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  • Landlord Resources

    Japanese Knotweed - property investor's guide

    We have many discussions on Property Tribes about Japanese Knotweed.  It causes concern for landlords and property investors, mainly because it can make a property un-mortgageable, and therefore affect the value of any property infected by it.  JK is a very invasive species and can be hard to get rid of.

    See - 11 scenarios that make a property unmortgageable.

    Properties with a JK problem are typically bought by cash buyers, who get the plant eradicated, and add value by doing so.

    We were approached by a specialist company on this topic and they have provided the following article:

    A Property Investor’s Guide to Controlling Japanese knotweed 

    Discovering that a prospective property has fallen victim to the seemingly unrelenting onslaught of Japanese knotweed may initially seem like a property investor’s nightmare.

    The plant often takes hold on waste ground and is very common along railway lines, so if you are buying a property in the vicinity, you need to be extra vigilant.

    Known for its rapid growth rates and ability to creep through cracks in concrete, this invasive plant has the potential to undermine building structures, sabotage property transactions, and scare off mortgage lenders.

    These horror stories can be avoided if Japanese knotweed is properly treated and controlled by a credible remediation firm. Investors need not be deterred from a property simply because of the presence of knotweed, as long as they are armed with the facts.

    Firstly, it is important for investors to be aware of the language employed by remediation firms, as this can be used to gauge credibility.

    Unfortunately, the industry has been plagued by cowboy businesses claiming that they can ‘quickly eradicate’ knotweed. In reality however, given knotweed’s resilient nature, it requires a long-term remediation strategy as opposed to a quick, easy ‘fix’. Once successfully treated, Japanese knotweed takes time to biodegrade into the soil with no hard and fast as to how long this will take. Left in situ the plant will decay over time, but the plant must remain undisturbed throughout the process.

    The correct treatment process, therefore, is one of control rather than immediate removal.

    There are a variety of bespoke treatment options available – ranging from stem injection to excavation - which can cater for individual property requirements, timescales and budgets.

    This type of protracted, responsible remediation ensures that property owners will not be confronted with regrowth caused by bodged attempts to uproot the plant. Controlling the knotweed with proper treatment methods means that investors can rest assured that the problem will not be exacerbated as a result of hasty ‘eradication and elimination’ procedures.

    Even after the correct treatment, however, the resilience of Japanese knotweed enables it to sometimes re-appear.

    Investors should therefore ensure the contractor has the correct warranties and insurance, which provide considerable long-term peace of mind.

    Reputable remediation firms grant customers a warranty when work is completed which is protected by an independent insurance and accepted by mortgage lenders. Companies should also carry adequate insurance with a reputable insurer specific in the treatment of Japanese knotweed, and preferably include structural damage cover.

    This same level of continued protection is simply not afforded by quick-fix companies, which bring with them only a continual financial burden. Not only do credible firms control the plant itself, they also control the financial risk, and provide themselves with no scope for negligence.

    Finally, before going ahead with any remediation work, an upfront fixed fee should be obtained from the firm to ensure that the project is viable. This allows no room for nasty surprises later, if, for example, the company realises that the knotweed infestation is more extensive than they initially realised, and try to extract further payment.

    Whilst the plant may be renowned for being difficult to get rid of, it is far from being an insurmountable task. Equipped with the correct knowledge, and with a credible remediation firm to conduct the work, property investors should rest assured that Japanese knotweed is no cause for panic.

    David Layland is the joint Managing Director of Japanese Knotweed Control Ltd, and is a founding member of the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association.

    *Transparency notice:  There is no commercial relationship between Property Tribes and JKCL and Property Tribes did not receive payment for posting this article.

    Interestingly enough, Japanese Knotweed was in the news earlier this week.

    Network Rail is facing compensation claims that could total tens of millions of pounds after a landmark court ruling on damage caused to homes by Japanese knotweed growing on its land.

    Neighbours Robin Waistell and Stephen Williams took on the rail giant after the plant, growing on a railway embankment next to their bungalows, spread into the foundations of their homes. The pair saw the value of their properties almost halved because of the invasion.

    Mr Waistell’s solicitor, Rodger Burnett, of London-based Charles Lyndon, said: ‘This result is historic. It’s a victory which will have huge implications across the whole country.’

    Full/source article

    SEE ALSO  -         Japanese Knotweed

    UP NEXT -             Japanese Knotweed - Q&As

    DON'T MISS -       Japanese knotweed halves value of house in Swansea



    Great article.

    This is overlooked or played down when it shouldn't be so many times. As harmless as it may sound it can be a serious problem.


    Mr Mark Alefounder

    Mortgage & Protection Broker

    Optimum Independent Financial Advisers

    Mobile 07716 647 928

    Tel: 01206 366700


    The financial regulator, the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’ designates that there are two different types of financial advisers, ‘independent’ and ‘restricted’. The status of an adviser firm will affect the type of advice that is given. A restricted adviser firm can only recommend certain products or product providers, whereas an independent adviser firm, such as Optimum, is able to consider and recommend all types of retail investment products and/or providers that could best meet clients needs and objectives. Optimum Independent Financial Advisers offers genuine unbiased and unrestricted advice.

    Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

    Optimum Independent Financial Advisers is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

    Financial Services Register Firm Reference Number (FRN): 223293

    © Copyright 2017 Optimum Independent Financial Advisers. All Rights Reserved

    After having come across Japanese knotweed and bind weed, I was informed by a kind specialist that the product he used neat to spray onto the leaves and it kills the root network that develops underground is called Gallop 360.

    I have used the product ever since thanks to a growing problem with neighbours gardens not being cared for and spreading into my properties gardens. Works in days and kills the root network in the weeks ahead. 

    It's quite expensive eBay have it at £24 for 5 litres but I have made property deals work where they shouldn't!

    I hope people find this information helpful.


    New research has revealed a high level of anxiety around Japanese knotweed with 78% admitting that they would be put off buying a property if they discovered the weed was present in the garden.

    Reasons for this included the concern that it cannot always be removed (69%) or that it would be too costly (56%) or time consuming to do so (57%).

    The survey, carried out by YouGov and Japanese knotweed removal specialist Environet UK, suggests whilst many are aware of the weed, there is a high level of myth and misinformation around the threat posed by Japanese knotweed and the options available to homeowners who discover it on their land.

    Full/source article - Property Reporter