Japanese knotweed is often found on land that has been left unattended for a long period of time. Japanese knotweed This invasive species spreads very quickly and can cause damage to roads and properties. Richard, 49, struggled to sell his home near St Austell, Cornwall, last year because the buyer’s lender, Santander, refused a mortgage on the basis of knotweed growing ‘in the vicinity’. This could involve either completely removing the plant from the property, or paying upfront for an insurance-backed treatment plan. Watch out for Japanese Knotweed. Those that do, will usually expect to see evidence of a comprehensive eradication plan in place and being carried out by a qualified Japanese knotweed … VAT Number 477 2974 93. One thought on “ The ‘features’ which could devalue your property…and how to fix them ” Jo Mullett January 29, 2019 at 7:47 pm. In the case where you have found a home that was once affected by the plant, you should demand to see documents that prove that proper treatment has taken place before you think about making an offer. Japanese knotweed can devalue a property between 5-15%. Can you sell a property with Japanese knotweed to a cash buyer? Can you sell a property with Japanese knotweed? Now considered one of the country's leading litigators in Japanese knotweed law he works alongside the country’s top barristers and experts. If a survey reveals Japanese knotweed on a home that you are planning on buying then you should be able to negotiate a lower price as a result. lt is a restaurant and has an outside terrace that is where the knotweed is. Despite the current infestation and the costs needed to remedy it, cash buyers will see the value in your property, however you may still need to set the reserve price much lower than the value of your home in order to pique their interest. How are buyers notified about Japanese knotweed? The slightest trace of Japanese knotweed on your property – even on your street – is a reason to be refused a mortgage. Subsidence is treated with heavy caution by mortgage lenders, who will often not lend at all if a property has been affected by it. Japanese knotweed in neighbouring properties putting off would-be buyers: Poorly managed Council-owned properties causing sales to fall through: Neighbouring organisations or business owning property affected by Japanese knotweed: Problems establishing the responsibility of Japanese knotweed infestation. Do home sellers have to declare Japanese knotweed to buyers? A Japanese knotweed survey from an RICS surveyor can cost from £140 up to £240, depending on the company that is undertaking the work. If you’re in the process of selling your home, there will be plenty of items to tick off your checklist. You can sue your neighbour for failing to control the spread of Japanese knotweed on their land, however, this will unlikely help you sell your home any quicker. Insurance backed guarantees can be provided to restore the property’s value. The manager will not give us the owners address or phone number. Many potential buyers will not want to purchase property with the knowledge that they’ll have to pay for treatment, and mortgage lenders will also consider their security to be compromised if a treatment or removal plan isn’t in place. How much does subsidence from Japanese knotweed devalue a house? Log into your account. Should I avoid any property with Japanese knotweed? This devaluation will usually be equivalent to the cost of removing the plant and restoring the property to its original value. His in-depth legal experience and connections to the Japanese knotweed removal industry make him uniquely suited for handling your case. By taking this approach you run the risk of making a purchase that is not in your best interests, which could also lead to mortgage lenders simply refusing to lend you the money needed to complete the transaction. Although their stances on the matter vary, many lenders will flat-out refuse to deal with properties that have an ongoing Japanese knotweed infestation. This is because knotweed can decrease property property prices by up to 20%. – On The Market, [5] TA6 Property Information Form Example – The Law Society, [6] The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 – legislation.gov.uk, [7] Japanese Knotweed and residential property – RICS, [8] Can I Sell a House with Subsidence? How much does a Japanese knotweed survey cost? You will legally be able to sell your property at a later date, but you will need to have proof that the infestation has been treated by a PCA-accredited firm in order for any future buyer to have confidence in starting the purchase process. … If your home is close to land that has been unattended to for a long time, then there’s a risk that Japanese knotweed might be hidden within. Can I get a mortgage with Japanese knotweed? 