Japanese Knotweed found in survey?

by Readers Question

9:34 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Japanese Knotweed found in survey?

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Japanese Knotweed found in survey?

I am buying a property and the surveyor found the Japanese knotweed (JK) during the valuation, the mortgage provider may refuse to lend on the property, however the JK is 20 meter away from the property.japanese knotweed

By the way the JK is spread to this property from to someone else’s land. Not sure what this means.

I am more concern from the point of view when selling this property. Will I have a big problem ? What about the price of the property ??

Any advice / comments please.

Jakin



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:36 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

I don't know anything about it, but just from searching for a picture it looks voracious stuff!

Jakin Mally

10:15 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "14/10/2015 - 09:36":

I don't know how that picture got there.

money manager

10:33 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

You have to get to the root of the problem. Quick growing, the roots can damage pipes and foundations and penetrate into the building itself. Call a professional to clear it.

matchmade

10:46 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

Yes, JK can damage the value of your property, but it doesn't cost a fortune to kill the stuff: probably in the thousands rather than the tens of thousands, and the results of your survey means you should be able to negotiate a reduction in your purchase price to help pay for the reduction. You really need to collaborate with the neighbour though to attack the problem on her side of the boundary as well, otherwise it will keep coming back. There are methods of protecting against further spread, such as sheets of metal that go down several metres into the ground: talk to a professional.

ian

11:24 AM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

I Had over a 2 year battle with local council with land adjacent to my parents property,
in the end they listed it as no mans land, said we could claim it, (yeah right) no thanks,
we have been treating it with roundup 480, with great success. follow instructions in link.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=218

Dr Rosalind Beck

14:03 PM, 14th October 2015
About 3 years ago

There is JK about 30 metres from my house - on the land bordering my garden - and now and then a bit creeps in by my raspberries. When I tried to remortgage 2 years ago the mortgage company turned me down because of it. This meant that I had to pay higher rates for a few months on my old mortgage as well as a higher rate on the mortgage company that did grant me a mortgage. I was tamping (that means 'very annoyed') as I lost one or two thousand pounds because of it. The owner didn't want to know. I then asked the council to do something about it and they dragged their heels a bit and I forgot about it. Then, another neighbour got on to the council and they said they had the budget available that year and they did the first treatment last year. I think they will do three annual treatments. About 10 neighbours all had to chip in £30 each - but it would cost the council a lot more than that I should think. You can still see it now - it looks like a load of sticks, several metres high. If and when I need to remortgage I will probably go and hack it down (i.e. get someone else to do it) so that it is not so apparent to any surveyor. As it is being treated anyway, I don't see the harm in that.
In terms of getting a mortgage lender to grant us a mortgage on the house - it was a bit ridiculous turning it down - apparently if our garden border was say 10 metres away from the house, and the JK was still exactly where it is, but not bordering our property, it would have been fine. My broker then sounded out a company he knew, told them about the JK and said we didn't want to waste time and money if they were going to turn us down and they gave the go-ahead. A bit of a palaver. If someone tried to knock down the price of my house now though, I'd take a very dim view of that and tell them what they can do with that, because I don't see it as an issue at all.

Nick Pope

11:51 AM, 17th October 2015
About 3 years ago

The problem with JK is that the lenders have differing attitudes and lending criteria and professionals don't agree as to the risks and appropriate treatment regimes.

Below for information are some lenders criteria:

Nationwide (shortened version):

1) Property damaged by JK within boundaries - do not lend until 5 year guaranteed treatment regime in place. Refer to building insurers as a special risk - may result in higher premiums or refusal to cover

2) Within 7 metres and inside boundaries no damage - do not lend until 5 year guaranteed treatment regime in place.

3) More than 7 metres from property, no damage - only lend after owner/buyer has confirmed that they are aware of the problem.

4) Outside boundaries are classified as in 1-3 above. If no likelihood of treatment then do not lend.

Lloyds Banking Group:

LBG will lend on properties affected by Japanese Knotweed, subject to a report outlining the issues and a quote from a treatment company who offer a warranty backed treatment regime.

Parameters similar to Nationwide.

3) Abbey/Santander

Based on RICS information paper (IP27/2012) “Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property” Assessment framework which is similar to the Nationwide list.

Most other lenders conform with the same guidelines.

The above is sensible but does not factor in public perception of the risks. Lenders do, however, expect valuers to assess the possible effect on value and saleability.

My suggestion would be that anyone wishing to buy or re-mortgage a property affected should ask the lender (either direct or via the broker) specifically what their guidelines are and if there is any loading of rates or limitations to buildings insurance cover.

In this particular case has the valuer supported the agreed purchase price as this would indicate his view of the risks involved?

If the JK is on adjoining land is there a possibility that it will be treated. In the case of local councils or larger corporations (such as Network Rail who have acres of the stuff all over the country) it's difficult to force them into action.

If you can tell me the potential lender I can see if I have any specific guidelines available.

Michael Barnes

22:06 PM, 17th October 2015
About 3 years ago

If japanese knotweed spreads from your property, then you are liable for the costs of your neighbour. see, for exampe, http://www.knotweed-uk.com/Knotweed-and-The-Law.htm.

This would suggest that your neigbour is liable for costs of eradication if it did indeed spread from your kneighbour's land.

Jakin Mally

11:53 AM, 17th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nick Pope" at "17/10/2015 - 11:51":

Hi Nick, Many thanks. Can you also explain the view that Natwest will take on this matter please, specifically when the JK is about 22 meter away from the property/building but within the boundary at the rear end of the garden.

Nick Pope

15:44 PM, 17th November 2015
About 3 years ago

To quote direct from RBOS (Natwest are part of the group) guidance from 2013:-

Refer to RICS Guidance. Cat 4 unsuitable. Cats 2 & 3 further investigation nil value pending results and estimates; Cat 1 full details in “Additional matters considered essential for mortgage purposes”

This case is, in my opinion Category3 which states:-

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.

On the basis of all that Natwest will probably ask for a report from a specialist company.

The link to the full RICS document is http://www.rics.org/Global/Japanese_Knotweed_and_residential_property_1st_edition_PGguidance_2012.pdf

Hope this helps


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