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    • Taj121
    • By Taj121 13th Feb 18, 3:31 PM
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    Taj121
    Buying house with Knotweed in adjacent woodland
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:31 PM
    Buying house with Knotweed in adjacent woodland 13th Feb 18 at 3:31 PM
    Hi,

    Would be grateful for any advice. We are considering putting an offer a house that has japanese knotweed growing in the woodlands behind the property. The property grounds itself does not have any of the weed and its only situated in the woodlands but its close to the property line. The woodlands is owned by a private college and is being treated by Eco Control Solutions since 2016. There's about 20% of the weed remaining and their last treatment is due next year and they say it will be eradicated by Nov 2018. They have a 10 year warranty in place and will monitor the area and £100,000 property damage cover. In this situation would you still be happy to place an offer on the house? I'm not familiar with japanese kotweed, never heard it before until the estate agent mentioned it, so any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Taj
Page 1
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 13th Feb 18, 3:40 PM
    • 321 Posts
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    JoJo1978
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:40 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:40 PM
    It's a less a case of whether as a buyer you are happy placing an offer, but more about whether a lender's valuation survey will pick up on the issue and be happy with the plan and cover that the neighbouring property has in place.

    If you don't know anything about knotweed, how do you know the property you want to offer on doesn't have it though? I'm not trying to be smart, I wouldn't know it if I saw it either but I do know that at certain times of the year it's less obvious...I'd be wary of just going by what the EA says too.
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
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    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
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    Margot123
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    Are there any other properties you like that don't have Japanese Knotweed?

    If I were you, I wouldn't gamble on something you know is in someone else's hands. What if the college goes bust? What if they forget to revisit and retreat?

    As has already been said. How do you know it isn't in that property already? It can stay dormant underground for years and then pop up.
    Last edited by Margot123; 13-02-2018 at 4:17 PM. Reason: spelling
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 13th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
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    Grenage
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    That the estate agent is openly stating the proximity of Japanese Knotweed is good; it means that many will be put off, and you can possibly get a better purchase price.

    It depends how bothered you are about the knotweed; I wouldn't be overly concerned, but others would run a mile.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 13th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
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    glasgowdan
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    I would buy it, but use the JKW as a tool to get a good price. It's really not hard to keep it under control yourself, you don't need specialists with their guarantees and expensive treatments.
    • Taj121
    • By Taj121 13th Feb 18, 5:31 PM
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    Taj121
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:31 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 5:31 PM
    Thank you for all the advice, it's greatly appreciated. I would carry out a full survey and make sure there is no JKW in the actual property grounds. The woodlands is owned by Eton College so I doubt they will go bust.
    I've been sent the full documents from Eco Control Solutions and they have carried out their own inspection of the woodland and adjacent properties and have only found the knotweed in the woods, so it does give me reassurance that their inspection would have been thorough.
    We had a chat with the next door neighbours and they were surprised the knotweed was even mentioned by the EA as they said it hasn't ever been a problem and they have lived there for over 40 yrs.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 13th Feb 18, 7:34 PM
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    ProDave
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 7:34 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 7:34 PM
    I would be more concerned of it spread from the woodland into a neighbours garden and they did nothing about it (whether through ignorance or any other reason) which could let it get very much closer to your house.
    • Kittenonthekeys
    • By Kittenonthekeys 13th Feb 18, 9:04 PM
    • 306 Posts
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    Kittenonthekeys
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:04 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:04 PM
    The conveyancing Property Information form now includes questions relating to Japanese Knotweed, whereas it didn't used to until fairly recently. This highlights what a serious problem it has become over the past few years. As you know, it's notoriously difficult to remove completely and could affect not only your property (if it hadn't been entirely eradicated by the college) but also a future sale. My niece had JK creep into her garden from some wasteland at the back and she's been through a really stressful time as it keeps coming back, despite the landowner's assurances that it's been dealt with.
    Personally I would walk away and find somewhere else, especially as you're not the one in control of the process. It's really not worth the headache.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 13th Feb 18, 9:08 PM
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    elsien
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:08 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:08 PM
    Just so as you know with regards to a survey of the property you're looking at knotweed won't be showing above ground at the moment, it's too early in the year.
    But if it's a self contained patch which is being properly treated it wouldn't neccessarily put me off. Having said that, eradicating the remaining 20% in one go seems a little optimistic but if there's a warranty and they're doing the job properly 10 years should certainly do the trick.
    Last edited by elsien; 13-02-2018 at 9:11 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Feb 18, 5:56 AM
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    Davesnave
    My niece had JK creep into her garden from some wasteland at the back and she's been through a really stressful time as it keeps coming back, despite the landowner's assurances that it's been dealt with.
    Personally I would walk away and find somewhere else, especially as you're not the one in control of the process. It's really not worth the headache.
    Originally posted by Kittenonthekeys
    It doesn't seem that the situation you're describing is exactly the same as the OP's.

    On the one hand there's a wealthy college involved, with an insurance-backed eradication scheme, and on the other there's a person with some waste land and some dodgy promises.

    Every case deserves to be treated on its merits.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Kittenonthekeys
    • By Kittenonthekeys 14th Feb 18, 9:32 AM
    • 306 Posts
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    Kittenonthekeys
    It doesn't seem that the situation you're describing is exactly the same as the OP's.

    On the one hand there's a wealthy college involved, with an insurance-backed eradication scheme, and on the other there's a person with some waste land and some dodgy promises.

    Every case deserves to be treated on its merits.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Maybe not an identical situation, but it's all down to whether any individual feels it's worth taking a punt with hundreds of thousands of £s.
    Personally, I would not.
    • Taj121
    • By Taj121 14th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
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    Taj121
    Thank you for all the advice, I'm still in two minds but its reassuring there's a 10 year warranty in place so any regrowth will be treated. Of course worry is present it may spread into our garden but there's 6 small isolated patches present in the woods of which most has already been treated so hopefully it will be completely eradicated by next year. How effective are root barriers?
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 14th Feb 18, 1:21 PM
    • 428 Posts
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    pinklady21
    Are there any small watercourses around? These can help spread the weed. Check is there is any water like a small stream or similar running through the woodland and how close it passes to the property.
    • cloo
    • By cloo 14th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    • 972 Posts
    • 888 Thanks
    cloo
    If there is a warranty in place, it shouldn't be an issue unless you have a seriously flightly lender. It's also a good sign that the neighbouring property owners are taking it seriously - what you don't want is to buy next to a place with JK where the owner is uncontactable or doesn't care.
    • Taj121
    • By Taj121 14th Feb 18, 2:09 PM
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    • 0 Thanks
    Taj121
    There is a small watercourse present on the other side of the woods about 20 acres away from the property so fortunately nothing close by.
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