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When is the presence of a weed ‘knot’ good for property?

When it is Japanese knotweed. The species was originally introduced to Britain in the mid-1800s and was thought to have great benefits. Now it is the curse of property owners. It cracks roads and foundations and destroys property values. It costs millions every year to clear away. So what should you do if you think you have an infestation?

Firstly, do not be tempted to ignore the problem. It is certainly a pretty plant, but the damage it can do is extensive. The appointment of specialists is highly recommended. The bad news is that it is costly to eradicate and it cannot be removed quickly or easily.  The root system can be extensive (several metres deep and wide) and it can take hold again if a piece even as small as a fingernail is left behind. All plant material and soil removed has to be taken to specialist landfill for disposal.

Questions about its presence are now included on property information forms completed before sales of properties, such is the severity of the problem. Mortgage lenders are nervous about its presence and may even refuse to lend on a property suffering from an infestation. Your property is likely to be unsaleable unless and until you have had it treated by a specialist and obtained a guarantee of the work, preferably backed up by an insurance policy.

Sadly, the advice therefore is: get a specialist and dig in for the long haul.

For additional information on this article please contact Emma Truslove, Solicitor on 01386 761176.

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