Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a non-native plant in the UK which can cause damage to properties and spreads easily. As a result it can impact on the buying and selling property process and there are strict requirements governing its removal.
This hardy plant can cause extensive damage to property such as walls, drains, driveways and outbuildings. It is not illegal to have it on your property, though it is a criminal offence to plant Japanese knotweed. If the plant is on your land then you are required to try and control it to avoid further spread or you could be subject to a fine.
If you are looking to purchase a property where Japanese knotweed is present, your bank will most likely require that a management plan to eradicate the plant is in place before they will offer a mortgage on the property.
When buying a home, if the presence of Japanese knotweed is indicated on the TA6 Property Information Form or identified by a building survey, then the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors(RICS) recommends that a Specialist Knotweed Survey be carried out to establish the risk and provide advice on a remedial plan.
Treatment can take years to effectively control the plant, and does not eradicate the root. As a result the plant can remain dormant in the ground for many years. If it is possible to excavate the area then the whole plant can be removed.?
There are strict guidelines on the treatment, removal and disposal of Japanese knotweed, so it is best to consult a suitably licensed Japanese knotweed removal firm before taking action. You should receive a guarantee on any remedial work to state that any further growth of the plant will be treated and controlled at no additional cost to the property owner.
Mortgage lenders will have their own policies on lending for properties with Japanese knotweed and are likely to consider each case individually. You should consult your lender directly to find out their policy and to seek advice on what they will require to lend in your specific situation.
Please note: This information is intended for general information purposes and should not be seen as professional advice. It is important to talk directly to an RICS accredited Building Surveyor and/or Architectural Designer to discuss your individual circumstances.