SHORT ANSWER: Yes, you must declare Japanese knotweed when selling a house. Failure to do so can result in legal action from the buyer.
If you’re selling your house, it’s always wise to have it surveyed for any serious problems, such as the presence of Japanese knotweed anywhere on or near your property.
Legally, you aren’t required to remove Japanese knotweed, or even tell your neighbours that you’ve found it in your garden. However, you are legally required to stop Japanese knotweed spreading off your property.
If you allow Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild from your property, you can be prosecuted, and may face serious fines. Ignoring the presence of knotweed and selling anyway can lead to the buyer taking legal action against you.
For these reasons, you must declare the presence of Japanese knotweed if you’re selling your house.
How to Declare Japanese Knotweed
If you’re selling your home and the survey reveals the presence of Japanese knotweed, we have a great guide on how to report Japanese knotweed.
When selling, you’ll need to fill in the Law Society’s TA6 Property Information Form. This gives the buyer detailed information about the property they’re purchasing, and there is a specific section for ‘Environmental Matters’, which includes a question about Japanese knotweed.
If a surveyor tells you there is knotweed present, obviously you should tick ‘yes’ on the form, even if a treatment programme is already underway.
You should only tick ‘No’ if you know for certain there is no Japanese knotweed present on your property.
The Law Society recommends ticking ‘Not Known’ if you aren’t sure about the presence of knotweed.
Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we offer surveys free of charge if you’re unsure about the presence of Japanese knotweed on your property. We can also undertake a comprehensive survey that includes a specialist report and a detailed plan for getting the weed under control.