Knot wanted: Green impacts on property prices26/07/21
There are many ways in which plants can adversely impact properties and their values. From overhanging and unruly trees to intrusive ivy and overgrown hedges and bamboo, it’s important to keep on top of plant maintenance near properties, whether they are commercial or residential.
In recent years, invasive Japanese knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) has become a hot topic in the UK, even being debated and addressed in Parliament as to its impacts on buildings. From a surveyor’s perspective, it’s by far the most important and costly plant to look out for if you are purchasing a property. Knotweed can be detrimental to its long-term value, and can decrease the value of a property by up to 20%.
A growing concern
If it is found on the premises, Japanese knotweed’s exceptional growth rate will make any prospective homeowner gulp. Its canes can grow up to 3-4 metres in height and can cover large areas very quickly. Knotweed looks similar to bindweed, with its heart-shaped leaves, and also appears in spring. It also goes through a series of seasonal changes that make it difficult to tell apart from other UK plants. It is very difficult to get rid of and should not be tackled without expert advice.
Treatment costs for removal of Japanese knotweed start from £2,500. In addition to the added cost of getting the work done, its discovery can also cause problems with some lenders and various types of mortgage. If you discover the presence of knotweed after you’ve made the purchase, it is now solely your responsibility to get it removed.
Getting to the root of the problem
A site survey carried out by a specialist will identify the plant and enable you to engage a professional company to provide a quote for treatment costs.
If the purchase is still at the negotiating stage, this figure could be used to reduce the asking price of the property to offset the cost. If you are looking to renegotiate, or require assistance in arranging a mortgage, it is imperative that you organise a professional ‘Japanese Knotweed Home Buyer Report‘.
It’s important to identify knotweed and begin treatment as quickly as possible, so seeking expert advice can minimise its impact and get to the root of the problem at the earliest opportunity.