What is Japanese Knotweed ( Fallopia Japonica)? This is an extremely aggressive shrub, originally imported into this country in the 1800’s. It grows at a tremendous rate. Think Leyllandi on steroids.
Why should you be bothered?
You may be wondering why, in a legal conveyancing blog, I am giving gardening advice.
Well you will all no doubt have watched Location Location Location and all the other spin off TV programmes designed to help you increase the value of your property.
One common theme is to tidy up the garden. A pretty well kept garden is a tremendous selling point.
What you don’t want in your garden however is Japanese Knotweed. It’s not that it isn’t an unattractive shrub offering tremendous ground cover. The problem is the rate at which it grows and what it will grow through.
To get an idea of its rate of growth have a look at this youtube video.
Whilst no gardening expert I am told Knotweed will (unless checked) grow through concrete foundations, brickwork, and even into your house through the floorboards.
The existence of Knotweed can knock thousands of pounds off the value of your property.
Until recent years Japanese knotweed was little heard of. When selling your house you will be required to fill in a Law Society Property Information Questionnaire. The Knotweed problem is so concerning that the Questionnaire now includes a specific question asking if Japanese Knotweed is present. Knotweed can now be found throughout England and Wales.
Please be aware that if you give false replies on the questionnaire the buyer may well be able to sue you for false representation and recover substantial damages from you. This is serious stuff.
Will Japanese Knotweed affect my mortgage application?
Yes. Because of the actual or future potential damage to both the property and to the property value lenders may well not lend or as a minimum will require a specialist survey and a promise to undertake an agreed eradication plan. Again I am no expert but I understand Japanese Knotweed is a very hardy opponent and it can take years to totally remove .The costs of total removal can also be very expensive.
A buyer should also have a good look around the neighbourhood. This stuff is rampant and can easily infest your garden if a neighbouring property is infected.
If you are thinking of selling your property then think ahead and start an approved eradication scheme, prior to putting the property on the market.
If you need further legal advice on this matter, or would like to discuss how we can help you move home, why not give us a call on 01724 854000. Alternatively you can visit our Conveyancing page for more infomation.