Risk of Japanese knotweed and obtaining a mortgage

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The Sunday Telegraph has recently reported that home buyers are being refused a mortgage by banks because the property they are trying to purchase has been affected by Japanese knotweed.

Property owners have been forced to address the issue of Japanese knotweed on their land after finding their homes have become virtually unsellable because potential buyers were being refused mortgages over Japanese knotweed.

It has even been reported on some cases that banks have actually refused a mortgage on properties where the Japanese knotweed has been found growing on neighbouring land.

Japanese knotweed poses a risk to buildings

The banks and building societies advise that Japanese knotweed is capable of pushing through concrete and poses a risk to the fabric and structure of the property thus reducing the value of the building.

Home owners attempting to sell their properties have seen more than £10,000 wiped off the value of their property because of the presence of the weed.

The Sunday Telegraph advises that all of the main banks contacted, including Lloyds, Barclays and Santander, said they would now "turn down mortgage applications if Japanese knotweed is deemed to threaten a property".

The Rotter on Japanese knotweed

Les Meikle, aka 'The Rotter', commented: "with the new Home Report in Scotland and changing market forces, it would appear Japanese knotweed has become a serious problem as it can cause significant damage to property by exploiting existing weaknesses."

"As awareness of the Japanese knotweed grows in Scotland and the UK, I can foresee more legal enforcement where Japanese knotweed crosses into adjacent properties and land. It is for this reason we have now launched our new 'Wise Knotweed Solutions' division to help Scottish property owners eradicate their Japanese knotweed infestation and provide Japanese knotweed warranties that may assist the sale of the property".

Mortgage lenders looking closely at Japanese knotweed

The good news for property owners and those seeking mortgages is that the Sunday Telegraph reports mortgage lenders insist they will approve an application if Japanese knotweed on the property is removed and the homeowner obtains a written warranty from reputable specialist contractor to confirm the Japanese knotweed treatment.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that a spokesman for Santander, the country's largest mortgage lender, said: "Due to the invasive and destructive nature of Japanese Knotweed, if the weed is found in close proximity to the property we would need to assess whether or not a mortgage could be accepted.

"In such circumstances, decisions for these applications would be made on a case-by-case basis. However, if the weed poses a threat to the structure of the building the mortgage application would not be accepted."

More information about Japanese knotweed

For more information and Japanese knotweed treatment solutions, contact our new specialist division, Wise Knotweed Solutions on 0808 231 9218 or find your local branch.

Alternatively, contact us online using our online contact form.

Click to view the article in the Sunday Telegraph