633045. It can push through concrete, meaning it can cause structural damage to your property that can devalue your property by 100 per cent. It has been stressed in the guidance for these notes that you should only check ‘No’ when you are absolutely sure that there has not been any Japanese knotweed present on the property. What does Japanese knotweed do to a house? Prospective buyers at auction are often much more open to purchasing properties with issues such as Japanese knotweed, however they are only likely to bid if they are fully aware of the problems involved and the amount of additional investment required to make it sellable in the future. Despite the repercussions of doing so, this hasn’t stopped estate agents from downplaying or lying about the Japanese knotweed in order to make a sale. The presence of the knotweed should not, however, affect your premiums. The survey may identify the RICS Risk Category that the infestation falls under, and should also identify if the infestation has affected any buildings or structures on the property. For example, if you are not planning on selling the house in the future, then you can live comfortably knowing that the Japanese knotweed infestation won’t halt the selling process down the line. Buying or selling a property affected by Japanese knotweed? The question regarding Japanese knotweed is: “Is the property affected by Japanese knotweed?”. Unforutnately there is no real way of answering this question, a lot of people ask it, but it depends on numerous factors which include the extent of the damage and even the area that you live in, believe it or not. In some cases, you may find that a company will offer a free informal survey that will help you make a positive or negative identification of the plant on your property. Can you sell a house with Japanese knotweed at auction? We have lost our buyer because of the knotweed and we really want to get started on its removal in order to get it sold.”, “We purchased a property in Ealing W5 in 2010, we moved out in 2015 and for the past 2-3 years, it has been rented out. The severity of the infestation will dictate how much time, effort and money you will need to rectify the situation. By Paolo Martini on 18th February 2020 (updated: 16th July 2020) in News. Do estate agents have to declare Japanese knotweed? Checking ‘Not Known’ puts the onus on the buyer to then commission a Japanese knotweed survey, but if you are aware of the plant already, then choosing this option will waste the time of the buyer and likely put you in a weaker bargaining position when it comes to settling the eventual price of the home. Paolo Martini is the lead solicitor for Knotweed Help and has over 30 years of experience in the field of Civil Litigation and is an expert on the legal issues faced by individuals dealing with Japanese knotweed on their land. ... value of the property fell to £80,000. That’s according to former President of the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute Eamon Flaherty, who says that the plant can undermine the structural integrity of roads and buildings. [1] Japanese knotweed is knocking £34bn off UK property values – Yahoo, [2] History of Japanese Knotweed in Europe – University of Leicester, [3] Japanese knotweed is no more of a threat to buildings than other plants – University of Leicester, [4] Buying or selling a property affected by Japanese knotweed? Cost of Japanese Knotweed removal Unfortunately, having a professional team in to get rid of the Japanese Knotweed is expensive. Most recently, a property in Woolston Park in Cheshire claimed a potential £30,000 loss due to the presence of knotweed. The adjacent land is a small piece of land between ourselves and our neighbours that belongs to the original developers of the site. Do you have to tell the buyer about the Japanese knotweed? The seller may wish to downplay the severity of the infestation, in a bid to keep their selling price as high as possible. Although property surveyors are trained to check for Japanese knotweed, there have been cases where surveyors have overlooked or altogether missed Japanese knotweed. We got a mortgage and everything was OK. We are now looking at selling our property, and discovered that the knotweed has spread from the adjacent land into our property. This invasive plant is fast-growing and shockingly strong. Paolo Martini is the lead solicitor for Knotweed Help and has over 30 years of experience in the field of Civil Litigation and is an expert on the legal issues faced by individuals dealing with Japanese knotweed on their land. Completely removing the Japanese knotweed from your land before you put the property on the market will put you in the best position to make a quicker sale, but you will always have to mention the historical presence of the plant. Buyers are sometimes notified about Japanese knotweed on a property by the estate agent or by the sellers themselves. Is it worth buying a house with Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed Japanese knotweed The weed can grow up to 10cm per day and is said to be capable of forcing its way through concrete which, in … In some cases, you might even find that the reduction in the value of a home affected by Japanese knotweed makes it more affordable for you. Our next-door neighbour