Japanese knotweed growing by the front door

Japanese knotweed and mortgages - what you need to know about buying a property with knotweed

Japanese knotweed, the UK’s the most destructive and invasive weed is spreading throughout the UK at an alarming rate. 

The implications for those that own land affected by Japanese knotweed are far reaching. When trying to buy or sell a property with knotweed, finance will be refused unless the knotweed has been dealt with by a specialist, able to provide insurance backed guarantees.

We often receive calls from landowners claiming to have removed all the knotweed by hand, but the banks were still refusing finance. While DIY knotweed removal attempts may be able to provide an element of control, this will not be accepted by mortgage providers, due to the high risk factor. 
 
Building societies and mortgage lenders impose strict lending criteria on residential properties known to be affected by Japanese knotweed. Unfortunately there is not a hard and fast rule, as it is usually dealt with on a case by case basis. Some lenders will outright refuse to lend on properties affected by knotweed though, so it is always worth checking their policies as soon as possible.

The key to obtaining lending on a Japanese knotweed affected property is having a Japanese knotweed management plan in place, supported by an insurance backed guarantee, for either 5 or 10 years. This is usually enough to ensure that the sale of a property can go through without a hitch, though the lender may specify that the knotweed treatment or removal plan has either been completed prior to exchange, or that the costs have been paid for and the work scheduled in.

Great care needs to be taken in selecting a knotweed specialist, as not all guarantees provide the protection you might expect. Unbelievably, some simply refer to their Professional Indemnity or Public Liability insurance. These will not pay out in the event of the company ceasing to trade. Lending policies usually require that the work is completed by an appropriately qualified and reputable company, one way to demonstrate this by being a member of a trade body such as PCA or INNSA, which gives their members access to the insurance market for their company guarantees.

At Environet, we decided not to join a trade body. But don’t worry, we are recognised as an appropriately qualified and reputable company by all the major banks and building societies, primarily because we have secured insurance backing for our guarantees from an "A" rated syndicate at Lloyd’s. 

The majority of knotweed guarantees do not have insurance protection until several years of no re-growth has elapsed following completion of the work, leaving the customer exposed during that period, and no certainty as to the timing of the insurance validation. Our insurance backed guarantees are valid within just days of being instructed, there is no excess charge or other hidden fees on any claim, and they provide you and your lender with the best security money can buy.

Our insurers know we've been in business for over 20 years, that we have the requisite expertise and resources and are financially secure, they wouldn't insure us otherwise. 

Take a look at our testimonials or case studies page to see what we can do.  

Request a call back today, and one of our trained specialists will be happy to talk through your Japanese knotweed problems. 

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