Legal Q&A:Will knotweed strangle my plans to sell?

I am selling my house that is in the process of being treated for Japanese knotweed, will this affect potential buyers getting a mortgage? 

Question: I am selling my house that had Japanese knotweed in the garden until I hired a company to treat the infestation, which they have done very successfully.

We are about 18 months into a three-year extermination plan. At the end of the treatment, a 10-year guarantee will be provided. As this treatment has not yet been completed, will that affect potential buyers getting a mortgage? Will anyone lend against properties that have been troubled by this awful plant? 

Answer: Japanese knotweed was first imported into Britain in 1825.

It tends to unnerve mortgage lenders and could cause difficulties for any potential buyer of your home. Indeed a valuer carrying out a mortgage valuation for a lender must note on their report if this invasive weed is present. Some lenders will refuse to lend against a property with Japanese knotweed. Others will take a more pragmatic approach, particularly if the weed is in the process of being removed by a reputable firm. Lending is on a case-by-case basis.

A lender may request a buyer to hold a separate account with them for the purpose of funding the remedial work that you have started. You have taken the correct route by employing a professional company to remove the weed, but do ensure that the organisation you have used is an accredited member of an industry-recognised trade association, such as the Property Care Association. It would also help if they can give a guarantee that can be assigned to your potential buyer, as this is more likely to satisfy a lender.

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