Japanese Knotweed is by now a name most people will have heard. A non-native plant which spreads at a horrifying speed and is notoriously difficult to get rid of. So much so there is now legislation in place with regard to its control and disposal. Described by the Environment Agency as the most invasive plant in Britain, knotweed and soil contaminated with it, are considered controlled waste.

However did you know the presence of the nuisance knotweed could prevent mortgage lenders from lending on a property?

Knotweed isn’t new to the UK, we are just becoming more aware of its existence and the problems it causes. The recent financial uncertainty across the UK has caused lenders to become more risk averse and surveyors more cautious.  If a surveyor becomes aware of knotweed during a valuation it will be reported to the borrowers lender. Some may simply refuse to lend, making the property unsaleable. Some will require specialist reports and evidence the knotweed has been professionally eradicated.

Most conveyancing Solicitors ask questions to ascertain if Japanese knotweed is present on a property, but it must also be incumbent on any expectant purchaser to be aware of the problem and make their own enquiries.

Whilst the wicked weed hasn’t yet been the cause of property collapse in the UK and lenders maybe accused of being over cautious, it can cause serious damage to property, growing through tarmac and solid structures, and eradicating knotweed can be costly and time consuming.

Be on the lookout if you are buying or selling property. Should you discover the wicked weed, most local authority websites offer advice on the problem, as do the Royal Horticultural Society and of course, make your conveyancing Solicitor aware as soon as possible.

For further help and advice on house buying and selling contact Lorraine or another member of the conveyancing team on 01529 301300.


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