You’ve discovered knotweed on your property and want to know what to do next.
The first step for most people would be to google it. There’s a wealth of good information on the internet about this invasive non-native weed, but also some myths and blatant lies. Don’t be put off by any press scaremongering. Yes, knotweed is a problem because mortgages companies will initially refuse lending unless a management plan with an insurance backed guarantee is in place. And if left to grow uncontrolled, knotweed can cause damage to buildings, hard landscaping and your treasured garden. However, there are reputable companies who can ensure that your knotweed problem is sorted efficiently and effectively, meaning your house sale or extension plans can continue hassle free, and you can enjoy your garden without worry.
Here are answers to the top 6 questions we get about Japanese knotweed.
1. I’m not 100% sure it’s Japanese knotweed, how can it be identified?
Japanese knotweed has some distinctive features – take a look at our Japanese knotweed pictures and Identification Video to see knotweed throughout the seasons. We offer a free identification service. Simply take a picture of the suspect plant and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know if it is knotweed.
2. Do I need a Japanese knotweed site survey?
While you may be able to describe your garden and the knotweed in succinct detail, it’s a good idea for a trained expert to visit the property to assess the situation accurately. Japanese knotweed management plans can be produced, which will look to determine the extent of the knotweed, its probable origin and extent of affected soil. Any site specific restraints will be taken into account which may affect the treatment options for dealing with the knotweed. It should also highlight any liabilities associated with the property. The preparation of the Management Plan and its implementation are key to unlocking mortgage finance.
3. Can Japanese knotweed damage my property?
Take a look at our knotweed damage video, which highlights a few of the examples we have seen of property damage. Whilst occasionally over-hyped in the press, Japanese knotweed does have the ability to damage property by growing through cracks in concrete, mortar joints in walls, into drains, through driveways, patios and lawns in its insatiable quest for light. If you ignore the knotweed, not only will damage be more likely but also the eradication process will become more expensive and complex.
4. Do I have a legal obligation to get rid of Japanese knotweed?
It’s not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your land, but it’s illegal to introduce it or to allow it to spread in the wild under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Where it encroaches onto adjacent property, it frequently results in neighbour disputes, sometimes resulting in unpleasant private nuisance claims, which are not only expensive to defend but also lead to breakdowns in neighbour relationships. Once identified, it is usually best to take action as soon as possible to ensure the knotweed spread is controlled and ultimately eradicated.
5. Is the Japanese knotweed work guaranteed?
The majority of finance providers require an insurance backed guarantee (IBG) to be in place before they will issue lending for a mortgage. Check with your bank to see what they require. Do read the small print, as some of the less reputable knotweed companies claim their professional indemnity (PI) insurance or public liability (PL) insurance to be their insurance backed guarantees. Clearly if the knotweed company went out of business a claim on their PI or PL insurance would not succeed.
6. Will Japanese knotweed come back?
There is always a possibility of some regrowth, especially following herbicide treatment. However, our regrowth record is good, and any regrowth tends to be very small. The effectiveness of herbicide treatment depends on the plants uptake of the chemical, which is dependent upon many factors. If regrowth occurs on a property benefitting from an Environet IBG, this will be treated at no further cost under the guarantee.
Our team of experts are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Call us today on 01932 868 700 and we’ll be happy to help.