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Japanese Knotweed found near the house we are planning to buy

(45 Posts)
Amitc Sun 20-Dec-15 20:31:38

Dear members,
I need your expert advice on my matter. I am buying a property in Southend on Sea and everything nearly done to exchange contract when surveyor report came as Japanese Knotweed present nearby. Estate agent arranged a specialist to survey and they reported that Japanese Knotweed present in rear alleyway 21 meter from the property boundary and there will be no problem getting mortgage. But I am really worried about the future of this property if Knotweed invade the property. Do you think it can spread to this property? Is there anything council can do to eradicate this from public land? Do you think I should avoid this property?

Please help me to take decision.

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Sun 20-Dec-15 20:43:59

Don't know much about it, but this would REALLY worry me. I wouldn't proceed with the purchase personally.

GabiSolis Sun 20-Dec-15 20:46:11

Councils are only responsible for removal of knotweed on their own land so first thing to do would be to find out who owns the land.

Arfarfanarf Sun 20-Dec-15 20:46:19

I would not buy.
Its next to impossible to get rid of, i seriously doubt the council would spend the £££ needed and if it gets to your property - youre screwed.

LIZS Sun 20-Dec-15 20:48:08

I believe once the council are notified they can officially force the owner to deal with it. Can take several years to eradicate though.

Madbengalmum Sun 20-Dec-15 20:51:47

Arfarfanarf, it is not impossible to get rid of at all.
However, it needs to be done properly, by an expert.

In answer to your question though, no i wouldnt buy the property.

knobblyknee Sun 20-Dec-15 20:52:42

It depends.
If the land its on can be dug over [ie its not slabs], or if its the councils problem to deal with it, it wouldnt worry me so much.

But if its growing through cracks in concrete, theres a forest of it and the landlord doesnt care, I'd walk away.

Yes its a pain to deal with, but it is possible to get rid of it. I might want to dig a moat though...

EightYearsWasted Sun 20-Dec-15 20:54:23

Don't buy. An area of land near me is currently being excavated to attempt to remove it. They've dug ten feet down and I can see new shoots emerging already. It needs expert removal, if so much as a fingernails worth is left, it will return.

londonrach Sun 20-Dec-15 20:56:35

It might make reselling hard so i wouldnt. Contact council and let them know.

EasyToEatTiger Sun 20-Dec-15 20:57:04

If you are still going ahead, get a massive discount. You would be the owner and responsible. Ask the crew at GTQ

EasyToEatTiger Sun 20-Dec-15 20:57:41

Can't get it right, GQT

Arfarfanarf Sun 20-Dec-15 20:58:51

I didnt say impossible, as in cannot be done. I said next to impossible which means bloody bloody hard and a giant pain in the arse.

Which it is.

MintyBojingles Sun 20-Dec-15 21:14:36

I wouldn't buy it. It's incredibly hard to get rid of and can knock hundreds of thousands off the value of a house.

catfordbetty Sun 20-Dec-15 21:39:00

It's a potential problem for all the reasons given by pps so far. Why take on a problem you don't have to?

Bearbehind Sun 20-Dec-15 21:42:12

I definitely wouldn't proceed without further investigation and potential renegotiation of the purchase price.

There's a reason why a plant is specially mentioned in the purchasing pack- it's very bad news.

Polyethyl Sun 20-Dec-15 21:49:17

I think PPs are over reacting.
I have Japanese knotweed on my land. When I was a child it was a jungle. I took 3-4 years of effort to get rid of it. (Cut and cover). Now we have a beautiful lawn.
obviously it is still in the land and if we didn't mow the lawn the knotweed could come back. But it's been 15 years now with no problems.
There's knotweed in neighbouring council owned land, and the council officer has said they aren't going to do anything about it. So we control our land and it really isn't a problem.
Knotweed is so widely spread people are naive if they think "there's none near me." Just cope with it.

0christmastree5 Sun 20-Dec-15 21:54:36

Gov website, can't linky sorry have c&p...

The most commonly found invasive, non-native plants include:
Japanese knotweed
giant hogweed
Himalayan balsam
Rhododendron ponticum
New Zealand pigmyweed (this is banned from sale)
You’re not legally obliged to remove these plants or to control them. However, if you allow Japanese knotweed to grow onto other people’s property you could be prosecuted for causing a private nuisance.

BarbarianMum Sun 20-Dec-15 22:00:59

I get rid of the stuff all the time (as part of my job). I inject herbicide into the stems - you need someone who knows what they are doing.

In your position I'd think about the extent of the patch. If its on your boundary it will spread and need control when it gets in. A small patch wouldn't bother me.

We have Japanese knotweed near our house - we are in an estate, and our road has a Residents' Association that pays for grass cutting and treating the knotweed in the communal areas.

A company comes in and treats it whenever we report it to them - it won't get rid of it, but as far as I know, the treatment keeps it well under control.

As far as I know, it has had no effect on property prices on the estate or in our road.

NiceAcorns Sun 20-Dec-15 22:11:48

I'm a property lawyer. Lenders won't lend if it is on your property.

When you sell one of the forms you will have to complete asks "is the property affected by JK?"

If you say yes (and don't think about lying) your property is un-mortgagable.

PippaPug Sun 20-Dec-15 22:14:32

Bloody hell im in the same area and just going thoigh the process of buying somewhere! Need to check this out as now concerned.

I wouldn't buy it though

TheCrimsonPleb Sun 20-Dec-15 22:15:07

I sold a house with Knotweed in the garden. Told the buyer about it in advance and got quotes from experts to have it treated. it didn't put the buyer off, it didn't affect the mortgage offer they got and it didn't impact on the price I got for the house. It can be treated but does cost a lot. It's not that big of a showstopper in my experience.

Junosmum Sun 20-Dec-15 22:17:21

We bought a house with japanese knot weed in our garden. About a foot from the house, it was only on our land so totally our responsibility.

We got a mortgage no problem and house insurance, again no issue at all.

We paid a reputable company £495. They chopped it down and disposed of it according to the regulations, they sprayed it three times in the first year and came out once a year for three years to check there was no recurrence. 5 years after the first spray we were certified 'knotweed free' and have a 5 year guarantee.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another property with JK on its land. It really isn't the issue some people think it is (usually people who have read the horror stories and not actually dealt with it).

FWIW when we bought the house we didn't know what the strange plant in the garden was, and the surveyor didn't clock it either! We only found out when MIL came to look and pointed it out, mortgage company didn't give a hoot about it.

In your case, the person who owns the land is responsible for treating it, including if it spreads to your land.

LumelaMme Sun 20-Dec-15 22:20:58

I hate the stuff but a house I know has had it in the garden for at least the last 15 years and probably much longer. They hack and mow it, but don't really fight to control it, and it hasn't spread outside their property.

Knowing that, a patch down the road wouldn't bother me, IF it was being controlled.

puffylovett Sun 20-Dec-15 22:31:39

We had a patch at the bottom of our (very long) garden. Dp got totally paranoid about it and spent two years injecting it with glyphosate, it's not recurred at all this year.

To be fair the few sprigs that did originally appear on our land, the chickens chomped - apparently it's like salad and really good for them!

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