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do estate agents have to disclose japanese knotweed

If you're looking at purchasing your own property, Japanese knotweed might be a concern - and rightly so. Japanese knotweed is an invasive species that can cause a whole host of problems with neighbours and with your new property. Sadly, few people know what Japanese knotweed looks like or how to identify it, and even if they do, it might go unnoticed when you're viewing potential properties. In this blog, we'll explore the duty of care that estate agents have when it comes to Japanese knotweed.


Do estate agents check for Japanese knotweed?

Yes. When you have your property surveyed, the surveyor should do a thorough check for Japanese knotweed. This can include, looking for emerging shoots, established plants or signs of Japanese knotweed on neighbouring land. Their notes and findings should be included in your survey report. Chances are, if the estate agent finds Japanese knotweed, they will speak to the current owners of the property about getting a treatment plan in place before you go any further with the purchase.


Does the estate agent have to disclose Japanese knotweed?

Yes. If the estate agent is made aware that a property you're interested in has a Japanese knotweed problem, they have to disclose it to you. If they try to cover it up or misrepresent the property as having no Japanese knotweed, you could have a legal case against them. If you're ever in doubt, be sure to ask your estate agent directly about Japanese knotweed on the property & make sure you have their findings in writing.


What if the Japanese knotweed isn't detected?

There are some rare cases where Japanese knotweed is laid dormant in the soil at the time a property changes hands. In this scenario, an estate agent might complete the sale of the property without any prior knowledge that the invasive species is there. If it's not detected on your home survey and it doesn't rear its head until after you've moved in, then the problem might be in your hands.

Don't worry though, if you do find that there's Japanese knotweed around your new home, there are things that can be done. When you first notice the Japanese knotweed, you should get in touch with an invasive weed specialist as quickly as possible. Trying to tackle the Japanese knotweed yourself is likely to make the problem worse. Japanese knotweed is not like other plants. Special herbicides should be used to get rid of it for good!

Japanese Knotweed Removal >


Japanese knotweed

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


What does Japanese knotweed look like?

If you're unsure what you're looking for when you're assessing a property for Japanese knotweed, you should take a look at our Japanese knotweed identification page. The key signs to look out for are:

  • Red, bamboo-like shoots
  • Love-heart shaped leaves
  • Small white flower clusters

Japanese Knotweed Identification >

So, if you're buying a property that has a Japanese knotweed problem, your estate agent is required to tell you! You should always work with your estate agent to establish whether your chosen property is free from Japanese knotweed or not. If you suspect there's a Japanese knotweed problem, arrange with the current owners for a treatment plan to be put in place as soon as possible.

If in doubt, contact Taylor Total Weed Control and we'll see what we can do to help!

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