Japanese knotweed and mortgages

Japanese Knotweed Mortgage

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In 2010 a major UK mortgage lender refused to lend on a property affected by Japanese knotweed. It has resulted in nearly all UK mortgage lenders viewing Japanese knotweed as a risk. This means that if a property is affected by Japanese knotweed, a lender will require the knotweed to be treated by an accredited knotweed company before lending can be approved.

There have been reports in the media that house sales have fallen through, or a re-mortgage has been turned down because of the presence of Japanese knotweed. While some of these aspects are true, it is clear that the media can be guilty of sensationalising these stories.

If you suspect your property, or a property you're buying is affected by Japanese knotweed, it's wise to commission a Japanese Knotweed Survey. Following the survey you will be provided a Knotweed Management Plan which details the findings, defines any knotweed problem and offers treatment options.

How is a property affected by Japanese knotweed?

A property is deemed as being affected by Japanese knotweed if knotweed is recorded as growing within 7m of the boundary of the subject property. A small minority of lenders do take into consideration knotweed recorded at distances of greater then 7m but this is less common.

If Japanese knotweed is recorded on a property survey, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have 4 risk categories:

Category Japanese knotweed risk categories (4 being the highest risk)

4

Japanese knotweed is within 7 metres of a habitable space, conservatory and/or garage, either within the boundaries of this property or in a neighbouring property or space;
and/or
Japanese knotweed is causing serious damage to outbuildings, associated structures, drains, paths, boundary walls and fences and so on.

Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required (Japanese Knotweed Limited)

3

Although Japanese knotweed is present within the boundaries of the property, it is more than 7 metres from a habitable space, conservatory, and/or garage. If there is damage to outbuildings, associated structures, paths and boundary walls and fences, it is minor. Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required (Japanese Knotweed Limited)

Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required (Japanese Knotweed Limited)

2

Japanese knotweed was not seen within the boundaries of this property, but it was seen on a neighbouring property or land. Here, it was within 7 metres of the boundary, but more than 7 metres away from habitable spaces, conservatory and/or garage of the subject property.

1

Japanese knotweed was not seen on this property, but it can be seen on a neighbouring property or land where it was more than 7 metres away from the boundary.

Japanese Knotweed Mortgage Problems

Japanese knotweed is seen as a perceived risk by mortgage companies, as properties affected by knotweed can be affected by a diminution in property value. UK law courts have stated that knotweed causes ‘Loss of Quiet Enjoyment’; the right to enjoys one's property and dispose of it at its true market value. In some rare cases, Japanese knotweed can also present a structural risk.

The majority of UK mortgage lenders have now written lending policies specific to Japanese knotweed. Some examples of policies that require satisfaction to enable lending are:

Mortgage companies require evidence of either a long-term Japanese knotweed treatment programme, or for the Japanese Knotweed to be excavated and removed from site. Generally, mortgage companies also want to see treatment or removal works to backed by a 5-10 year Insurance Backed Guarantee.

Buying a House with Japanese Knotweed

If the property you're buying is affected by knotweed, you should commission a specialist Japanese knotweed survey. Japanese Knotweed Ltd will undertake a survey and subsequently provide you with a Knotweed Management Plan (KMP). The KMP will include the survey findings, knotweed risk assessment, recommendations and price for treatment or removal of the knotweed.

Mortgage companies will want assurance that the Japanese knotweed will not be allowed to spread and cause structural damage to the property. Therefore, they will want the Japanese knotweed to be treated by a PCA accredited professional company, such as Japanese Knotweed Ltd.

Japanese Knotweed Ltd KMPs allow for the long term herbicide treatment of Japanese knotweed or instant eradication by way of excavation. Works are covered by a company guarantee and a PCA accredited company, such as ourselves, can provide you with an Insurance Backed Guarantee (i.e. our company guarantee is insured to protect you).

Buying a house with Japanese knotweed

Not to be Ignored

Japanese knotweed is a problem to property and owners are advised to have knotweed treated by a specialist contractor as soon as it is detected. If you're buying a property affected by knotweed you should ensure that treatment is carried out by a knotweed specialist and ideally that the treatment programme comes with an Insurance Backed Guarantee, such as those provided by Japanese Knotweed Ltd.

The seller's property declaration form (TA6) asks the seller to declare if the property is affected by knotweed. If the answer to this question is ‘no’ or "unsure", you are responsible for checking the quality and suitability of the house before you proceed with buying the property (i.e. "caveat emptor"). If you have any doubt, you should commission a Japanese knotweed survey by a PCA accredited company.

Get in Touch

We want you to know exactly how our service works and why we need your contact details. Please state that you have read and agreed to these terms and conditions before you continue.
Form by ChronoForms - ChronoEngine.com