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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed is a non-native invasive plant brought to the UK from Japan during the 19th century. In the UK, there are numerous properties affected by Japanese Knotweed and the problems associated with this plant are significant. One of the effects of having Knotweed on your property aside from the damage and disruption it can cause is that it could have an effect on the saleability of your property. Many mortgage lenders are refusing to provide mortgages to property buyers or are insisting the knotweed affected property has a Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) in place. For sellers who have Japanese Knotweed on their property, trying to sell the property at the normal value can be very difficult and in some cases, these knotweeds can devalue a property by a significant amount.

Japanese Knotweed can sometimes be difficult to identify and as such many homeowners may not be aware of its presence until they decide to sell the property and in Scotland, it is documented on the Home Report. However, there’s no need for alarm as there are a number of solutions available to treat these aggressive, destructive and invasive plants, see below.

What should I do to get rid of Japanese Knotweed?

  • If you do suspect Japanese Knotweed on your property then it is important to seek professional help and advice on how to deal with it.
  • Whilst it can be removed manually, it requires continual removal – and as the roots of the plant can be present for many years before growing – we recommend that if you find Japanese Knotweed on or near your property, call in a professional. They will be able to remove the plant and undertake a programme (normally through a long period of time) to make sure it doesn’t come back. They should also give you a guarantee, which means if you wish to sell the property in the future, the people buying your house will be able to get a mortgage despite them knowing the Knotweed problems.
  • Picking the right herbicide treatment is essential, as it must travel through the plant and into the root system below.
  • Never, put any cut stems or roots into green waste bins or domestic – as it is so invasive, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 made it illegal to plant Japanese Knotweed in the wild or to allow it to grow by careless disposal. Therefore, it is much safer to take them to a licensed waste site.
  • The key is also to act as soon as possible before it starts to take over and your neighbouring property.

If you thought Japanese Knotweed was just an extreme weed, we hope this blog will help you think twice and not ignore Japanese Knotweed. If you are experiencing problems with Japanese Knotweed and want some advice, please contact us here at McEwan Fraser Legal on 0131 524 9797.