Selling a house that’s affected by Japanese knotweed can be very difficult.
For one thing, this invasive plant species—which has been known to grow at a rate of ten centimetres per day in summer—can knock an eye-watering 10% off the value of your property if you’re unlucky enough to have it growing in your garden.
But that’s not all. Mortgage lenders will often refuse to touch a property that’s affected by Japanese knotweed, so unless you can find a cash buyer for your home, you may well find yourself stuck on your current rung of the property ladder.
Don’t lose hope, though. Lenders can be persuaded to grant mortgages on knotweed-stricken properties, but you will need to show them that a qualified invasive weed specialist has put a suitable Japanese knotweed treatment programme in place.
Japanese knotweed: what the law says
UK law does not require you to take any specific action when you discover Japanese knotweed on your land. However, you may face legal action if you allow the plant to encroach on someone else’s property.
If you decide to deal with Japanese knotweed yourself, you need to be extremely careful.
A single small fragment of its rhizome root system can grow into a whole new plant if returned to the soil, and you could face a £5,000 fine or even 2 years in prison if you allow Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild.
The safest course of action, then, is to get in touch with an experienced contractor who knows how to remove and dispose of Japanese knotweed properly.
Look for an insurance-backed guarantee!
If you’re hoping to sell your property, it’s critically important that you seek out a Japanese knotweed specialist who offers an insurance-backed guarantee.
This is the key factor that will help to put mortgage lenders at ease.
An insurance-backed guarantee ensures that your Japanese knotweed treatment plan will remain in place even in the event that your chosen contractor goes out of business.
Eradicating Japanese knotweed is a long game; a comprehensive treatment programme usually takes several years to complete, followed by a further period of monitoring to ensure that the plant doesn’t grow back.
For this reason, most lenders will only accept a treatment plan that includes an insurance-backed guarantee.