Property and Japanese Knotweed

Property and Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed and what you need to know.

What is it? 

Japanese Knotweed is a weed that spreads rapidly and is part of the dock family, it has bamboo-like stems and small white flowers. Identifying it is not particularly easy, but the best time to do so is the summer. It originated from Japan (obviously) when they wanted weeds as ornaments and was subsequently brought over in the late 1840s by a man called Phillipe Von Siebold who began to sell it. 

What's the problem with it?

The roots spread everywhere, they can extend up to 3m in depth and 7m in all directions. It can also grow up to 20cm per day. The problem is that it is so strong and prolific it can even grow through concrete and tarmac. This poses a huge risk to properties and their foundations, not only this but there are no natural predators which means the weed can grow unabated. 

How do  I get rid of it? 

You can start by trying to dig it out yourself, but if any trace of the root is left a new plant will grow again as it only need 0.8g of root to grow again. The best solution in Herbicide treatment, a professional Japanese knotweed herbicide treatment programme, this will involve regular foliar spray and also injecting the stem with a chemical it can however last up to 5 years. 

Selling a property with it

Mortgage providers will not lend to a purchaser if the property has Japanese knotweed. The best solution for this is to use a recognised knotweed professional company that will guarantee the eradication of the knotweed. If the lender sees there is a 5 year plan in place, and a 10 year insurance backed guarantee, they will most likely lend on this basis. 

Who's responsibility?

The problem is if your selling the property, you're most likely under more pressure than you're neighbours to get rid of it even if it's come from their garden. However there is a responsibility on a land owner to prevent any knotweed spreading onto other land or property. Therefore, if it has spread from the neighbouring property it is their responsibility, however there is no law saying they have to remove it from their own.

This article was written by Estate Agents Ogilvy and Sneyd, if you need any of our services or want to find out more, please click here