Timelapse shows alarming rate Japanese Knotweed grows at
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Japanese knotweed is a weed that can grow extremely quickly and cost thousands to remove. The plant has fast-growing, tall, dense stems that regrow every year. Around this time of year, Japanese knotweed re-emerges with pinkish buds.
The weed’s bamboo-like canes can grow up to seven feet tall in the summer.
The plant can make buying, selling or even getting a mortgage extremely difficult.
Rob Stevens, head of risk at Nationwide building society told Rightmove a simple rule that lenders usually “informally abide” by when it comes to homes close to Japanese knotweed.
According to the mortgage expert, lenders usually follow a “seven-metre rule”.
This means if the knotweed is more than seven metres or 23 feet from your home, you shouldn’t have any issues getting a mortgage.
However, it will be something you will need to keep eye on, even if the plant is not on your property.
Mr Stevens said: “If the distance is less than seven metres, generally we will still proceed, subject to the fact that the customer is carrying out work to eradicate it.”
To remove knotweed, you will need to use a specialist certified by the Property Care Association.
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You will also need a warranty for the work as Japanese knotweed can sometimes reappear if it’s not removed properly.
The buyer and the seller will normally agree to share the cost of the work.
Mr Stevens said if there is an agreement over the knotweed being removed, a mortgage offer should be made.
He also said there should be no more demands for larger deposits or higher interest rates due to the knotweed.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is currently consulting on whether the seven-metre rule is actually the best way to assess the risk of knotweed to a property.
Mortgage lenders find Japanese knotweed an issue because it can cause damage to properties.
If left to grow, it can damage foundations and even grow through concrete.
Mr Stevens said people don’t normally know they have a Japanese knotweed problem until they come to sell their home.
Surveyors usually spot the problem which means sellers will then need to be honest with potential buyers.
If a vendor decides to hide the problem, they could be sued later on down the line if a buyer can prove the knotweed was present at the time of sale.
Recently, Bolton was named one of the worst affected locations for Japanese knotweed in the UK.
According to Environet UK, five percent of UK properties could be affected by Japanese knotweed.
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