Buying a house is a stressful experience at the best of times, but discovering that your new home (or a neighbouring property) is affected by Japanese knotweed can turn your move into a complete nightmare.
But don't panic! Japanese knotweed is certainly a setback, but you don't necessarily have to wave goodbye to your dream home just yet. Here's some expert advice from the Japanese knotweed specialists here at Taylor Total Weed Control...
(If you're new to Japanese knotweed and the problems it can cause, start here: What is Japanese Knotweed?)
How will I know if the property I'm buying has Japanese knotweed?
In theory, the seller will disclose that information on their TA6 Property Information Form. If the seller is aware of a Japanese knotweed problem but decides to keep quiet about it, they may be found guilty of misrepresentation down the line.
But what if the seller isn't aware of the Japanese knotweed in their garden? Even if there's no visible sign of the plant, its rhizomes (roots) may be present in the soil, ready to sprout as soon as you're settled in. So what should you do if the seller answers the TA6 form's Japanese knotweed question with an unhelpful 'Not known'?
The best course of action is to find a specialist Japanese knotweed contractor and ask them to conduct a survey of your prospective new home - with the current owner's permission, of course. A professional knotweed survey will give you a clearer idea of whether you're purchasing a house...or a can of worms.
Should I buy a house that's affected by Japanese knotweed?
Honest answer? No, not if you can avoid it.
Japanese knotweed isn't directly harmful to humans (unlike, say, giant hogweed) but it spreads rapidly, and it can grow through cracks in concrete and brickwork, potentially causing structural damage to your new property.
Additionally, if you become the owner of a knotweed-infested property, it becomes your legal responsibility to keep the plant from spreading further. If you allow Japanese knotweed to cross over into your neighbour's garden, you may be prosecuted or given a community protection notice.
And should you ever decide to sell your house and move elsewhere, your knotweed problem may make it difficult to find a willing buyer. Japanese knotweed can significantly reduce the value of an otherwise attractive property, and you may end up having to slash your asking price in order to get people interested.
Of course, all of the above is moot if you're unable to buy the house in the first place! Which brings us to question number two...
Will lenders be willing to offer me a mortgage?
Mortgage provide are often reluctant to lend against properties that are affected by Japanese knotweed.
So unless you've got enough cash to purchase your dream home outright, you may find it difficult to buy a knotweed-infested property. Even if you yourself aren't put off by the issues we've already mentioned, lenders often will be!
That being said, some mortgage lenders will be reassured if you can demonstrate that you have a Japanese knotweed treatment plan in place (complete with insurance-backed guarantee). Every lender's policy is different, of course, but you will generally have an easier ride if you can prove that you're doing your best to combat the knotweed problem.
How can Taylor Total Weed Control help?
We at Taylor Total Weed Control have been dealing with Japanese knotweed for years, so you can rest assured we know exactly what we're doing. If you're thinking of purchasing a property that's affected by Japanese knotweed, we can provide:
- A comprehensive survey with report, Japanese knotweed management plan (JKMP) and estimated costs
- Professional Japanese knotweed removal, carried out by specialists in line with all relevant environmental regulations
- An insurance-backed guarantee, giving you peace of mind that your Japanese knotweed problem is under control
Give us a call on 029 2039 7554 to discuss your requirements with a Japanese knotweed expert. We know that property deals can be highly time-sensitive, so we always aim to deliver our services as swiftly as possible.
Request a FREE Japanese knotweed survey >
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