In recent years, many people have been refused a mortgage on properties where Japanese knotweed has been found.
In some cases mortgages have been refused where Japanese knotweed on neighbouring land has been found. This can be particularly problematic for both buyers and sellers as a property which is deemed unmortgageable, is for all intents and purposes unsellable.
In the presence of Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders are reluctant to offer funding to potential buyers as the invasive weed is very difficult to eradicate. Japanese knotweed can cause damage to buildings as the young shoots work their way into cracks and crevices in concrete and cement, forcing their way through and pushing bricks and concrete apart.
The fact is that Japanese knotweed is only a threat to derelict buildings where no maintenance has been undertaken for a number of years. If Japanese knotweed is present on your land, then yes, it’s highly advisable to contact a specialist to get it removed as each year that passes, the problem become worse and more expensive to resolve.
But you can rest assured that your house will not crumble around you as long as it’s well maintained.
Ever since Japanese knotweed was introduced in to the UK in the 19th century as decorative plant, is spread like wildfire throughout the British mainland. In fact the Orkney Islands is reported to be the only place within the British isles where Japanese knotweed has not invaded.
The weed can grow up to 4 inches a day and when removed, even the tiniest fragment of root can grow into and established plant within a couple of weeks.
It is for this reason that there are very strict laws in place regarding the treatment and removal of Japanese knotweed.
You can’t just chop it down and dump it somewhere as any materials removed from the site must be disposed of at a licensed facility. Knotweed is covered by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, which states that “if any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part 2 of Schedule 9, shall be guilty of an offence”.
It is also covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 where Japanese Knotweed is classed as controlled waste. Being found to be in breach of either of these acts can result in a hefty fine.
At the end of the day, it it’s on your land, it’s your responsibility. And if you’re planning on selling your home and you suspect Japanese knotweed may be present, then contact a specialist for identification and advice regarding it’s removal.
Remember, if you have Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders will most likely not provide finance for your property, making it practically unsellable until the problem has been dealt with.
Read our other story on legislation which rules that Homeowners could face fines up to £2,500 if Knotweed on their property is not being dealt with.