Since its introduction to the UK way back in 1854, Japanese knotweed has caused a tremendous amount of damage to lands, buildings and ecosystems up and down the country. Its invasive nature means it has the ability to spread and grow anywhere, even through concrete and brickwork, making it a nightmare for homeowners throughout the UK.
For those looking to buy a property, Japanese knotweed is, unfortunately, a factor that needs to be considered before committing to a purchase. If a property contains a knotweed infestation, it is down to the owner to ensure that it does not spread onto neighbouring properties or into areas where it can cause harm and damage. For the buyers, however, it throws a huge red flag into any purchase with potentially huge amounts of money and time needed to eradicate the infestation as well as the potential damage likely to be caused by the plant.
In most cases, homeowners will declare whether they have spotted knotweed on or near their property through the TA6 form that is required when selling their property. However, some homeowners may claim they are not aware of any infestation, even when one may be present to avoid having to deal with it. This throws a spanner into the works for anyone looking to buy a property as if the sale goes through and they then discover the presence of knotweed, they are the ones who are left to deal with it.
So, what can buyers do to ensure they aren't left in the dark when it comes to a knotweed infestation on a property they're looking to buy? They hire a knotweed contractor or surveyor who surveys the property for them!
Japanese knotweed contractors
When homeowners declare that knotweed isn't present on their property, it often comes down to a point of trust from the buyers to believe they are telling the truth. Oftentimes, buyers do know they have Japanese knotweed present on their property but attempt to hide it using several methods such as cutting it back, covering it with chippings or burning it, especially during late autumn and the winter months when the plant's leaves die off.
When this happens, a knotweed contractor is often called upon as the last line of defence for any buyer. Here, the contractor will survey the property and attempt to identify any presence of knotweed that may impact the sale of the home. If they do, the onus is then on the current owners to deal with the infestation before the sale goes through. But what happens if the surveyor misses the infestation?
A missed infestation
If a knotweed surveyor misses the presence of knotweed on a property before a purchase is made, the prospective buyer will not be able to fall back on legal action to claim back any expenses that may have accrued in the lead up to the discovery. If a contract is signed, however, they may have a case to claim against them if they are able to prove professional negligence, which is what this homeowner did in 2019.
If the surveyor has any doubt regarding the presence of knotweed on a property, they are able to recommend further investigation or suggest to the buyer that they take out a Japanese knotweed indemnity policy that covers the costs of any treatment, repairs and legal costs for third party claims and any proven diminution in their property when it is sold.
We can help
If you are looking for professionals to come to a property that you are interested in buying to see if knotweed is present, Taylor Total Weed Control can help! We offer simple and effective knotweed surveys that determine whether an infestation is present, potentially saving you hundreds, if not, thousands of pounds in repair costs. Are you interested? Simply click below to request your FREE survey!
Request a Free Survey >
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us by submitted our quick and easy enquiry form below!