is not replying to our texts or did not attend a meeting with me and our neighbour (who is willing to help with removal). Whilst you don’t have to inform the government if you discover Japanese knotweed on your land, you may be able to get the answers to your questions by contacting the Environmental Agency directly. Since being introduced to Britain in the early 19th century, Japanese knotweed has spread far and wide across the country, with very few corners of the land remaining unaffected. However, there are some cases where making a positive identification can be difficult. You’ll also want to ensure that the plant doesn’t get out of control to the point where it threatens your physical property and enjoyment of your home. Choosing to buy a home that is next door to a particularly aggressive Japanese knotweed infestation could lead to the plant spreading to your own land. Japanese knotweed is no longer a rogue element, estate agents, potential buyers and surveyors alike are all aware of this plant, and attempting to hide it will likely end in the collapse of the sale or even a claim made against you. Japanese knotweed can be extremely resilient, especially to DIY attempts of removal, which can lead to it lying dormant underground, seemingly dead to the world. Due to the widespread nature of this plant, millions of homes of all varieties have now been tarred with the same brush. Local authorities across the country are starting to implement regulations to […] Garden sheds, greenhouses and conservatories can also be at risk of damage. De-weeding, pruning, composting and even trimming the grass on a dry day are all attainable methods to spruce up your garden. If you’re not confident in making an identification yourself then you may want to get a second opinion from a professional. For example, a small infestation that has yet to properly develop and is found at the back of a garden, over 7 metres from a building, may only devalue the property by 5%. Company Registration Number – 03943212, England and Wales. This rhizome dispersal has allowed it to spread throughout the UK and Europe. In order to get a treatment plan in place that will satisfy potential buyers and their mortgage lenders, you will need to find out if the plant affects your neighbours’ land as well. First, you’ll need to arrange selling with a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Oxford, London, Manchester or wherever you live. Approximately 850,000 to 900,000 UK households are suffering an average reduction in value of around 10%, knocking almost £20 billion (£19.8 billion) off property values. Back in Japan, its manifestation is kept in check by indigenous insects. The research also revealed a poor understanding of the legal and financial risks around knotweed. Ms Allcott added: “Japanese knotweed has been known to … Having the JKMP in advance will be helpful to your estate agent because they know it will give the necessary assurance to a prospective purchaser, their lender and any surveyor that the matter is being properly dealt with. This has led to buyers going through with a purchase, only to discover later that they have paid an unfair price for a property that needs thousands of pounds of investment to cover the cost of removal. This form covers additional information about the property (e.g. The presence of Japanese knotweed has diminished the value of affected houses by 10 per cent, creating an average loss of £22,800 to property owners. A property surveyor might not always check for Japanese knotweed. 633045. your password You could also be at risk of prosecution if is spreads to … Once you have a complete understanding of how far the plant has spread, you can enlist a Japanese knotweed specialist to draw up a management plan that sets out how the infestation will be treated. “If Yes, please state whether there is a Japanese knotweed management and treatment plan in place and supply a copy with any insurance cover linked to the plan.”. Bear in mind that these maps have been constructed with the help of volunteer data. The question cannot be ignored and reads: “Is the property affected by Japanese knotweed?”. legal implications of having Japanese knotweed on your land, Japanese Knotweed Growing In Neighbour’s Garden: Legal Implications, Guide To Selling A Property With Japanese Knotweed, Japanese knotweed is knocking £34bn off UK property values, Japanese knotweed is no more of a threat to buildings than other plants. Worried about whether the property you own or are looking to buy is affected by Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed removal costs can vary greatly depending on the severity of the infestation and the area of land that the plant covers. How much does Japanese knotweed devalue a house? More lenders are happy with Category 1 than 4, naturally, but there are deals for both, depending on whether the property is still habitable or not. Cash buyer companies specialising in properties affected with Japanese knotweed are hard to find, and those that are willing to buy the property may do so at a price