Selling a House With Japanese Knotweed
Estimated reading time 10 minutes
Back in 1854 a ship containing various plants was sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, Richmond. The botanist who discovered it growing on the side of a volcano thought it would be a beautiful ornamental plant to introduce to the residential gardens of England. Little did he know it would have a huge impact on the environment and become the country’s most invasive non-native plant.
Japanese knotweed is so damaging that there are laws around keeping it under control if on your land. You can even be prosecuted if your negligence causes the plant to spread into the wild.
Hardy and resilient, Japanese knotweed is a homeowner’s nemesis. As per the Consumer Protection Regulations, declaring Japanese knotweed when selling a property is essential. A property with Japanese knotweed may be harder to sell. So, if Japanese knotweed is holding your sale back, check out our guide below.
Where does Japanese knotweed grow?
Japanese knotweed is not just a problem for rural properties. Whether you live in a city, town, or village – you are at the mercy of the plant. Homes that are bordered by unmaintained areas are more commonly affected by knotweed, with the plant flourishing on the neglected land and roots creeping to properties nearby. Interestingly, those who live near railway tracks are also more likely to be impeded by Japanese knotweed as the vegetation on each side of the tracks is rarely managed.
In the UK, Japanese knotweed very rarely spreads by seed. Whilst roots from neighbouring plants can account for a number of infestations, it only takes a tiny speck of knotweed plant to enter your outside space and it will begin growing. These fragments can also be carried and spread by watercourses, so keep your eyes peeled if you live near rivers or streams too.
What does Japanese knotweed look like?
Knotweed can grow up to 10cm a day in the summer and can reach just over 2m in height. When it first begins to grow, the shoots look a little like asparagus tips, typically with a red/purple tinge. As the shoots grow into stems they will be a reddish-brown colour, similar to that of bamboo.
The leaves of the plant are green and shaped like a spade but with a pointed tip. A clear sign that the plant is knotweed is if the leaves are growing in an alternating zigzag pattern. They do flower, typically in August and September. The flowers are small 10cm long sprigs of creamy white petals – like dogwood.
Do I need a Japanese knotweed survey?
Having a professional Japanese knotweed survey carried out is not compulsory. However, if you are a buyer and the agent has disclosed the property has knotweed, it could be worthwhile. You will receive a detailed report which could help you decide if you want to proceed with the purchase, or would like to discuss options with the agent, seller, and/or your solicitor.
Transparency from a seller is vital during the sales process. If you know your property has Japanese knotweed you may want to do your due diligence and have a survey completed. This will help you decide if you can take any steps to remove it or, at least, be able to be completely honest with any prospective buyers.
How much does a Japanese knotweed survey cost?
Japanese knotweed can devalue a property by 5% to 100%. That’s right, some properties have been completely devalued due to the damage untreated Japanese knotweed has caused.
Therefore, a survey is likely worth the expenditure. The cost will depend on the size of the land that needs surveying. However, averages prices start at around £200.
Does a property surveyor check for Japanese knotweed?
A surveyor will check outside spaces for Japanese knotweed. This will be done via a visual appraisal to check for any signs of the plant. However, this can be missed, which is understandable when the surveyor is completing a detailed report on the entire property.
However, should a surveyor not visually find anything, but you know that Japanese knotweed exists at your property, you should have a specific survey done. Failure to disclose to your agent (and thus a buyer) the existence of Japanese knotweed can land both of you in tricky water. Buyers can pursue legal action and report the estate agent to the National Association of Estate Agents, even if it was not their fault.
Honesty and transparency are key when selling a property, regardless of whether Japanese knotweed is present.
Can you sell a house with Japanese knotweed?
If Japanese knotweed is present at your home there is no reason you cannot sell it. However, you make need to jump through some extra hoops. Having a Japanese knotweed survey done would be a useful initial step. You can then decide on a course of action – whether this is having the Japanese knotweed removed or putting a lower value on the property to secure a sale. Essentially, a buyer will need to secure a mortgage on a property and lenders have been known to decline when finding out the property has knotweed present.
