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Weedy gardens cause headaches for buyers



December 13, 2015
Japanese knotweed. Photo Anneli Salo

Japanese knotweed. Photo Anneli Salo

Mortgage lenders in the UK are now including pernicious weeds like Japanese knot weed as part of their property risk assessment before they will lend money to prospective buyers.

Weed reports can cost buyers up to £500, followed by more costs for any weed removal and then required insurances which can be up to £5,000. The lending conditions can include mandatory checks for anything from a few years to up to 20 years after the original purchase.

Japanese knot weed has a fearsome reputation for causing damage to buildings, even weaving its way through tiny cracks in concrete slabs. But some mortgage lenders like small building societies are now refusing to lend money to buy properties where any invasive plant found is found anywhere on the land, or even neighbouring land.

Chief Horticultural Officer with the RHS Guy Barter says:

“If anyone is being put through financial stress due to a few square meters of Japanese knotweed, that is excessive. It should be able to be dealt with at relatively low cost.”

and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors agrees saying that:

“there is a huge amount of scaremongering going on”

The UK also has legislation requiring property owners to control the spread on non-native invasive plants or they can receive an ASBO, or anti-social behaviour order requiring them to comply.

More at UK Telegraph

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