Buying Or Selling A Property With Japanese Knotweed | Green Leaf Remediation

Buying Or Selling A Property With Japanese Knotweed

When people talk about Japanese Knotweed everyone instantly thinks you won’t be able to get a mortgage or a remortgage and this is untrue. There are lenders out there who will offer you a mortgage on a property, however, you will need to provide them with more information and evidence compared to any other mortgage application.

Green Leaf Remediation Services are qualified Japanese Knotweed surveyors and if you are thinking about applying for a mortgage or need to remortgage an existing property we can answer any questions you may have.

The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 lists Japanese Knotweed in schedule 9, part 2, making it illegal to ‘plant or otherwise cause it to grow in the wild’ under section 14(2)(a) of the Act.

Knotweed is listed as an invasive and potentially destructive plant, which under certain circumstances can cause damage to poorly constructed or very old outbuildings, drains, paths, underground services, and cause heave in tarmac or poorly laid concrete. It rarely causes damage to properties or surfaces that are of sound structure and if managed correctly by a Knotweed specialist like Green Leaf Remediation Services you will have no need to worry about it. According to a study conducted jointly by Leeds University and AECOM, Japanese Knotweed is unlikely to cause significant structural damage.

Buying Or Selling A Property With Japanese Knotweed Present

If you are selling your property and you are aware you have Japanese Knotweed then you have a duty of care to advise any potential buyers and your estate agent. Legally you also have to declare this on the TA6 Property Information Form. This documentation gives buyers all the facts about the property, is filled out by the property owners, signed to confirm all is accurate and provided to buyers by the estate agent selling the property.

The TA6 form forms part of the pre-contract documents when a property is being sold and this means the content is legally binding. Any false information or declarations on the form can result in the purchaser suing the property seller if any information is false or concealed.

Most buyers will be highly alarmed when they see Japanese Knotweed on the TA6 Form so it is highly advisable that you have a Japanese knotweed Survey completed prior to marketing your property so you are able to tell them everything they need to know to make an informed decision.

A Japanese Knotweed Survey For A Mortgage Application Will:

  • Advise the location of the knotweed at the property
  • State how severe the infestation is
  • Estimate how long it has been there
  • Advise if it is near any structures it could destabilise
  • Confirm any control and removal procedures that have taken place or are advised to be actioned by a qualified Knotweed specialist

Site Assessment Report (SAR Report)

A SAR Report is intended to provide clear information to a mortgage lender or a potential buyer about the level of risk involved with a property due to the presence of Knotweed.

The mortgage lender will typically analyse the content of the SAR to determine whether or not there is a significant risk of lending based on their own individual policies. There are some mortgage lenders who will lend against a property with Knotweed and some that will not even consider it so always do your research before you complete any mortgage applications.

South Wales Knotweed SAR Reports Will:

  • Map out the location or special features of the knotweed on site
  • Provide a summary of treatment options
  • Confirm if there any damage has occurred as a result of the Knotweed present
  • Advise if the Knotweed has the potential to damage any permanent structures at the property and site

What Is The Benefit Of A SAR’s Report?

An upfront SAR’s Report will ensure a potential buyer is able to make an informed decision with factual information about whether they want to purchase a property.

It can then be provided to the mortgage lender so they have all the information they need to assess against their policies if they are willing to lend on the property.

There are plenty of mortgage companies that will provide a mortgage on properties with Japanese Knotweed if they have a SAR’s survey that has provided all the information they need to assess any risks when it comes to lending, as well as the advised treatment options.

Japanese Knotweed Management Plan (JKMP)

A JKMP is a formally recognised document that can only be issued by a qualified Japanese Knotweed Specialist. It advises the treatment methods appropriate to the site and infestation that the contractor is recommending to suitably control the Knotweed and to prevent it from spreading further.

Japanese Knotweed MortgageSouth Wales JKMP Report Will:

  • Provide information relating to the severity of the contamination
  • Provide detailed recommendations of the control options available
  • Include a detailed assessment of the risks associated with any control method
  • Advice on biosecurity (taking into account the chemicals needed)
  • Our JKMP’s come with a 10 year independently written Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG)

We then update our JKMP annually following any treatment carried out and reevaluation of the site following the treatment and control methods used

Green Leaf Remediation Services provides JKMP’s for all types of land and properties including; residential, building developments and commercial development projects.

The JKMP for a property of land remains with it for 10 years. This means if the property is sold or ownership transferred the JKMP becomes the possession of the new owner irrespective of how many times the property exchanges hands.

The Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) offers the additional assurance that if the company that has carried out the Knotweed work ceases to trade you are entitled to another accredited contractor to carry out any remaining remedial work and at no cost to you.

It also means if the Japanese Knotweed that has been treated then returns within 10 years of us issuing the Completion Certificate we will return to carry out the remedial work, or if we have ceased trading another accredited contractor will be instructed and paid to complete the work.

South Wales Knotweed Completion Certificate

When we have revisited a site we have treated, the JKMP has been updated and we are satisfied overall control has been achieved we then issue the property owner with a Japanese Knotweed Completion Certificate. This is only issued when the treatment plan has been completed and there is clear evidence of no regrowth within 2 years.

If you are selling or buying a [property with a completion certificate issued by a qualified Japanese Knotweed Surveyor then this formal and recognised document will also support a mortgage or remortgage application.

Buying, Selling Or Applying For A Mortgage

If you are interested in offering on a property that has Japanese Knotweed or one that has previously had an infestation that has been treated then you should request the seller provides you with either:

  • A Japanese Knotweed SAR Report which you can use to gain advice from a qualified and professional Japanese Knotweed Surveyor
  • A Japanese Knotweed Management Plan Report detailing the initial findings and following treatment. You should also check that the JKMP comes with a valid 10 year independently written Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG)
  • A Japanese Knotweed Completion Certificate from a certified surveyor

For any surveys, you should always use a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) like Green Leaf Remediation Services. We are registered and recognised with the Property Care Association and we specialise in the identification, treatment and control of Knotweed in Wales, South Wales and the South West. Mortgage lenders who offer mortgages on properties and land with Knotweed tend to accept our SAR, JKMP and Completion Certifications as part of any mortgage application as we have the required experience and qualifications. You should always check with them first.

If you are selling your property and think you may have Japanese Knotweed present, you are thinking about purchasing a property or development site where there is or has been evidence of it and you need advice on a mortgage report then please contact us today on 01269 591651 or 07531 142316 and we can answer any questions you may have and book in your free site assessment.

South Wales Knotweed Qualifications & Accreditations:

      • City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
      • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
      • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
      • Herbicide Stem Injection
      • Member of The Property Care Association
      • The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
      • Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
      • Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed (SAR, JKMP)