In a recent interview with the Daily Express, property expert Ray Harriot advised that sellers should tell the truth about Japanese knotweed on their property - even if this would complicate the transaction.
Mr Harriot, the founder of Reliable Property Group, said:
"Our advice to sellers is integrity...if they knowingly miss information, they can find themselves with some problems.
"For example, if a property was known to have Japanese knotweed, which is a really strong weed that can penetrate concrete and other hard surfaces.
"If they were to omit that evidence - it's all on file - and the buyer was to buy it, and then they did a bit more research and it was established that Japanese knotweed was missed out, [the seller] could find themselves in hot water."
SOURCE: Property expert warns sellers to 'be honest' with buyers or risk being in 'hot water'
Mr Harriot's wise counsel comes in the context of an upcoming change in England's Stamp Duty Land Tax rules. At present, the SDLT threshold for residential properties is £500,000 (meaning you only pay stamp duty if you buy a property for that amount or more); however, from 1 April 2021, the threshold will be lowered to £125,000 for residential properties.
UPDATE - 3 MARCH 2021: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the stamp duty holiday will be extended for another three months. Read more here.
As a result, lots of people are scrambling to purchase new homes before the new stamp duty threshold comes into effect. Japanese knotweed always tends to make a property less appealing, but that's doubly true right now, because the presence of this invasive weed may slow down what could otherwise have been a quick and smooth transaction.
Nevertheless, it is important to tell the truth about any Japanese knotweed infestations that have affected your property - even if the problem has been dealt with.
TA6 Form: Is There Japanese Knotweed on Your Property?
If you are trying to sell a property that is or has been affected by Japanese knotweed, Taylor Total Weed Control can help. We offer a range of knotweed treatment plans, and though we usually recommend a course of herbicide application followed by regular monitoring, we can also accommodate homeowners who need to deal with this problem rapidly.
Give us a call on 029 2039 7554 to arrange a free Japanese knotweed survey.
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