Can Japanese Knotweed Affect Your Property Value?
Your home is one of the biggest assets you’re ever likely to own. If you’ve got Japanese knotweed property values can be seriously affected and might even put potential buyers off and make your home difficult to sell. It can still be a problem if you’ve had the knotweed successfully treated. Japanese knotweed can cause serious damage to hard landscaping and buildings, and there have been instances when it’s appearance has led to neighbours falling out and taking legal action.
Japanese Knotweed Damage to Property
If you’re thinking a plant can’t do much damage to your home you couldn’t be more wrong. When it comes to Japanese knotweed property values take a nosedive. The parts of this monster of a plant that you can see can grow to more than two metres in height. The parts you can’t see, such as its roots, can grow more than three metres into the ground and span more than seven metres.
The roots look very much like bamboo and have the ability to spread quickly and are very strong. The temptation might be to leave them, but you’re running the risk of the roots blocking drains, weakening walls, and damaging your property’s foundations.
The Cost of Japanese Knotweed Damage to Property
Having Japanese knotweed on your property can leave you with large bills to pay when it comes to repairing the damage. However, it can also seriously impact the value of your property. It is thought that around 4-5% of UK homes are now affected by Japanese Knotweed. According to the Independent, the average reduction in the value of these homes is around 10%.
If you ever want to sell a property with Japanese knotweed, that’s a big hit to take on the sale value of your house.
Can Japanese Knotweed Affect Getting a Mortgage?
Japanese knotweed property values are not all that can be affected. Because of the nature of this beast of a plant, it’s often difficult for prospective homeowners to find a lender who will offer them a mortgage. It’s not, however, impossible.
Typically, a lender will ask that you get a professional PCA surveyor to examine the property and determine whether there is a risk or damage. If the surveyor reports that the Japanese knotweed poses a substantial risk or is already causing serious problems, it could have an effect on your mortgage application.
Lenders tend to have their own rules and requirements when it comes to buying or selling property with Japanese knotweed. But there are some factors that a lender is likely to consider.
If the neighbours have Japanese knotweed growing on their property, a lender needs to determine the risk of it spreading. Knotweed that is growing more than seven metres from the boundary of a property is considered to be low risk. If it’s found any closer it is considered to be a much higher risk. With the plant so close to your property, the likelihood of it already impacting your property is very high. It’s very likely that repair work will be needed before your mortgage is approved.
Advice for Anyone Buying a Property With Japanese Knotweed
If you’re buying a property with Japanese knotweed, it’s important to understand what you’re taking on and be prepared for it.
-Get a survey report: A professional Japanese Knotweed Survey and Management Plan will highlight any issues and give you an idea of how much it will cost to resolve them. It will also pinpoint any damage that has already occurred or determine the risk of damage happening in the future. This type of report should also be able to identify whether there is an issue with encroachment. Ensure you use a PCA approved contractor.
-Understand your liabilities: As the new owner of the property, responsibility for Japanese knotweed liabilities will fall on your shoulders. If you’re happy with this, make sure you negotiate a price discount that reflects the cost of treatment.
– Sort out the problem yourself: don’t leave it to the seller to sort out the Japanese knotweed problem. DIY attempts are rarely successful. You should hire a professional firm, like Japanese Knotweed Specialists, to carry out the work.
Advice for Anyone Selling Property With Japanese Knotweed
There are some steps you can take if you want to make your property attractive to any potential buyers.
– Disclose its presence: you are legally obliged to disclose that there is Japanese knotweed on your property or whether it has been affected in the past. Fail to disclose this information and you could end up in court. Ensure you complete the Property Information Form (TA6) accurately.
– Engage a reputable Japanese knotweed specialist to remove it: they will be able to eradicate the weed and provide insurance backed guarantees acceptable for any lenders.
If you’re worried about Japanese knotweed property values, get in touch with us to eradicate Japanese knotweed from your property. We have removal methods suitable for all jobs.