Can Japanese knotweed be a problem when buying a house?

What is Japanese knotweed?

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a tall, fast-growing Japanese plant, with bamboo-like stems and small white flowers. Although it has been grown as an ornamental, it tends to become an aggressive weed, spreading relentlessly. Japanese knotweed can flourish in any soil, no matter how poor.

Why is it a problem?

Japanese knotweed is sufficiently strong enough to grow through faults in pipes or brickwork and voids in tarmac or concrete. It can therefore cause damage to buildings, roads, driveways and gardens. This means that it can be a problem when buying a house if not properly taken care of and so buyers should be aware.

Can I get a mortgage if the property has Japanese knotweed?

The majority of UK mortgage lenders will not offer funds to buyers of a property with Japanese knotweed unless there is a Knotweed Management Plan in place with a professional eradication firm. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on its land or Japanese knotweed within 7 metres of its boundary, it can be difficult to secure a mortgage. The plant doesn’t have to be located within the boundary of the property for it to be at risk and having neighbouring properties with a Japanese knotweed infestation can devalue the property.

Are there solutions to the Japanese knotweed issue?

There are solutions, however they can be time-consuming and challenging. In most cases, the use of a strong systematic herbicide is the only way to get rid of the weed as it is particularly difficult to eliminate. It is recommended that the affected area should be inspected for regrowth for at least two years after attempting to eradicate it.

For more information and advice, please contact our specialist Conveyancing team by calling 0113 264 4414 or emailing conveyancing@emsleys.co.uk.

Written by

Olivia Emmett

Solicitor Apprentice

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