The UK housing market could be in for a busier start to the year than ever before, with Rightmove reporting record home mover activity over the festive period. Buyer demand was up 23% year on year while the volume of new sellers coming to market on Boxing Day was up 21%. In fact, the 30th December was one of Rightmove’s top ten busiest days ever for people requesting estate agents to come out and value their home, which could mean we see a rush in the number of homes coming to market.
You might be wondering what this has to do with Japanese knotweed, but actually property transaction volumes have a big impact on knotweed treatment and removal since sellers are required to complete the Law Society’s TA6 form as part of the conveyancing process. This has a direct question about Japanese knotweed and in order for sellers to declare their property knotweed-free, they need to be certain there’s no knotweed present beneath the ground or within 3 metres of the boundary.
This is pretty difficult to do without digging up the garden – and the neighbour’s too, for that matter – which is why our knotweed detection dogs are particularly busy at this time of year when knotweed is hibernating and not always easily visible. Mick, Mack and Buddy are highly trained by our expert dog handling partners, RFA Security, to detect the unique scent of knotweed rhizome, so if it’s present the dogs can find it, even if the plant can’t be seen above the ground.
If you’re planning to put your home on the market in the next few weeks, a detection dog survey will offer potential buyers peace of mind that the property is unaffected by knotweed. In the event that our dogs do discover knotweed, you can remove it in a timely fashion and protect yourself from the risk of a legal claim in the future. If you’re buying a home, a detection dog survey will ensure you have the full picture, with no nasty surprises down the line.
Last year was an extremely busy year in the invasive plant removal world, and if this data is anything to go by, it looks like we could be rushed off our feet again this spring. We’ve taken on quite a few new staff over the last few months who are fully trained and awaiting your call, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!