Property buyers say a resounding NO to homes infested with Japanese knotweed.
Environet commissioned YouGov to find out what people think of Japanese knotweed, posing the question: “Would you buy a house with japanese knotweed?” The answers were surprising.
WHAT IS JAPANESE KNOTWEED?
This is a non-native plant that was brought into the UK in the 1840s — firstly as an ornamental plant beloved by high society, but it soon fell out of favour and spread like wildfire after it was dumped out in the countryside. In peak growing season, during the summer months, it can shoot up by as much as 20cm in a day. This can easily overwhelm properties and even cause structural damage.
WHAT DOES JAPANESE KNOTWEED LOOK LIKE
Like this when it’s starting to grow:
And like this when it becomes a monster-plant:
WEEDING THEM OUT
Before delving into the survey questions, respondents were asked if they were aware of Japanese knotweed.
75% said they were already aware of Japanese knotweed and the potential damage it can cause to properties.
25% had not heard about Japanese knotweed prior to being contacted for the survey.
GETTING IN A KNOT
The big takeaway from the YouGov survey for Environet, one of the UK’s leading Japanese knotweed removal firms, is that nearly 8 out of 10 people would say no to buying a house that had the plant somewhere on the property.
That’s the number of people who, when asked “Would you buy a house with japanese knotweed?” said it would be a deal-breaker. They said they would be totally put off buying a property if they discovered it had Japanese knotweed in the garden or elsewhere on the site.
69% of those surveyed said they didn’t think it was always possible to remove Japanese knotweed from an infected site.
57% said it would take too much of their time to try and eradicate Japanese knotweed from a garden.
56% held the view that it would be too expensive to deal with Japanese knotweed on a property.
55% said the task of removing Japanese knotweed from a property would be too difficult.
36% feared they would not be able to get a mortgage. This is a valid concern, as many mortgage providers will not approve an application if Japanese knotweed is present on the property. They will insist on professional eradication first, along with a guarantee that it won’t return for at least five years — and if it does, further eradication work will be done.
3% of those probed said they had a bad experience with Japanese knotweed in the past.
Who knew, after being asked “Would you buy a house with Japanese knotweed?” if there were potential legal and other risks associated with having the rapidly growing plant on their property?
51%: Aware that they are legally responsible for preventing Japanese knotweed from spreading to a neighbouring property or land.
67%: Knew that Japanese knotweed on a property could result in a dramatic lowering of its value.
79%: Aware that allowing Japanese knotweed to encroach onto a neighbour’s garden could see them being issued with an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO).
…And finally: 77% The number of people aware that one of the most successful and swift solutions for eradicating Japanese knotweed is the “digging-out” method. It can get rid of the plant in a day.
* The YouGov survey was carried out between 5-8 May 2017 and involved a sample size of 2,102 adults.