picture of japanese knotweed damaging a property

How Japanese Knotweed Can Ruin Your Property Dreams

However, destructive Japanese knotweed on your property need knot be a problem.

There are many things to look out for when buying or selling a property, as well as living in one and looking after all the various aspects of essential maintenance. Who would have thought a mere weed would be right up there at the top of the property list concerns?

Over the years at Environet, we have seen the battles people engage in to get rid of Japanese knotweed from their properties before they put it on the market. Not only that, we’ve seen how ultimately, all the time, money and effort involved in trying to eradicate Japanese knotweed themselves comes to nothing. It really is no ordinary plant — and it requires specialist skill and materials to kill it off for good.

It's not only having the rapidly growing plant in your back garden that worries homeowners, or people considering purchasing a new property. There are real threats to the building itself that are caused by this scourge of a weed that, to the average eye, is all but unstoppable. It can grow into cracks in walls and expand them, which leads to damage; it can shoot up through asphalt in the driveway; and it can also interfere with water and other piping around the house as it searches for moisture. Having Japanese knotweed on a property can sometimes feel like an alien invasion.

 

Japanese Knotweed and No-Deal Homes

Last year, 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 unkillable 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.

Based on our own data and other YouGov research, we estimate that as much as 5% of properties around the UK are affected by Japanese knotweed. This is a significant number of homes when you consider there are over 28 million residential properties in Britain. So it means more than 1.4 million properties are at risk from Japanese knotweed and the structural and other problems the plant can cause.

 

Plummeting Property Values

If all that wasn’t enough to be dealing with, there’s also a potential immediate financial impact from having Japanese knotweed on your property. Recent media stories have highlighted some properties that have halved in value as they were put up for sale — because they had Japanese knotweed growing on or near them.

Plus, if you don’t get rid of Japanese knotweed professionally and get a guarantee from a specialist eradication firm, you most likely won’t be able to sell your home anyway. That’s because mortgage providers typically will not approve a new mortgage for a property infested with Japanese knotweed.

Even if you’re not considering selling up and moving on, if you have Japanese knotweed in the garden and are trying your best to control it, you could still be in a world of property problems — with the law. If the extensive root system extends into neighbouring properties and starts sending up new shoots, you could end up with a hefty fine or worse. With Japanese knotweed and all the many problems it leads to, the only rational solution is professional eradication. Immediately.

 

Are you worried about Japanese knotweed on your property or nearby? Get in touch with Environet today and find out what your options are. Don’t let Japanese knotweed ruin your property dreams — take action now!

 

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