Brokers demanding clarity on Japanese knotweed


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More and more banks and building societies are refusing to lend against properties suffering with Japanese knotweed since the RICS (Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors) introduced guidelines on the plant last year.

This has led to a number of brokers demanding more clarity on Japanese knotweed.

What do brokers need to know about Japanese knotweed?

Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA (Property Care Association) says that Japanese knotweed is not “house cancer” and that it can be dealt with by a PCA approved specialist.

Hodgson believes the reaction of lenders is a result of them not understanding Japanese knotweed or Japanese knotweed treatment: “Now the risk and the solution have become apparent perhaps they [banks and building societies] should reassess their protocols on whether they should lend on properties with Japanese knotweed.

“It [Japanese knotweed] does not mean the property is worth less, it just means something needs to be done to make sure the value is maintained.”

Hodgson has described Santander and Lloyds as lenders with a more open-minded approach to properties with Japanese knotweed.

Why are brokers concerned about Japanese knotweed?

The two biggest concerns for brokers regarding Japanese knotweed are a, the damage that it can cause to properties and b, the legislation surrounding its treatment and removal.

Les Meikle, MD at Wise Property Care says “Japanese Knotweed grows at an exponential rate. It is an invasive species that can grow through small cracks in concrete, causing structural damage.

Japanese knotweed rhizomes can remain dormant in soil for years before producing new plants, and simply cutting it back or digging it up is unlikely to impede its growth. In fact, by digging up and disposing of Japanese knotweed, a property owner can risk prosecution and a fine for spreading a controlled substance.

For this reason, choosing a PCA approved expert that offers a Japanese knotweed warranty is vital if you want to sell or lend on a property affected by knotweed.”

more about Japanese knotweed mortgages and legislation

Is your property affected by Japanese knotweed?

Is your property suffering from a Japanese knotweed problem? Do you need to talk to a PCA approved expert? If so, give Wise Knotweed Solutions a call on 0808 231 9218.

Alternatively, you can use our online contact form. Simply fill in your details and a local knotweed expert will get back to you.