much lower than any auctioneer’s suggested reserve price. This section gives the seller the opportunity to attach any paperwork related to their Japanese knotweed treatment plan. When Japanese knotweed is identified on a property, a mortgage provider will often refuse to lend if a management plan is not in place. Subsidence as a result of a serious Japanese knotweed infestation could devalue a house by 20% [8], and up to 80% in the worst-case scenarios. Getting an outside opinion, preferably from an expert Japanese knotweed surveyor, will give both parties a clear understanding of the realistic costs needed to rectify the infestation. Knotweed Help is a trading style of Cobleys Solicitors Ltd. Everyone understands that, if necessary, any remaining treatment can be completed by a new owner under the same contract. However consultants have warned that there are […] Mail Online's property expert Myra Butterworth replies: ' Me ntion the words 'Japanese Knotweed' to any homeowner and it may well trigger nightmares. If you have knotweed or suspect it to be a problem, whether you have had treatment or not, contact us for free, no obligation advice. Buying a house that used to have Japanese knotweed should not be discouraged altogether. The first thing that you should do is talk to your neighbour about the problem. If you’re trying to sell a property with Japanese knotweed and are unsure about what your options are then you can get in touch with us for guidance. Despite banks having moved beyond their black and white intolerance of homes affected by Japanese knotweed, it’s still the case that there is a stigma with these properties. Related: Guide To Selling A Property With Japanese Knotweed. Having Japanese knotweed can devalue a property between 5-15%, which explains why some sellers hide it or lie about its presence on your land. Will I be able to sell a property affected by Japanese knotweed? If you have knotweed or suspect it to be a problem, whether you have had treatment or not, contact us for free, no obligation advice. What should you do if you’ve found Japanese knotweed and want to sell your property? Finding Japanese knotweed on your property can be a nightmare.So, for everything you need to know about the pesky plant, read on…. Even if it has been years since the treatment took place, you would still have to be upfront about Japanese knotweed affecting the property in the past. Can I kill Japanese knotweed myself after buying the house? Check if there is Japanese knotweed in a particular area by looking at a Japanese knotweed UK Map, this will give you an idea of how badly the chosen area has been infested with the plant. Even when a treatment plan has been completed, the seller of a property will have to mention Japanese knotweed has affected the property on the TA6 Property Information Form. How do I know if my house has Japanese knotweed? Don’t wait for the seller’s solicitor to provide information, get a detailed survey of the affected land and insist that the seller initiates and pays for the treatment before any exchange takes place. A property with Japanese knotweed shouldn’t necessarily be avoided altogether. The options to respond are either ‘Yes, No or Not Known’. Japanese knotweed can devalue a property by 10% or more. This conversation may prompt them to take action, however, if your words are ignored then you can approach the matter more formally, with a view to informing the authorities and filing a Community Protection Notice to force them to deal with the infestation. The TA6 Property Information Form is the piece of paperwork that is most commonly used to inform buyers of any negative issues affecting the home, including Japanese knotweed. For example, in cases where land has been left to overgrow it can be hard to distinguish Japanese knotweed from other plants, there are also many cases where the plant can be mistaken for others. Killing the Japanese knotweed after buying the house is an option that you could take, however you must factor in the costs of doing so and also consider that the property will always be stuck with this stigma, regardless of if you fully eradicate it or not. No liability shall be accepted by the Directors of Cobleys Solicitors Ltd. Cobleys Solicitors Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA No. If you have Japanese knotweed, it can devalue your property due to the risk it can pose to your house. I arranged for a professional to come to have a look and it is not growing in our property but it is growing in our neighbours’ gardens. details of any alterations to the building) and should also state if Japanese knotweed has been identified on the premises. What is included on a Japanese Knotweed survey? Selling your property with Japanese knotweed to a cash buyer is another option open to homeowners looking to sell their affected property quickly, however, this can come with its own set of drawbacks. Source: Royal Horticultural Society A 2017 survey by the Crop Protection Association suggests that among individuals affected by knotweed, 15 per cent had a …