Japanese knotweed is an aggressive and fast-growing weed and the most invasive plant species in the UK. Its relentless growth has been known to damage masonry and devalue property.
This species native to Asia has become the bane of many homeowners’ lives. While it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your property, it is against UK law to cause or allow it to spread in the wild. Failure to take the necessary steps to eradicate and control Japanese knotweed on a property has also given rise to expensive lawsuits.
Here we examine the impact of Japanese knotweed and the process you should follow to deal with the problem and protect the value of your property.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive plant species that is native to Japan and can cause significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. It is a serious concern for many property owners and can pose significant challenges when it comes to buying or selling a property.
Identifying Japanese Knotweed
One of the main challenges of buying or selling a property with Japanese Knotweed is that it can be difficult to identify and assess the extent of the infestation. The plant has a very distinctive appearance, with large, heart-shaped leaves and bamboo-like stems, but it can be easily confused with other plants. Additionally, the plant can be difficult to spot during the early stages of its growth, as it often grows underground or in hard-to-reach areas.
Another challenge is that Japanese Knotweed is extremely resilient and difficult to eradicate. The plant has a deep root system that can extend several meters below the ground, making it difficult to remove completely. Additionally, the plant can regenerate from even small fragments of its roots, meaning that it can quickly re-establish itself after being removed. As a result, it is often necessary to engage the services of a professional to properly treat and remove the plant.
How much does Japanese Knotweed devalue property?
The presence of Japanese Knotweed can have a significant impact on the value of a property. Japanese knotweed has been known to devalue properties by six figures in extreme historic cases.
This is due to the significant costs associated with treating and removing the invasive plant, as well as the potential for damage to buildings and infrastructure. As a result, it is important for buyers and sellers to be aware of the presence of Japanese Knotweed and to take steps to assess and address the problem before entering into any transactions. Failure to identify a Japanese Knotweed problem when selling a property can have legal ramifications and lead to costly fines.
Eradicating Japanese Knotweed
The best course of action is to eradicate the problem before selling a property. One of the most effective ways to address Japanese Knotweed is to engage the services of a professional who is trained in the removal and treatment of the plant. These professionals can provide a range of services, including assessment and treatment planning, herbicide treatment, and excavation and removal of the plant. They can also provide guidance on the best course of action for addressing the problem and can work with homeowners to develop a long-term plan for managing and preventing the spread of the plant.
In addition to engaging the services of a professional, there are several steps that property owners can take to address the presence of Japanese Knotweed. These include:
Keeping an eye out for the plant and reporting any sightings to the appropriate authorities.
Taking steps to prevent the spread of the plant, such as disposing of any plants or plant materials in a responsible manner and avoiding planting new plants near areas where Japanese Knotweed is present.
Implementing proper landscaping and maintenance practices to discourage the growth of the plant.
Using herbicides or other chemical treatments to control the spread of the plant, as directed by a professional.
It is important for buyers and sellers to be proactive in addressing the presence of Japanese Knotweed when buying or selling a property. Failing to do so can lead to significant costs and complications down the road, and can potentially jeopardise the entire transaction. By being aware of the challenges and taking the necessary steps to address the problem, buyers and sellers can navigate this complex issue with confidence and ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
Are You Concerned Japanese Knotweed Will Devalue Your Property?
Japanese Knotweed Specialists will help you eradicate Japanese knotweed for good with our bespoke treatment and removal plan plus 5- and 10-year insurance-backed guarantee. Get a survey now.