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Japanese Knotweed at the neighbouring property advice please?

(18 Posts)
knotted Thu 29-Oct-20 08:04:02

Posting for my DBro who has recently found a property he absolutely loves which is going on auction tonight.
He has signed up to bid online and is all ready but the estate agency has just uploaded a letter on the platform which they issued to Yorkshire water who own the land directly behind the plot (the boundary closest to the house) saying that they have been made aware there is Japanese knotweed growing close to the boundary and they and any future owners of the plot will hold YW accountable for any damage caused by the weed and that they expect them to put a plan in place to keep it at bay.

Now DBro knows it's very invasive and really hard to get rid of and can obviously cause damage. He still really loves the house and would probably never be able to buy something similar, a property like this in the area he wants hasn't come up in years.

But he's concerned that there might already be knotweed growing in the ground on the property and there is no way to know with an auction - he has been to view it and cannot see any signs of it ATM. He finds it a bit off that the EA only just issued the letter to YW and there's obviously no way to know how they will respond.
He would be perfectly ok with it if he knew YW stated they would put a plan in place to keep it at bay but it's not something he can find out until the property has been purchased and there's no backing out.

Is there anyone on here who knows about properties with knotweed in neighbouring land or the legalities of it?
Also the practicalities of actually getting rid of it if it started growing on his property - would YW actually be liable?

If he got it he was planning to extend it in the future which he's also concerned about as he has read that it can damage foundations.

Any insight would be really appreciated as he is racking his brain trying to decide what to do.

OP’s posts: |
OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 29-Oct-20 08:07:55

I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole....Japanese knotweed from all I’ve read is vicious- not to mention I don’t trust any council to sort out issues, sorry. Maybe someone will come along with “expertise” but it’s a no from me!

ClarasZoo Thu 29-Oct-20 08:08:45

Usually auction properties have some issue... may be difficult to get a mortgage or sell on. YW May remove the KW but you would still have to disclose to any buyer, so it will be hard to sell...

PotteringAlong Thu 29-Oct-20 08:09:44

I agree. Do not buy that house!

Zofloratheexplora Thu 29-Oct-20 08:11:30

This is why it is up for auction

slalomsuki Thu 29-Oct-20 08:12:10

Don't buy it. I know someone who spent thousands removing Japanese Knot weed on their property which came over from a water board site next door. Water company denied responsibility for years and eventually did their side years after the original property was done and stirred it all up again. Not worth the hassle and stress.

Tamingofthehamster Thu 29-Oct-20 08:13:06

The George Clark tv program featured a house with JKW in the garden last week - looked a real pain, added huge time and costs to the build. May be worth a look. ( it was called ugly house to lovely house or something like that. The house involved had a weird triple extension put in at the back.

RunningThrough Thu 29-Oct-20 08:15:33

A friend has it growing close to his boundary, he just cuts it back and treats it to keep it at bay, no problem at all.

But if your brother wanting to extend it will cost thousands to have the area cleared/treated as it's classed as hazardous.

As long as he budgets treating/clearing it, it wouldn't bother me. It's fixable!

RunningThrough Thu 29-Oct-20 08:16:51

Tamingofthehamster

The George Clark tv program featured a house with JKW in the garden last week - looked a real pain, added huge time and costs to the build. May be worth a look. ( it was called ugly house to lovely house or something like that. The house involved had a weird triple extension put in at the back.

Off topic but it was awful! Ugly house to uglier house!

I think it cost them £18,000 to eradicate the knotweed which included putting a membrane down to protect the extension foundations.

WinterOrSpring Thu 29-Oct-20 08:17:39

It is treatable these days. It wouldn’t put me off

AnythingConsidered Thu 29-Oct-20 08:19:28

Avoid, avoid, avoid.
My friends house backs onto the railway line and that land has JKW. Every few years it snags onto their garden and they have to pay significant fees, to a specialist company to get it removed (even with precautionary measures out in place)

It is deemed as hazardous waste, and only certain companies are licensed to remove it - so labour costs are extortionate, disposal costs are significant and the time it takes is excessive.

They have tried for many years to sell, and the purchase always falls apart once JKW is highlighted. So they are stuck on the cycle if cost every 4-5 years & have no idea if they will ever be able to sell or realise any value in their property.

The railway land owners do nothing, have no obligation to fix the problem and openly admit it is too expensive to deal with.

peachypetite Thu 29-Oct-20 08:21:51

Avoid. He will never be able to sell it.

bigbluebus Thu 29-Oct-20 08:22:58

Friends of ours had JKW at the edge of their property. They sold their house numerous times only for people to back out at survey stage when the knotweed was mentioned. If your DB never wants to sell the house again then he might want to risk it but otherwise I'd leave well alone. It could well be one of the reasons it's up for auction as selling by ordinary means will be difficult.

KylieSmilie Thu 29-Oct-20 08:25:39

I think it could have been dealt with if it was another private properties that it was spreading from as they would be obligated to deal with it but not a water company.

Lovelydovey Thu 29-Oct-20 08:41:29

Run - as fast as you can. We bought a house with knotweed in the garden - snow on ground when surveyor visited so no comeback, and previous owners (landlord) did not declare. We’ve spent a fortune and annoyed all of our neighbours as we had to agree collectively to treat as was across 4 gardens (2 never paid, and we have ended up paying for them). And I still worry that it will come back. Not sure at what point we can be sure it won’t and if we will have to declare it if we move forever more, or if this ever becomes ‘spent’.

elaeocarpus Thu 29-Oct-20 09:12:03

If will be a constant problem to manage, with a lot of costs and regulatory obligations

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-japanese-knotweed-from-spreading

knotted Thu 29-Oct-20 09:41:07

Thankyou everyone. He's going to leave it.
He's very handy and was going to do a big DIY reno project on it as it's quite dilapidated and potentially look to sell in a few tears time to make some equity but he's not willing to risk not being able to sell it and the potential (and likely) hassle of the JKW getting onto the plot.

OP’s posts: |
ClarasZoo Thu 29-Oct-20 13:09:23

Good decision. It’s not a do up and sell with JK...

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