The Impact of Japanese Knotweed on Your Property

 

Japanese knotweed is an invasive and resilient weed that requires special measures to control it, prevent it from spreading, or remove it for good. Understanding what Japanese knotweed is and the damage it can do is important for homeowners or those looking to buy a property that may have this weed.


Experts are tasked with working all year round to combat the spread of this invasive species. They try to control the spread of Japanese knotweed with herbicide treatments that kill visible parts of the plant and force it into a dormant state. It is certainly not an easy task.

What Are The Risks With Japanese Knotweed?

By the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, the dangers of the plant were becoming clear. An account of the flora of Alexandra Park in Oldham, published in 1887, saw how knotweed kept appearing “unexpectedly in nearly every piece of cultivated ground.”


Gertrude Jekyll, previously an ardent admirer of dwarf Japanese knotweed, admitted in 1899 that knotweed should be planted with caution and that her dwarf knotweed must be reduced. In 1905, the Royal Horticultural Society urged readers of their Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society to not plant knotweed unless it was “most carefully kept in check”.

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By this time, it was too late to reverse the impact of knotweed and the plant’s current status is increasing and invasive. Despite the warnings, it was not until as late as 1981 that the British government saw fit to produce legislation that specifically controlled its sale and spread (The Wildlife and Countryside Act).

The main risks with Japanese knotweed are that it can firstly cause a reduction in property value and secondly affect the ability to get a mortgage. There is a potential for structural impacts, problems with legal considerations, and considerable costs in fixing the Japanese knotweed issue. The reputation of a property can also be affected due to the stigma attached to this problematic weed. This is why some lenders will not provide mortgage lending on a property with Japanese knotweed.

What Do I Do If My Property Or Land Has Japanese Knotweed?

If you have knowingly or even unknowingly bought a property with Japanese Knotweed, it is vital that you make a well-thought out plan. There are companies out there that do their best to tackle this weed but it can take time and there will certainly be a significant cost. Japanese Knotweed has become a worldwide menace since leaving its natural environment in Asia.


In its native habitat, Japanese knotweed is kept in check by natural means – in Japan, at least 30 species of insect and 6 species of fungus feed on the plant. Outside of its natural habitat, these species do not exist, and, with no natural predators, the plant is thriving.

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It is possible to try and treat Japanese knotweed yourself by trying to smother it, dig it out, or cut it out, but realistically you will need a treatment plan with a form of herbicide, especially if the plant has become established. It is best to treat Japanese knotweed in the spring or summer when there is less chance of rain washing away the herbicide. Sometimes though, it is required that an all-year-round treatment plan be put in place.

What Options Do I Have To Sell My Property With Japanese Knotweed?

Due to the potentially serious impact of Japanese knotweed on the value and mortgage ability on a property, the number of avenues available to sell a house can be limited. In some cases, the only option is to consider a cash buyer.

There are two types of cash buyers available – individuals who are usually introduced through an estate agent, or a cash-buying property company. More information can be found on our What Is A Cash Property Buyer page.

Serene Homes is one of the UK’s leading cash-buying companies and is 100% self-funded. This element is very important because some cash-buying companies do not have the required cash available and need to find an investor to actually buy your property. Although Serene Homes pays less for any property bought, the difference in the amount of money actually received when compared with an estate agent often is not that much:

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Serene Homes buys any property in any condition and in any location, and this includes those properties with Japanese knotweed. And as Serene Homes buys every property for 100% cash, there is no risk of the sale falling through due to a lending bank refusing to provide a mortgage. Further to this, the speed of sale is a factor as Serene Homes can buy any property within as little as 7 days. This can be a particular advantage as it solves the Japanese knotweed problem much faster and provides peace of mind.

One of the reasons that Serene Homes receives such positive reviews is because the process we follow is so simple:

  1. Contact Serene Homes by registering on our website at serenesale.com
  2. Accept an initial cash offer for your property and agree upon a date for a free valuation
  3. Accept a final cash offer for your property and move ahead to completion of the sale via the appointed solicitors.

 

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As a minimum, every person that contacts Serene Homes and accepts an initial offer, will receive a free valuation on their property. So even if the price following the valuation is not accepted, you will have had the benefit of getting a free valuation on your property. This is always useful information. If you do accept the final offer, completion on the purchase of the property including those with Japanese knotweed can be done in a matter of days.

More information can be found on our Free Valuation page.

If you are worried about Japanese knotweed and you have encountered problems selling your property, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss what options are available. It may well be that you do not want to follow a long-term and risky treatment plan and would prefer a completely hassle-free and easy way to sell your property.