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The Eric Whitehead Partnership

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Japanese Knotweed

Many people are unaware of the scale of disruption that Japanese Knotweed can have. Japanese Knotweed, also know as Fallopia Japonica, is a major concern for home owners. Whilst until recently mortgage lenders were unprepared to offer mortgages to properties which were suffering with Japanese Knotweed, they have now started to take a slightly more relaxed approach. Now some lenders are willing to lend; however, borrowers must keep some money back and have a structured plan setting out how they propose to remove the weed. The plant has an invasive root system and has been known to break through concrete foundations, roads, buildings and flood defences. The weed not only has to be removed but the ground beneath and around it then has to be treated, and this can take a number of years. Because of the severe effects of this super strong plant, legislation was introduced under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure people were disposing of it correctly.

Legislation also places a burden on people to deal with Japanese Knotweed if it is on their property. If it is not dealt with and impacts on neighbouring land, property owners could see themselves facing a claim for nuisance or a Community Protection Notice. If you have Japanese Knotweed on your property and you know about it you must disclose this to the prospective buyers. If you are purchasing a property it is worth asking the surveyor to check for the signs of Japanese Knotweed.

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