Japanese Knotweed - would you buy a house with this problem?(93 Posts)
Have seen a lovely house within in our budget in perfect location near good school, quiet road, great size. But one major problem: Japanese Knotweed! The vendor is aware and is putting a legally binding (for them) treatment plan in place. I am aware that this issue could have an impact on home insurance and getting a mortgage. Are we crazy to even consider the place? So far we have not put forward an offer, just researching the issue. Has anyone got any experience with this?
I know it's an old thread, but it brought back a load of bad memories, and if anyone else were to ask I'd advise them tho run away as fast as humanely possible, and even so the knotweed would probably grow faster!
I was plagued by the stuff in rented accomodation a few years ago in Birmingham, and it was like a constant battle - not helped by the fact that I didn't know what it was at first and made it worse by trying to pull the stuff up!
And as soon as I thought I was getting somewhere, it would keep invading from next door (a rarely used back yard to a shop).
I felt like a superhero trying to defeat an all powerful baddie!
I DID however find out during my research into how best to thwart the stuff that it's EDIBLE - and found a recipe for a spiced apple and knotweed pie, which I lovingly baked and took great delight in eating! (It's actually quite nice, like a tangier version of rhubarb...)
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Knotweedadvisor seems to have had a motive to reserect!
pm see if they bought?
Oh yes, well spotted. I wonder if they did buy the house.
I think if I could get a discount, a mortgage and insurance then I would still buy it(I'm not a horticulturalist). If this is your dream home and you're going to stay there forever then resale won't be a problem.
Your garden will be unusable for years, (well no landscaping or digging of any sort) but there are obviously treatments that work they just require a very diligent approach.
So don't dismiss the house but do a bit more research about the size of the problem.
Ps I agree with Zomax that there is too much scaremongering based on very little experience or practical knowledge.
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We completed on a house in December after 4 months of fighting because the surveyor spotted knotweed. It is a house which will be our forever home which needed total refurbishment and was probably the only house this size in London we could afford so we fought with our lenders (HSBC) and our insurers and we eventually bought it.
The insurers were th biggest problem as there was evidence of subsidence which had been repaired and wasn't knotweed related but we got the current insurers to take us on.
I guess the knotweed came from fly tipping as our garden isn't fenced on one side. It has been a pain. The specialists said it was dying after the first treatment but it has appeared elsewhere since then and been treated again. It is definitely responding to he treatment but we have been told to keep our daughter and pets away from it to stop spreading and we can't plant anything or clear our garden. Thankfully we are unlikely to be able to afford to do the garden for a while but it does limit us a bit.
Would I buy the house again? In an instant. It is only a plant, after all and in the end we have a lovely forever house.
By the way I hate the hype about it. It has been around for years but has only just been noticed by lenders after DM type scaremongering :-/
I lived in a rented house with JK. It is actually pretty easy to kill, although it is time consuming. What you need to do is get some very strong glyphosate - I bought 'brush killer' strength, and used it neat, a strong stick and a sharp pair of secateurs. Cut each stem about 15cm above the ground, poke the stick down it a few times to break the cross pieces in the stem , then pour about 20mls of neat glyphosate down the stem. Works a treat. It takes ages to treat each stem though!!
Wilding - [[ http://mayallroad.co.uk/?p=234 LOOK HERE!]].
Run. Run like the wind. No amount of discount off the house will make any difference. It's very expensive and very very time consuming to sort. It can come up through the foundations of your house.
Thanks cantspel. Not sure what to do.... its very annoying that we can't use the garden and the only option is to treat it properly - a lot of effort even if not money for a house that we don't own and may not be in long term...
Also, if we treat it chemically will the Apple trees in the garden be affected? Ie, can we still eat them?
I also have a flat with a garden backing onto the Herne Hill train line, which is completely infested with the stuff. I have to say though, it hasn't really spread into our garden - not sure if we've just been lucky? It didn't affect our mortgage or come up in the survey either (bought it about 4 years ago).
just by way of info, ours definitely doesn't grow 10cm a day and is definitely knotweed, so I suspect that growth rate is in ideal conditions!
If the canes are hollow with purple speckles then it is JKW.
By trimming it and pulling it up you are just spreading the roots. Dont put it in your compost or green bin as again you will spread it and it is a crimminal offence to knowingly spead it.
You cant force the landlord to deal with it so if you want to remain there long term and use the garden then you are going to have to treat it yourself. It is not expensive to treat but it does take time. You would need to leave it to grow during the summer and treat in at the end of august/september and if you have alot it will probably take at least 2 years before you will begin to see the end of it.
Apologies for the hijack, but how can I know for sure that what we have in our garden (rented property) is jkw?
It doesn't grow 10cm a day I don't think and I dont remember ever seeing those white flowers on the pics. Also it doesn't grow that tall - maybe thigh high. Otherwise it does look like the pics and it has the longest most intricate roots I've ever seen. It covers the whole extension of our garden, not just a patch and I absolutely hate it! It's impossible to have a lawn or plant anything else. But being a rented house we sure won't invest any time or money in getting rid of if....
Does the landlord have any obligations? We often trim it so that the dcs can still play in the garden and pull out or attempt to some of the roots and put them in our green bin, which maybe we shouldn't but what else can we do?
Thanks and apologies again for the hijack and long post!
ve123 - I have lived in 2 properties which had it - one backing on to the railway line which goes through Herne Hill - the track was lined with the stuff, one in a back garden in Brixton.
It didn't spread into my yard from the railway line, thank goodness. It did come under the fence from a Lambeth owned property, and I got nowhere with Lambeth trying to get it dealt with. But I didn't know the all facts at the time, and just kept spraying glyphosphate on my side of the fence, and leaning over the fence and spraying theirs, too. It didn't spread. And, in all innocence, I sold the house without trouble.
Is the infestation coming from another property? Could the vendors take out one of those indemnity policies in case it becomes a problem after the treatment? Could you ask that the treatment guarantee be transferrred to you?
Yes tricot I fear it might have been Though compared to last year it does look much diminished all the same, so maybe we got away with it. It isn't a very well established patch, just the odd stem here and there, which might help? <hopeful> Still, we know now what to do! Quite like the idea of lulling the thing into a false sense of security before launching our attack
Remember you are not allowed to throw it in normal skips/bins. The plant needs to be taken to specialist tips and for us its 30-40 miles away. We run a groundworks company and people have to realise if they want the plant removed for clearance and sprayed then you have to pay extra to take it to a specialist tip. We have a problem here on our land as its travelling down through the water course.
The flowchart on page 12 is pretty good for explaining what treatment plan options are:
libel your description sounds like the chemical burning of foliage i mentioned earlier. Don't over-do it on the attack! it just takes longer to get rid of it if you have sprayed too much or too strong. Good luck!
Thanks cantspel. It's counterintuitive to leave it to grow but I completely see the logic; I fear we probably did overdose on the roundup last year. Luckily we are not selling our house any decade soon!
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