speak to a member of Ridley & Hall’s Residential Property team on 01484 538421.