Buying property affected by Japanese knotweed
There are many horror stories in the press and on the web which tend to overstate the reality. However, you should treat this highly invasive plant with the respect it deserves - it frequently wins the battle against DIY amateur attempts. That said, if this is the house of your dreams, don't let the knotweed make it a nightmare. If treated correctly, Japanese knotweed can be eradicated, leaving you to enjoy your house for years to come. Here are our top 5 tips;
1. Identify the scale of the problem.
Look to have the knotweed identified by a professional as there are many plants that are often mistaken for Japanese knotweed. You can send us any pictures of the suspect plant, and we will identify it free of charge. Find out more about what is Japanese knotweed here.
2. Understand the liabilities that you'll be taking on.
Make sure you understand the liabilities the knotweed presents, because it will be your responsibility as the new owner. Encroachment can be a big issue with knotweed, as knotweed does not respect boundaries when it grows. Has the knotweed encroached onto your land from another property, or did the knotweed originate on your land and spread outwards? If there is a case for encroachment, then the first discussion you have with your new neighbours may not be as friendly as you had hoped.
3. Think about potential damage.
If the knotweed is growing close to the property, it may have caused damage to the building. This may not be immediately obvious, but knotweed can cause damage especially to underground elements such as drains. The extensive underground system can spread much further than what you see above ground. A site survey is recommended to ensure the full extent of knotweed is examined. This survey will also try to determine where the knotweed originated from, an important fact if you are facing an encroachment claim.
4. Consider your mortgage requirements.
Perhaps most importantly you could have difficulties securing a mortgage on the property, purely as a result of the knotweed. Some lenders reject outright any property affected by knotweed. Others take a more pragmatic view and lend where the knotweed is being removed by a reputable firm and where appropriate knotweed insurance backed guarantees are provided. Speak to your mortgage provider to see what type of guarantee they require. Some ask for a 5 year guarantee and others ask for a 10 year. Make sure you understand what your mortgage provider requires before speaking with a knotweed removal company, as this will ensure you gain the correct level of coverage required.
5. Stay involved.
Don’t fall into the trap of letting the seller “sort out” the knotweed problem. On too many occasions we see a cheap attempt at removal with inadequate guarantees. Insist it is carried out by a firm that you trust will do the job properly and will be accepted by your mortgage provider - otherwise walk away. If the work has been carried out already, ask to see all of the documentation available – and get it checked by a reputable professional. Environet was established in 1996 and the entire business is focused solely on the removal of Japanese knotweed. We have Japanese knotweed solutions suitable for both the commercial and residential sectors. We provide our unique market leading insurance backed guarantee underwritten by an "AA-" rated insurer – you won’t find any better security than that. Let us worry about removing the Japanese knotweed, and you just focus on making your new house your home.
Last updated: October 2020
Environet has a clear approach to eradicate knotweed:
- Preparation of Japanese Knotweed Management Plan, including Site Survey
- Agree scope of removal work
- Undertake removal works
- Issue Insurance Backed Guarantee underwritten by an "AA-" rated insurer
Once these steps have completed, the purchase can go through without the knotweed being a limiting factor. Give us a call today on 01932 868 700 to discuss your options.