The Law Society has made changes to the explanatory notes accompanying the home seller’s property information form (TA6) regarding the presence of Japanese knotweed. 

 

The TA6 conveyancing form, which must be completed by all home sellers, asks if knotweed is present on the property. Unless the home seller is absolutely certain that there is no knotweed present, they mist now answer ‘Not Known’ instead of ‘No’. Knotweed removal experts have said that this change will bring a sharp increase in sellers answering ‘Not Known’ and will place an added onus on buyers to make their own enquiries into whether a property is affected.

 

The Guidance

Previous guidelines stated ““The seller should state whether the property is affected by Japanese knotweed.”

However, the form and guidance update which was released on Friday 7th February 2020, states ““The seller should state whether the property is affected by Japanese knotweed. If you are unsure that Japanese knotweed exists above or below ground or whether it has previously been managed on the property, please indicate this as ‘Not known’. If No is chosen as an answer the seller must be certain that no rhizome (root) is present in the ground of the property, or within 3 metres of the property boundary even if there are no visible signs above ground.”

In simple terms, sellers who are not aware of knotweed on their property should still answer ‘No’ instead of ‘Not Known’, leaving it up to buyers to undertake their own knotweed enquiries if they so choose, by employing a professional knotweed survey. The changes should bring greater clarity to the legal process in misrepresentation cases where a seller has answered ‘No’ and knotweed is subsequently discovered. Where a ‘Not Known’ answer is provided, the responsibility is placed on the buyer to prove that the seller’s answer was false and that they were indeed aware that the property was affected.

 

Legal Advice & Surveys

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we offer professional legal advice that can aid you through a knotweed case involving your neighbours, estate agents and surveyors around issues such as false reporting of the presence of Japanese knotweed on a property. If you require a professional survey to determine whether there is knotweed present on or around your property, then we can also provide expert services. Simply click below to learn more about our expert witness services or to request your FREE knotweed survey! You can also get in touch with a member of our team for any general enquiries you may have surrounding Japanese knotweed.

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