Japanese Knotweed Removal
Invasive Plant Removal
JAPANESE KNOTWEED GROUP
We are the leading specialists in Japanese Knotweed Removal and invasive weed control, providing a professional service at the right price with assured results across London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and the Isle of Wight Hampshire and the surrounding areas. Our team are fully qualified and insured and aim for 100% customer satisfaction.
We undertake surveys on residential properties and sites of all sizes and provide you with a written report identifying any areas of Knotweed found and the programme of treatment we recommend. We are a member of Checkatrade and the PCA (Property Care Association) and our mortgage compliant surveys and reports mean you can proceed with buying or selling your home with one less thing to worry about. The Japanese Knotweed Group also offer a 5 or 10 Year Insurance Backed Guarantee so you have extra peace mind against re-growth once the treatment is complete.
While this invasive, non-native plant can be difficult to control, it should be recognised that timely and persistent treatment programmes can minimise its impact. There are a variety of ways to deal with this invasive fast growing plant from Herbicide Treatments to excavation disposal and burial methods depending upon our clients requirements.
To find out more about our service and our recommendations for treatment of your property or site please call or send us an email and we will contact you to discuss your requirements.This extremely invasive species of plant can damage property including drains, walls, paths, driveways, outbuildings etc, and as such is a concern for lenders.It is not an offence to have Japanese Knotweed on your land. However, it is a criminal offence to plant it, or otherwise cause it to grow in the wild. In fact all reasonable steps should be taken and due diligence exercised to avoid spreading the plant.The property information form that a seller completes when marketing their home has a section on Japanese Knotweed. The seller must disclose whether the property is affected by the plant, and if it is, they must also say whether a management plan is in place to deal with it, and provide a copy of any such plan.Furthermore, a valuer carrying out a mortgage valuation for a lender must note on their report if Japanese Knotweed is present.Some lenders may automatically refuse to lend where there is a presence of Japanese Knotweed, while others will lend but will wish to know there is a treatment plan or management plan in place, and will usually require an insurance-backed guarantee. Most lenders will look at each case individually and will consider their valuer's comments.Do remember that in view of the invasive nature and rapid spread of Japanese Knotweed, it can be an issue for lenders even when it is only present in a neighbouring garden and not actually in the garden of the property to be mortgaged.
LENDERS INSIST ON CALLING IN PROFESSIONALS
A loan provider can ruin your hopes of buying a dream home if it comes across the words ‘Japanese knotweed’ on a surveyor’s report.At the very least it will demand a professional eradication plan that may cost £3,000, with experts forced to provide a lengthy guarantee against its return before a mortgage offer is made.
BARCLAYS demands you call in an expert who is a member of the Property Care Association – and who offers a ten-year insurance-backed guarantee against its return if the plant has been discovered within seven metres of the home.
It will not offer a mortgage until the work has been done.
NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY also baulks at lending against a home with a garden infested with knotweed – unless you promise to sort it out.It says: ‘If it is prominent less than seven metres from the house we request a specialist report about eradication before deciding whether we can lend.Even if further away we require written confirmation from the borrower they are happy to proceed with a mortgage application despite presence of the plant.’
SANTANDER is also not keen on the spreading tentacles of knotweed. It expects you not only to call in a professional to stamp it out before lending you money, but also to then keep money aside to keep the garden clear of it. It says: ‘It can take several seasons of spraying with specialist chemicals to eradicate.Work is often not completed before the mortgage term starts so we ask for the cost of remedial work to be held in a separate account. We will not turn down a mortgage just because of knotweed but we will want it eradicated.’
LEEDS BUILDING SOCIETY says it will not lend money when knotweed is present in the garden and a valuer concludes it offers a significant risk either to the property or the chances of selling it in the future.
SKIPTON BUILDING SOCIETY says it assesses on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. But before making a loan offer it will demand that eradication work is done by a qualified professional with an insurance backed guarantee against the weed’s return.
YORKSHIRE BANK AND CLYDESDALE BANK – both owned by National Australia Bank – make lending decisions on a case-by-case basis. But it warns: ‘If you have knotweed in the garden – and it comes up on a valuer’s report – you will struggle to get a mortgage unless it is professionally treated. If located far from the house you may be OK.’
Knotweed is a long-term invader that unnerves mortgage lenders if discovered in a garden so it is important to stamp it out as soon as it is found. A reputable trade association, such as the British Association of Professional Landscape Industries, should provide you with details of local contractors who can tackle knotweed.’Other reputable trade bodies to consider include the Property Care Association, the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association and the Association of Professional Landscapers.
Professionals can charge between £1,500 and £3,000 if you have a severe knotweed problem – with treatment involving repeat visits for at least five years. But this work should also come with an insurance-backed guarantee that the knotweed will not return and will probably involve the removal of potentially contaminated soil. If knotweed is spotted on a property survey then a mortgage provider is likely to insist on you hiring a professional to handle the problem before granting you a home loan.
Japanese Knotweed Law
SCHEDULE 9 WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981
It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow schedule 9 species (Japanese knotweed is classed as a schedule 9 species) in the wild, punishable by fines or imprisonment.
If it can be shown that a schedule 9 plant has spread from a landowners property onto another property, then the landowner could be considered responsible for any damage caused and the costs of control.
However, if landowners take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to avoid spreading the plant, then they will be better protected against prosecution.
In order to reduce the potential of fines/prosecution, landowners should have a management plan for schedule 9 species on their property and be able to show that they are following it.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1990
Waste containing any part of a schedule 9 plant that could facilitate the spread of the species is classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of in a suitable waste facility, accompanied by appropriate Waste Transfer documentation!
You cannot just dispose of Japanese knotweed by putting it in the bin nor can you take it to the local waste management site.
All producers, carriers and waste facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the waste is handled and treated properly.
Japanese Knotweed Group can legally and correctly dispose of your Japanese Knotweed during the treatment and control process. This takes all the pressure away from the landowner.
“FACT: It is a criminal offence to plant or cause to grow a non-native invasive species that is listed on Schedule 9 in the wild which carries penalties of up to £5,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment.”
If a neighbour allows Japanese Knotweed (or other Schedule 9 listed species) to encroach onto your property, it may constitute a private nuisance under common law.
If fault is clear, property owners affected by Japanese Knotweed growth from a neighbouring property may be able to apply to court for an injunction requiring the owner of the property to prevent the nuisance.
Such claims can also include a sum of money in damages relating to control, physical damage to property and/or devaluation of property.
CRIME AND POLICING ACT 2014
Guidance has recently been released by the Home Office providing information on the reformed Anti Social Behaviour (ASBO), Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The updated legislation means that if a neighbour “fails to act” regarding controlling or preventing the growth of Japanese Knotweed, then a Community Protection Notice can be issued requiring action to be taken.
Breach of any requirement of a Community Protection Notice, without reasonable excuse, would be a criminal offence, subject to a fixed penalty notice (which attracts a penalty of £100) or prosecution. On summary conviction, an individual would be liable to a level 4 fine (£2500). An organisation, such as a company, is liable to a fine not exceeding £20,000.
FREE full knotweed survey when you proceed with one of our treatment plans