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The words Japanese Knotweed have been known to send shivers down the spines of many a hardened developer with its reputation for spreading like wildfire through brickwork and concrete causing structural damage to properties and causing potential buyers to run for the hills, but recent research reveals it may not be the horror story it was thought to be.
According to updated Guidance from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, it has now deemed Japanese Knotweed to be much less of a risk than originally supposed and other industry bodies have also changed their attitudes towards this garden pest. Their research found that tree roots and ivy cause greater damage and that Knotweed can be controlled with specialist help and an Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG), meaning the discovery of the weed does not mean a vast reduction in property value and offers being withdrawn.
It is still a requirement when selling a property that a seller must declare that the weed has been found, but most mortgage lenders are now usually happy to proceed to sale as long as a Knotweed Management Plan is in place through a company that is a member of the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association or Property Care Association.
Some lenders will also ask for an IBG to be in place stating that further treatment will be undertaken if the weed recurs with 5 or 10 years.
Hopefully the days of hundreds of thousand pound fines for undeclared knotweed and buyers pulling out when the weed is found are behind us all.
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Granite Building Warranties is a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 11497543) with its registered office at 1st Floor, 5 Century Court, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 9PX