When selling a property with known Japanese knotweed growing on the premise, there’s a few things to consider and be aware of. As a seller, a lot of liability lands on you if knotweed is ever found on-site. It is worth being especially cautious about invasive weeds like Japanese knotweed as you could be fined with a costly penalty.
From surveys to TA6 forms to removal and management plans, key steps can be put in place to help the sale of a house, but it is often a longer process.
Is it Illegal to Sell a House with Japanese Knotweed?
No, if you declare that it is there.
You may also need to take measures such as having a survey completed by a professionally accredited company. It is illegal to allow knotweed to spread into a neighbouring property
Declaring knotweed on your property will be formally identified through the TA6 form, which is done as part of the property paperwork. Most homeowners will likely be unaware of any invasive weeds, which means they should answer ‘Not Known’. This is more likely to happen since changes in 2020, which placed higher emphasis on the seller to ensure there is no knotweed on the site.
The Fines and Penalties in Place
You can be fined up to £5000 or be sent to prison for up to two years for allowing contaminated soil or plant material to enter the wild.
Civil litigation cases are also a large part of costs for house sellers. If the buyer feels that no due diligence was done or there was a lack of care, then they can sue the seller for relevant damage costs and compensation.
3) Speak to Neighbours and Others Nearby
If knotweed is found with a seven-metre radius of your property, you will need to disclose this. Speaking to neighbours before you sell your house, especially if you’re in terraced houses or with adjoining gardens, can help to answer your questions.
While you could pay for a knotweed survey for just your property, if your neighbours are concerned, or had previously been alerted to knotweed, a collective knotweed survey will be able to identify any presence of this weed.
4) Don’t Do It Yourself
If you’re looking to sell the house soon, then a DIY solution will not be the most effective and may even result in the sale falling through. Employing the services of a PCA approved knotweed removal company that offers a guarantee is the best option here. Japanese Knotweed Specialists offer five, 10 or 35-year guarantees, and we can even offer an insurance backed guarantee to provide you with complete peace of mind. This insurance policy can even be passed onto future homeowners for a small fee, something that may help their mortgage, and your sale.