Japanese knotweed, the invasive plant brought over to Britain in the 19th Century is a perennially herbaceous plant. It can grow up to 20cm a day in the summer and has been known to develop a stubborn root system that can establish itself over 2 metres deep into the ground.
Introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the Victorian era, it was widely used to hide unsightly railway line features, causing the weed to spread rapidly throughout the rest of the country.
It is a known fact that Knotweed threatens millions of pounds worth of property transactions in the UK.
While knotweed is a problem for homeowners to treat, it poses considerable challenges for estate agents as well, they stand to lose out from sales falling through.
So, what do you need to know about knotweed, and how should you approach the issue?
Japanses Knotweed grows rapidly and is able to grow through cracks in concrete and can undermine the structural integrity of a building.
Recent research conducted by the Crop Protection Association revealed that: –
- One in ten people lost money on a property following an infestation of knotweed.
- One in seven people saw a property deal fall through because of the presence of knotweed.
- One in five saw the value of their house drop because of the presence of the weed.
Any attempts by sellers not to declare knotweed can cause problems for estate agents if a prospective buyer spots the plant. Agents are also obligated to inform a prospective buyer of the presence, as this may affect their decision to buy the property.
One of the biggest knotweed problems confronting agents is it being wrongly diagnosed as Japanese knotweed when in fact it could easily be Himalayan Balsam, Bind Weed or Russian Vine.
The Crop Protection Association revealed that: –
- Less than a third of people felt confident that they’d be able to recognise knotweed.
- One in six people said they had a good understanding of the plant.
- Over one in four people stated that they knew nothing at all about knotweed.
If knotweed is found to be present, homeowners should be reassured that it does not necessarily have to affect a sale. If a proper remediation strategy is in place with warranties and insurance, the legal guarantees can demonstrate to solicitors that the knotweed issue is under full control.
For more information about Japanese knotweed, visit: http://www.japaneseknotweedcontrol.com
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Until next time, Happy house hunting