Japanese Knotweed

Does Japanese knotweed cause diminution to the value of residential property?

A recent story in the media talked about a property in South Wales.

It claimed the house value was halved due to the presence of Japanese knotweed.

In this case the knotweed was in the garden and on adjoining land. Difficult to believe I hear you say, especially if the knotweed is far enough away from the house not to be a risk of causing damage to it.

The problem lies in that a buyer could struggle to get a mortgage on a knotweed affected property, hence the seller is limited to finding a cash buyer looking for a bargain. Then I can understand that the value might be significantly affected. But I believe the reduction in value should be more aligned with the cost of Japanese knotweed eradication, plus a notional figure to reflect the aggravation and any residual risk.

That’s where we have been working hard, providing a service that does achieve eradication (rather than some half-hearted attempt at control) which is supported by an insurance backed guarantee that in effect eliminates the risk for the home owner. As the guarantee is underwritten by an A rated insurer at Lloyd’s, you will find all the major banks and building societies will lend where such a guarantee is in place.

That means the seller is not limited to cash buyers, the diminution in value becomes minimal, and everyone is happy except perhaps the cash buyer hoping to get a bargain.

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