Many urban and an increasing number of rural gardens have unwanted and intrusive guests lurking in the undergrowth which can notably affect the saleability and value of a home.
Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, and Giant hogweed are non-native species and Ragwort, Thistle and Docks are classed as native. This article focuses on non-native species as these are more commonly known and if left untreated, can cause significant issues for your property.
It is not illegal to have these species on your land; it is however an offence to allow Japanese knotweed to spread onto a neighbouring property. Knotweed arrived in this country in the mid – late Victorian era following the urban expansion and the growing middle classes wanting gardens and the most fashionable plants of the time.
Initially knotweed was seen very much as a wonder plant; capable of growing in any soil type, growing fast and producing attractive foliage and flowers during the summer months. The issue comes that once established, it becomes very difficult to control and its root system grows very deeply and will search out water and has blocked drains, causing issues to foundations of property.
Property with Japanese knotweed present becomes very difficult to gain mortgage lending. Even following treatment from specialist firms through either chemical treatment or removal and burying in deep land fill, mortgages can still be difficult to obtain, with properties being listed on a register.
Following initial treatment, knotweed can lay dormant for up to ten years and requires continued inspection and monitoring. Under the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is an offence to not declare if you own property that has experienced issues with one of these weed types if selling. Also, if purchasing a house (even if it is a newly constructed property) it is better to have it inspected by a surveyor who knows what to be looking out for in the bottom of the garden!
Contact your local office for help and advice.