It can be stressful when Japanese knotweed is thwarting your selling process. You could be responsible for a chain break or miss your dream property. Furthermore, with some treatment plans taking years to eradicate knotweed, it could be a lengthy endeavour.
If you want to sell your house fast and move on to your next property Gaffsy have the solution. We have helped a number of customers sell their homes with Japanese knotweed. As cash house buyers we have the funds available to buy your property directly from you. Avoid the open market and benefit from a simple transaction without a chain.
Concerned about us buying your home due to Japanese knotweed? Our service means we buy any house in any condition. Japanese knotweed is not a problem for us, and we can give you a free cash offer whenever it suits you. It does not matter the location, size, or condition of your home – we will buy it from you and complete when you choose. Why not save yourself the stress of trying to sell your home with Japanese knotweed on the open market and contact Gaffsy today. Our team are available on 0207 459 4546 or via email@example.com to answer any questions you have and help get process started.
Japanese Knotweed FAQs
Want to know more about Japanese knotweed and how it can impact your property? We have answered some of the most common queries below.
Can I get rid of Japanese knotweed myself?
We do not advise trying to get rid of Japanese knotweed yourself. Whilst Google may have some tips and tricks, rarely are they successful long term. Furthermore, your efforts would be in vain, as even eradicated knotweed will need to be disclosed when you come to sell. You would end up paying for a professional eradication to help your buyers secure a mortgage on the home you are trying to sell.
An alternative option would be to get a cash offer from Gaffsy today. We can buy your home from you with Japanese knotweed present.
Am I legally required to tell my estate agent about Japanese knotweed when I sell?
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to Japanese knotweed. When selling your home you need to be transparent. Failure to declare Japanese knotweed could see a sale fall through or, in some cases, a claim made against you by the buyer. People are aware of Japanese knotweed and attempting to hide it would only hinder your sale.
If you choose to sell your home to a cash house buyer like Gaffsy you will need to let us know about Japanese knotweed. However, it will not put us off buying your property. Get a cash offer from us today and secure a hassle-free sale.
Do I have to tell a buyer about Japanese knotweed?
If you choose to sell on the open market you will need to disclose the presence of Japanese knotweed at your property to your agent. They will then inform any potential buyers. They are legally required to do so and could be reported and penalised if they fail to tell the truth.
With Gaffsy you will be required to inform us if your home has Japanese knotweed present. However, it will not impact our decision on whether we want to buy your home. Get a cash offer from us today and guarantee a property sale.
Japanese knotweed isn’t present directly outside my home, do I still need to declare it?
The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) recently changed the way in which they assess Japanese knotweed. Whilst surveyors will make a note if Japanese knotweed is present at a property, they are focused on assessing whether it has caused ‘visible material damage’ to homes. When no damage has been caused to the structure they will take a second approach and see if the knotweed could ‘prevent the use of or restrict access to the amenity space’.
In short, yes, you will need to declare Japanese knotweed if it is present anywhere within your property’s boundaries. A surveyor will be able to inform you of its severity and suggest mortgage retention where they see fit.
How long does it take to get rid of Japanese knotweed?
Unfortunately eradicating Japanese knotweed completely can take years. Even following successful treatment, you will need to mention that knotweed has been present at the premises in the past when you come to sell. You will be able to provide paperwork of the treatment carried out as proof.
Waiting for the removal of Japanese knotweed can be upsetting for those who planned to move house much sooner. Even following treatment, potential buyers could be put off by the historical presence of the plant. To avoid this waiting game, get a cash offer form Gaffsy today.
Can my neighbour having Japanese knotweed affect selling my house?
If you’ve visually seen or been informed by your neighbour that they have Japanese knotweed on their land you may start to panic. You can visually check your boundaries and act accordingly if your neighbour’s knotweed has made its way onto your premises. A surveyor may also check your boundaries too for this reason.
If your neighbour puts a plan of action in place this is good news, and you can let any potential buyers know the state of play. However, if they fail to resolve the situation you can file a Community Protection Notice with your local authority which will force them to deal with the infestation.
Regardless, these solutions won’t help you sell your property any quicker depending on the result. Get a cash offer from us today and discover how we can help you sell your house even when your neighbours aren’t being helpful.