Knotweed affecting property sales

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Banks and building societies are refusing mortgages due to Japanese knotweed. The problem plants are devaluing homes to the extent that banks are increasingly reluctant to lend against afflicted homes.

Knotweed in the news

News stories, such as the Stockport family whose home was devalued by £20,000 due to knotweed in their neighbours property, have brought the knotweed problem to national attention; and lenders appear to be responding accordingly.

Lender reaction

Lenders such as Woolwich, Coventry Building Society, Saffron, BS and Precise Mortgages have said they will not lend against a knotweed-affected property until the problem has been eradicated by an approved company. Other major lenders such as Natwest and Nationwide have said they will consider properties on a “case-by-case” basis.

Legislation

Many industry figures feel that clearer knotweed legislation may help the issue. Stuart Gregory from Lentune Mortgage Consultancy says “It is a grey area where there needs to be clearer policy. It can be very unsettling for borrowers”.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) claim they are doing their best to provide clarity on knotweed: “Better information and treatment to eradicate knotweed are making it easier for lenders to agree to lend on property where knotweed is being treated”.

Getting treatment

Knotweed is incredibly difficult to remove and RICS spokesperson Philip Santo has recommended that “It is not a good idea to try and get rid of it yourself. The chemicals that you can buy from the garden centre are not the same strength as those used by professionals with the right qualifications”. PCA approved companies, such as Wise Knotweed Solutions, also offer guarantees on their treatment to customers and this can help with any mortgage applications.

Knotweed can be defeated

Although knotweed is difficult to eradicate it can be permanently removed. Les Meikle of Wise Knotweed Solutions says “Knotweed is a tricky plant to remove but qualified and approved companies such as ourselves can eradicate it and offer guarantees on the work provided.” Les added “Our guarantees allow our customers peace of mind and the ability to enjoy the true value of their property once again.”

For more information on knotweed

If you have a knotweed problem and want to know more about knotweed removal, then give Wise Knotweed Solutions a call on 0808 231 9218 or fill out our online contact form.

Links to knotweed resources