We have recently been helping customers with their Japanese Knotweed Surveys and Management Plans. These are usually required before a mortgage lender will lend funds to help with the purchase of the property. Mortgage lenders take the presence of the weed into consideration as it can cause damage to properties if left untreated. This is because the plant spreads through underground stems, known as rhizomes. These can easily crack foundations, walls and drains. A recent study by Environet UK suggested that five per cent of UK properties are affected by the weed.
The weed is an invasive species that grows very quickly and can be found on any type of land. It can also spread through water, as it can grow along the sides of rivers, streams and lakes. The weed can also be spread by human activity, such as by digging or attempting to remove it. This is why it is so important to always have a full survey done before you start work to ensure the weed has been fully identified.
Many people don’t realise they have a knotweed problem until it is time to sell their home. This can be problematic, as if the knotweed is not declared on the TA6 form it could potentially prevent a sale and lead to compensation claims from a buyer later down the line.
Fortunately, mortgage lenders are now beginning to change their policies when it comes to lending for homes with Japanese knotweed. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have issued a guidance note that advises valuers and surveyors on how to approach the issue when assessing a property for lending purposes.
The new guidelines suggest that where the weed is at a safe distance from the property it may be classed as low risk by some mortgage companies. If the weed is within seven metres of the property boundary it will be viewed as a higher risk and a survey will be advised. In this case, the surveyor will recommend that a professional management plan is put in place with an insurance backed guarantee.
Having a management plan in place will also help to speed up the process of completing the mortgage application and getting the funds released. Many banks and building societies will require a specialist report and proof that remedial works are in progress or have been completed by a PCA (Pest Control Association) accredited firm. Having a CHAS (Commercial and Domestic Buyers Approved Supplier) accreditation will also reduce the amount of duplication that is caused by suppliers having to be approved by multiple buyers. Being a CHAS approved supplier means that our health and safety standards are accepted by all buyers. This helps to streamline the purchasing process and saves time for everyone involved. For more information on our nationwide japanese knotweed surveys please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your individual requirements.