Can I sell a property that has Japanese knotweed?
By Jennifer Holmes

Can I sell a property that has Japanese knotweed?

Selling a House with Japanese knotweed: What You Need to Know

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant species that will remain a problem in the UK for years to come. Whether you are considering a house move, or have jumped in and put your property up for sale it’s essential to understand the potential challenges having knotweed growing on your property will bring and take the necessary steps to deal with it effectively.

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about selling a house with Japanese knotweed.

What’s the problem with Japanese Knotweed?

You may not be aware that Japanese knotweed is growing on your property, because depending on the time of year, it may or may not be entirely visible. To an untrained eye it can easily get missed and this will have serious consequences when it comes to ticking that box on the TA6 form that asks you whether you have Japanese knotweed;

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not known

To knowingly tick the wrong box could land you in hot water as many legal cases have highlighted in the press. When it comes to Japanese knotweed and the law – pays to be honest!

But if you genuinely don’t know whether you have knotweed on your property what should you do to ensure you get the best price from your sale?

The answer is simply this – get a professional survey carried out by a Japanese knotweed specialist. That way you’ll know which box to tick with confidence and rest assured there will be no legal battles down the line.

What if I have Japanese knotweed?

If you are selling a house that has Japanese knotweed growing on the property, it’s important to consider that it can have a significant impact on the sale process. Many mortgage lenders and insurance companies are reluctant to provide loans or cover for properties that are affected by Japanese knotweed meaning it could be challenging to find a buyer. Even if you’re lucky enough to attract a cash buyer – the issues will remain – how to deal with the knotweed!

If you do manage to sell a property with Japanese knotweed identified, you may find that you receive a lower offer than you expected. This is because buyers will consider the cost of treating or removing the plant and the potential damage it may cause to the property in the future. See our blog Buying a House with Japanese knotweed: What You Need to Know”.

The answer is to get a Knotweed Management Plan in place – this will reassure any potential purchaser that the problem is under control and will alleviate their fears of putting in an offer.

Can I get rid of it myself?

Most definitely not! Japanese knotweed cannot be killed, it has to be controlled with treatments or removed from site, to a landfill licenced to receive this type of waste. You must not bin it, compost it or hide it in a corner of your garden, and it is illegal to dispose of it in the wild. More information can be found in this blog ‘Don’t DIY’.

Take control

If you really want to sell your property, we suggest you get the experts in. The best way to effectively manage Japanese knotweed is to engage the services of a professional and experienced contractor. This will ensure that the plant is properly treated and removed.

Who should I choose?

When choosing a contractor, it’s important to verify their qualifications and experience in dealing with Japanese knotweed. Check their reputation on Trustpilot (or similar) before making a decision. It’s also essential to ensure that the contractor provides a guarantee for their work, giving you peace of mind and helping to achieve a safe and informed sale.

Conclusion

Selling a house with Japanese knotweed can be challenging, but it is possible with the right approach. By understanding the potential impact on the sale process and taking the necessary steps to deal with the plant effectively, you can ensure a successful sale and avoid any legal or financial difficulties.

Having a pre-sale survey carried out will provide you with the information all buyers will want to see, they can trust you’ve done due diligence and ticked the right box on the PA6 form, and potentially have a plan in place to treat or remove the knotweed.

If you have any questions or concerns about selling a house with Japanese Knotweed, it is always best to seek professional advice from a qualified specialist.

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