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  • FIRST POST
    • 03carrd
    • By 03carrd 8th Aug 18, 3:46 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 1Thanks
    03carrd
    Another Japanese knotweed question
    • #1
    • 8th Aug 18, 3:46 PM
    Another Japanese knotweed question 8th Aug 18 at 3:46 PM
    Hi all,

    Sorry, I know this forum is littered with posts on Japanese knotweed but I just had an offer accepted on a house that has been affected and would like to clear a couple of things up...

    Property details:
    - Leasehold property, freeholder is the council
    - Flat on the second and third floors - the garden belongs to the flat below

    This property was sold last summer to another buyer, but the deal fell through as the survey revealed Japanese knotweed was in the garden - within 7m of the property.

    The vendor took the property off the market and the knotweed has since been treated through stem injection by a PCA-accredited company. This company are coming back each year to treat it and there is a 10 year insurance backed guarantee in place in case it re-emerges. The 10 year guarantee starts at the point where there has been no knotweed growth for 2 years.

    The local council, as freeholders, are responsible for the knotweed and the guarantee is in their name.

    Due to the insurance backed guarantee, the vast majority of lenders will be satisfied so we will have no issue buying it

    My questions are:
    - Should I be concerned?
    - If there was no knotweed growth in the next 5 years (for example) and we came to sell the property, do you think wed struggle?
    - Is there any point when the knotweed would no longer need to be declared to future buyers? Ie can it be considered eradicated at any point or not, given its propensity to lie dormant?
    - Should we get any more information before proceeding?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • deFoix
    • By deFoix 8th Aug 18, 3:52 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    deFoix
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 3:52 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 3:52 PM
    Id be very concerned that the Freeholder will simply pass the charges for the Knotweed treatment to the Leaseholders. How much is it costing?

    How much will YOU end up paying for a service that you could easily do yourself once or twice a year for a couple of quid (assuming you do a bit of reading up on how to treat it)?
    • 03carrd
    • By 03carrd 8th Aug 18, 3:57 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    03carrd
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 3:57 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 3:57 PM
    I will do further investigation in that regard but I do not believe the service charge (which is reasonable) has been adjusted. I believe the majority of the cost would have already have been incurred. Further, although it was identified in the survey for this property last year, it had spread to four other gardens (so 8 affected flats in total) so any cost would presumably be divisible...

    I will seek to clarify this but my main concern is whether it!!!8217;s going to be difficult to sell in the future.
    • fiisch
    • By fiisch 8th Aug 18, 4:05 PM
    • 321 Posts
    • 183 Thanks
    fiisch
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 4:05 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 4:05 PM
    The fact you're asking the question and is a concern for you is an answer in itself.


    The very mention of Japanese Knotweed will spook a lot of buyers. If you are getting the flat at a discounted price, I may be tempted to take the risk (although beware possible loading to service charge as someone has already mentioned), but if you're paying a price which is comparable to similar, non-Japanese Knotweed affected properties, I'd look elsewhere...
    Save 6k in 2018: 1651.19 / 6000
    • 03carrd
    • By 03carrd 8th Aug 18, 4:24 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    03carrd
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 4:24 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 4:24 PM
    Thanks, I think we are getting a good price but given the current market its hard to tell how much is specifically down to the knotweed.

    Any view on when you can safely say that knotweed has been eradicated?
    • camptownraces
    • By camptownraces 8th Aug 18, 8:43 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 198 Thanks
    camptownraces
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:43 PM
    Japanese knotweed research
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:43 PM
    Unfortunately JK is a big money spinner, and mortgage lenders have been lured into a trap to refuse loans if there's a sign of it in or near a property.

    However:
    Recent research by the University of Leeds, published in July 2018, found that

    We found nothing to suggest that Japanese knotweed causes significant damage to buildings.

    DR MARK FENNELL, AECOM

    https://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4262/japanese_knotweed-not_such_a_knotty_problem

    Whether this will convince the rest of the world remains to be seen.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Aug 18, 8:50 PM
    • 982 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:50 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 8:50 PM
    Why would the top floor flat be liable to pay the freeholder for a treatment in the garden of the g/f flat. Owned by the g/f flat for the sole use of the g/f flat?

    I could understand if it was a communal garden but the OP doesnt suggest this is the case.

    Apologies if I have misunderstood
    • 03carrd
    • By 03carrd 8th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    03carrd
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    You havent misunderstood at all... those are the facts. Unfortunately it seems that a large proportion of buyers may steer clear of any property affected by knotweed, even if it is not in their garden...
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Aug 18, 11:11 PM
    • 982 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:11 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:11 PM
    Hi

    Yes that is due to possible structual damage as a result of the roots.

    They will be asking the exact same questions you are now.

    Not helpful but the process will repeat
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 8th Aug 18, 11:21 PM
    • 7,682 Posts
    • 6,239 Thanks
    daveyjp
    If the local Council have taken out an insurance backed guarantee its a good sign they don't know what they are doing and the leaseholders will have been massivley overcharged for the privilege.

    Case in point.

    Mortgage valuer sees knotweed. Potential buyer goes to 'expert'. Cost for removal and 'guarantee'? 12,000

    Local general groundkeeping company contacted. First year treatments 500. Subsequent visit, if required 100 max. This was five years ago, it was gone after two.

    It can come back anytime, but it needn't cost thousands to get rid off. Anyone who says different is in it for themselves.
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