The Dangers of Japanese Knotweed

Published: 9th June 2017

This innocent looking plant can be the bane of many homeowner’s lives. And can present very real problems when it comes to buying or selling a home. Here, Liddys talks about why this plant is feared so much, and what can be done about it.

Japanese knotweed, also known as Asian Knotweed, is a large perennial plant which is native to East Asia, namely Japan, China and Korea. In its home countries it is known as a natural painkiller, but in Europe it is classed as an invasive species. And for good reason.

It is known for its rapid rate of growth. In summer it can grow between 10-20cm a day to a maximum height of around 4 metres. It is extremely invasive and resilient. It often grows in waste spaces such as in the foundations of buildings, at the side of the road and in the gaps of pavements. It crowds out and kills any other type of vegetation that is already there.

Knotweed has a huge root system, which can extend 7 metres wide and 3 metres deep. It is very resistant to simply being cut down, and will often grow back from very little. This is why to get rid of it entirely the root system has to be dug up. Given the size it can reach this can be quite a substantial operation. It is actually listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

It is this difficulty in removing and disposing Japanese Knotweed that makes it such a bane for anybody trying to buy or sell their home. Improper removal or disposal of it can actually result in a £5,000 fine or two years in prison.

The problem is so severe that if that plant is found to be within 7 metres of the property mortgage lenders are unlikely to lend to prospective buyers. And it is not something that can be brushed over, sellers are legally bound to declare whether the property has Japanese knotweed on it.

There are many issues that can be faced when buying or selling a home, Japanese Knotweed is just one of them. This is why many people use a conveyancing solicitor to help them with the process. The conveyancing team here at Liddys is led by Mohammed Naheem Khalil, a conveyancing specialist with over 15 years experience.

To find out more about the conveyancing services we provide, just call us on 01924 780 753.