Will your new house have a nasty surprise in the garden?

Thursday 7th February 2013

We’ve recently carried out a number of surveys and reports for house buyers, as there either is, or may be, a problem with Japanese knotweed in the garden or in an adjoining property. We are experts at both finding and recording outbreaks of Japanese knotweed and prepare a suitable report (to the criteria laid out in The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor’s Information Paper ‘Japanese knotweed and Residential Property’). This report may then be used together with your Surveyor’s report for submission to the mortgage company. We would include in the report, fully costed options for the knotweed treatment and can provide suitable documentation at the end of the treatment programme.

At the moment, no-one knows how many properties are affected by Japanese knotweed. If one used a criteria that if Japanese knotweed were within a radius of 14m from a property boundary (or within the boundary), then depending on area, the percentage of properties affected might range from 100%* to as low as 1%. However in most urban areas in England and Wales, it is likely that the percentage of properties affected could be between 10-40%. Most home owners will simply not be aware of it!

* We have seen several communities, whose infestation level might well be classified this highly.

While treating Japanese knotweed is a lengthy process (it takes several years to ensure herbicidal eradication). The main problem that is found is that it is not currently possible in England or Wales to legally enforce a person or company to treat their knotweed. Obviously this is a problem as untreated knotweed will grow straight back into the treated area! So eradication cannot be achieved. In Scotland there is now a process by which landowners may have action taken against them, if they fail to undertake suitable eradication measures against their knotweed. It is hoped that similar legislation may be introduced in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Amongst the cases that we have recently seen, is one of a terraced house with Japanese knotweed in the rear garden, the problem was, that this was only one garden out of forty properties that were affected... to ensure eradication all gardens will need treatment for a number of years and this involves identifying the owners of all forty houses and getting their agreement to pay for a suitable programme...

Normally the properties that we see aren’t as complicated as the example above. Typically the knotweed may affect 2-3 properties and by speaking to all the owners an eradication programme on the knotweed in all affected gardens can be agreed.

We offer our competitive and professional Survey service across England Wales – call us now for a free quotation!

Contact Brian Taylor on 01327 340770 or email me on brian@jkweed.co.uk