Japanese knotweed is notorious for causing physical damage to properties. The destructive plant is also strong enough to cause financial damage to properties. You could also be fined or be sent to prison if you allow contaminated soil or plant material from any waste you transfer to spread into the wild.
So what can be done as a purchaser to avoid Japanese knotweed?
Always have a detailed survey report of the property you are purchasing. A Surveyor is trained to identify whether there is Japanese knotweed at the property. Whilst surveys can be expensive, if Japanese knotweed is discovered at the property you will be pleased you had one carried out so that appropriate steps can be taken by the seller to eradicate the plant and to repair any damages.
The fact that the property has been affected by Japanese knotweed could affect the value of the property. In view of the above, it is important that the purchase price reflects this.
If Japanese knotweed is discovered at the property you are purchasing, we will request that the seller carries out the necessary treatment action. In cases where a mortgage is being obtained, lenders will need to be notified that the property is affected by the plant. Lenders are known to be extremely cautious about lending mortgage monies if the plant is detected and will most likely refuse to lend you the mortgage without the same being treated and removed prior to completion.
As the plant can cause damage to the property it may be difficult to obtain appropriate buildings insurance. Alternatively, buildings insurance may be available at an increased premium. It is important that enquiries regarding buildings insurance are made ahead of contracts being exchanged.