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Japanese Knotweed and what it means for your dream home

POSTED ON 26 MAY 2021

With an unseasonably cold May, Japanese Knotweed is predicted to be rife this year

 

Japanese Knotweed is a contentious plant that can depreciate the value of a property. The invasive plant’s roots can grow 10cm per day and because of this speed it can monopolize gardens and cause damage to property foundations including cracks in masonry which it attempts to grow through.

Research by Environet suggests that 1/3 of people will consider walking away from a dream home if it’s discovered. Mortgage lenders in particular may take issues with lending on a property with Japanese Knotweed, however, it need not be a stumbling block that stops a purchase.

Once it has been discovered, there are ways to deal with it. First of all, you need to know how serious the problem is. If the knotweed is seven metres from your home, then most lenders will offer a mortgage, but it will be something to keep an eye on during the purchasing/selling process.

If it is closer, action will need to be taken, even if it hasn’t reached your property. Most lenders will be happy to proceed as long as the client is carrying on work to eradicate the problem. You must use a Property Care Association certified specialist to remove the knotweed. A warranty for the work will be needed, as knotweed has a habit of reappearing. In most cases, the buyer and seller will agree to share the cost.

One question a lot of people ask is, ‘How do I recognize Japanese Knotweed, though?’ Japanese Knotweed has red or purple asparagus-like spears that emerge from the ground in early spring and as they grow, bright, green heart or shield-shaped leaves unfurl in a zig zag stem pattern. They can reach up to three metres in summer and the canes harden and become bamboo-like with purple flecks.

For more information about Japanese Knotweed and buying or selling a property, please contact us today.

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