Japanese Knotweed Guidance for Estate Agents
Concealing the presence of Japanese knotweed during a property transaction is not a wise thing to do.
Don't let Japanese knotweed lose you the sale
Japanese knotweed does not have to be a deal breaker. Familiarise yourself with what this highly invasive plant looks like. Advise any client attempting to sell a knotweed affected property to take pro-active steps to get treatment underway before the buyer is taken by surprise.
We offer a Payment from Proceeds financial package, where treatment costs are paid from the sale proceeds.
Be aware of the new requirements under CPR
Japanese knotweed is specifically classed as a "material fact", meaning there is a legal requirement on Estate Agents to make prospective buyers aware of the knotweed. We work with many Estate Agents, NAEA and the Guild of Estate Agents to help in the buying/selling process of knotweed affected property. Attempts to conceal knotweed by desperate sellers are all too common.
The Law Society’s TA6 form now has a specific question relating to Japanese knotweed. It's important the seller discloses the presence of knotweed in order to avoid being sued for misrepresentation.
Japanese knotweed insurance backed guarantees
There are many so called knotweed specialists who through ignorance or with the intention to mislead customers claim they have “Insurance Backed Guarantees” (IBG) or warranties, when it is quite clear that they do not.
Some offer Performance Bonds, Professional Indemnity or Public Liability Insurance that clearly they do not understand. Many of the genuine IBGs available are backed by a non-rated insurer, and careful examination of the small print might surprise.
However, at long last there is now a Japanese knotweed insurance backed guarantee that has A-rated security underwritten at Lloyd’s.
Japanese knotweed and neighbours
It is common for knotweed to spread across boundaries. This is known as knotweed encroachment and can complicate house sales.
To avoid litigation and disputes it is better for the neighbours to agree to get the knotweed remediated and on the allocation of costs. Unfortunately, it is all too common for one party to take a hard legal stance, then not only is there a knotweed problem but also a legal dispute situation that needs to be disclosed during the conveyancing process.
Japanese knotweed Indemnity insurance is now available in instances where knotweed is not actually visible on the property, or where it is more than 7m from a property boundary, and concerns remain.