Japanese knotweed slashing the value of properties is hitting the news on a regular basis.
A few weeks ago we reported the story of the Atkinsons, who faced up to 40% of the value of their home being wiped out by Japanese knotweed that wasn’t even on their land.
Just this week another knotweed disaster has hit the headlines with homeowner Dave Pickup fearing he will lose £30,000 because of the invasive weeds presence in a nearby park!
Is Japanese knotweed really so bad that next doors knotweed can vex your property?
Japanese knotweed stalling sales
Attempted sales by Mr Pickup, worth around £155,000, have fallen through because building societies have denied mortgages to prospective buyers because of the nearby knotweed.
The best offer a property company has put forward is a paltry £128,000 – a reduction of close to £30,000.
Mr Pickup said: “Japanese knotweed is a complicated thing – it takes up to three years to get rid of and it has to be done by specialists.
“I’m potentially going to lose £30,000 on the sale of my house because of it.
“I’ve had two offers that I’ve accepted but on both occasions the building society have said no because of the knotweed.
“A house-buying company is offering £30,000 less than the last offer I had.”
Mr Pickup’s local council has begun the treatment of land on the nearby park, but further Japanese knotweed has crept onto the surrounding private land, where homeowners can choose whether or not to have any treatment done.
Japanese knotweed and mortgage lenders
Banks and building societies will often refuse a mortgage if Japanese knotweed is found in or around a property. Knotweed any closer than 7 metres is usually enough to make lenders nervous.
That said, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Care Association (PCA) do have a Code of Practice for Japanese knotweed that aims to give confidence to mortgage lenders with regards to properties affected by Japanese knotweed.
Hopefully for Dave Pickup, and others who are similarly affected by neighbouring knotweed, the property lending sector can get to grips with invasive weeds in the very near future.