For most people in the UK, their home is their biggest asset. Unfortunately Japanese knotweed can have a serious impact on a property’s value by deterring buyers and making homes difficult to sell, even if the knotweed has been successfully treated. Knotweed can also cause damage to buildings and hard landscaping, and create legal disputes between neighbours.

Japanese knotweed civil law suits, particularly those relating to encroachment, are becoming ever more common. With that commonality there often arises truths, mistruths and half-truths. Whether you are considering making a claim, or having to defend a claim, you can read an overview of what you need to know on our page about Civil Law relating to knotweed.

In 2017, Environet teamed up with pollsters YouGov to find out what people thought about Japanese knotweed and how it might affect their property purchases. Our survey found that such was the fear over this seemingly un-killable plant that most people (almost eight out of ten) said they would be put off buying a house or flat if it had Japanese knotweed on the property.

We also found that most people in the UK (75%) had heard of Japanese knotweed, which is not all that surprising given the level of media coverage and various Japanese knotweed scare stories. But while there's a high level of awareness of this invasive species, not everyone knows what to do with it. In fact, just 23% of people who took part in our survey knew it could be effectively exterminated by using a dig-out method, such as the one we have developed.

To ensure the value and saleability of your home, prevent neighbour disputes and avoid costly damage to your property, you should seek to resolve the issue as quickly as possible by appointing a professional removal firm.  DIY attempts at treatment will usually only make things worse and can even hasten the spread of the plant.

First Steps

You should instruct a full site survey and Japanese knotweed Management Plan. This will assess and report on:

  • The full extent of the knotweed including its rhizome system

  • The likely source or origin of the knotweed

  • The location in relation to knotweed encroachment issues

  • Whether building damage has been caused by knotweed

  • Site specific conditions that might influence the treatment methodology

At Environet, we have Japanese knotweed removal methods suitable for all jobs, so don't panic if it is a small garden with no access for machinery. Once you have received the report, you will have all the information required to make a clear, knowledgeable decision on the best way to proceed. To find out more, read our Residential Surveys and Management Plans page.

Removal and treatment options

It is really important to select the best method and secure the right guarantees for your circumstances. All of our Japanese knotweed Management Plans are tailor made, taking your specific requirements into consideration.  When you are selling your property, you also need to consider the requirements of any potential purchaser. It is tempting to choose the cheapest option and hope for the best - after all, you will not see the benefit of the money spent as you won't own the property! But we think you'll agree that this is short sighted - after all, you don't want to find yourself unable to sell the property.

Take the advice of experts in the industry, and don't be afraid to ask questions before you settle on a solution. You can then rest assured that the knotweed problem is resolved and potential buyers and lenders should find no reason to worry about the knotweed, allowing for a smooth sales transaction.

You need to ensure that any work you instruct comes with a decent insurance backed guarantee that will be fully transferable to the new owner and will be accepted by all of the major lenders. Environet is a member of the PCA, with guarantees underwritten by A-rated Lloyds, so tick all of the boxes when it comes to lender’s requirements.

Japanese knotweed Indemnity Insurance

Homeowners worried about the threat of Japanese knotweed, which is now rife across the UK, can protect themselves by purchasing a specialist Japanese knotweed indemnity policy through Countrywide Legal Indemnities. Starting at less than £100, the policy covers you for the cost of treatment, repairs, legal costs arising from third party claims and any diminution of the property’s value, should knotweed arise.

You may also be interested in: