Japanese knotweed is a weed that can cause a lot of damage to your home.
Not only does this weed grow quickly, but it’s also incredibly hard to get rid of. If you have this weed on your property, it could lower the value of your home. Therefore, any house with Japanese knotweed will become much more difficult to sell.
Our guide includes tips on how to spot Japanese knotweed, how to deal with sellers who have the weed on their property, and what you need to do in order to get the weed removed from your new home.
How to identify Japanese knotweed on your property
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that can quickly take over an area, choking out other plants and damaging property. It’s important to be able to identify Japanese knotweed on your property so you can take steps to remove it before it becomes a problem.
There are several ways to identify Japanese knotweed, including its distinctive leaves, stem, and flowers.
Tips to spot Japanese knotweed
The main features of Japanese knotweed are the heart-shaped leaves and speckled stem. See images below.
What steps do you need to take?
1. Check for Japanese knotweed on the property. If it is present, be sure to factor in the cost of removal when estimating the total cost of the home. Use our identification guide to have a sound idea that it is in fact Japanese knotweed on your property and not a plant mistaken for Japanese knotweed.
2. Work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the area and knows which homes are affected by knotweed. Nowadays, estate agents are well-versed in what is involved in recognising and dealing with Japanese knotweed, so do not be afraid to quiz them on what to do or whom to contact.
3. Get a home inspection carried out by a professional to make sure there is no active infestation of Japanese knotweed on the property. They will be able to determine whether or not the plant is Japanese knotweed and provide you with a plan of action for removal.
4. If you are buying a home with Japanese knotweed, be sure to factor in the cost of removal and treatment when budgeting for your new home. Discuss this with the current homeowner and see if you can negotiate a better deal to facilitate the treatment of this weed.
How to liaise with the sellers of the property
You may have difficulty getting a mortgage on the property. Lenders are often reluctant to finance properties that have Japanese knotweed on them. So being able to liaise with the seller of the property to find a more favourable position in order for the deal to go ahead can make all the difference.
There are a few things to keep in mind. First, be sure to do your research and be absolutely certain that the plant in question is, in fact, Japanese knotweed. There are a number of look-alikes out there, and you don’t want to mistakenly accuse a seller of having an invasive plant when they don’t.
Once you’re sure it’s Japanese knotweed, your next step is to approach the seller about it. Be honest and upfront about your concerns, and explain that you’re not comfortable moving forward with the sale unless the plant is removed.
Sellers are not required to disclose the presence of Japanese knotweed on their property, but most will be cooperative if you’re open and honest about your concerns. If the seller is unwilling to have the plant removed, you may want to walk away from the sale.
4 Steps to Buying a House With Japanese Knotweed
Once you have Japanese knotweed on your property, it’s important to take action to remove it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time the plant has to spread its roots and cause damage.
Contacting a professional contractor to ascertain the best way forward is the sensible option. Both for reassurance that it is in fact Japanese knotweed and realistically what it will take to remove it.
The existence of Japanese Knotweed does not necessarily mean that you should not buy the property.
If there are approved knotweed management and treatment plan in place, then there should not be any problem in getting a mortgage.
Want to know more about buying a property with Japanese knotweed?
Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.
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