Japanese knotweed is to house sales what a dodgy is to car sales: while things may appear fine and dandy on the surface, the horrors of what lies beneath can have a dramatic effect on not only the value but the entire sale itself.
While it may be tempting for house sellers to simply overlook such a detail and plead ignorance to the pesky weed’s presence, it’s far from advisable to do so.
Besides being morally and ethically wrong, it can also be deemed highly illegal to conceal knowledge of Japanese knotweed on your property.
If you’re selling your house with Japanese knotweed present, follow these steps to avoid any legal backlash and undo the damage done by the unruly underground invader.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of selling a property with Japanese knotweed, before you do anything else, your first port of call should be an expert opinion.
Misdiagnosis could leave you with a boatload of headaches and a barrelful of hassle unnecessarily, so make sure it’s legit before you hit the panic button and cause potential buyers to abandon ship.
Japanese knotweed bears an uncanny resemblance to a number of other plants and weeds – including bindweed, Russian vine, broadleaf dock and ground elder – which can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis.
Allowing a sale to fall through on the basis of a Japanese knotweed lookalike is a crying shame we wouldn’t wish upon anyone, so be sure you know what you’re dealing with before you make any hasty declarations.
Honesty the Best Policy
While Japanese knotweed isn’t technically classified as a “notifiable weed”, changes to the Law Society’s TA6 form made in 2013 mean that there is now a specific question relating to this exact subject. As such, avoiding such a scenario is virtually impossible.
As a result of the very specific knotweed-related change, failure to disclose information relating to knotweed infestation on your property can be deemed a breach of Consumer Protection Rights regulations.
Naturally, such actions can result in legal ramifications, providing solid grounds for misrepresentation and potentially leaving you liable to be sued by potential buyers.
If your property is indeed unfortunate enough to be the newfound home of Japanese knotweed, as confirmed by an expert, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the worse it’ll get.
Mortgage lenders are extremely hesitant to lend the full amount if a property has Japanese knotweed, due to the fact that it can affect the structural integrity of the building. However, that stance can be potentially swayed by a proactive approach.
A great way to influence that decision is to find a Japanese knotweed removal specialist that offers a Japanese knotweed guarantee – a DIY job simply won’t do. A pro’s warranty will safeguard you in the event that any such infestation should return and effectively assure its permanent vacation.
The fact that the appropriate removal measures have been implemented could potentially influence mortgage lenders to overlook the fact that you have knotweed on your property or at last lead them to be more sympathetic to your situation.
The Waiting Game
Japanese knotweed removal can be a lengthy process and often takes around three years for the unwavering weed to completely vacate your property. If value is of value to you, this may be your best course of action.
That being said, if you really are in a rush to sell your house despite the presence of Japanese knotweed, you may be forced to take a hit on the sale price in exchange for speed of the sale.
With mortgage lenders likely out of the equation due to the presence of knotweed, you will more than likely have to take the cash buyer route. As a result, you could see the sale price drop by up to 20% below market value.
Send in the Pros
Essentially, if you’re serious about selling a house that has Japanese knotweed and, A. don’t fancy staring into a lawsuit, and B. aren’t too keen on the idea of slashing your sale price by 20%, the only viable option is to call in the pros and get to the root of the problem.
At Taylor Weed Control, we specialist in Japanese knotweed removal and have over 15 years’ experience to back it up. For a long-term solution with insurance backed guarantee, Japanese knotweed removal from Taylor Weed Control is the smart choice for you and your property.
For more information on Japanese knotweed removal, call Taylor Weed Control today on 029 2039 7554. Alternatively, drop us a line using the button below and request a FREE Japanese knotweed survey now.
Request a FREE Survey