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Japanese knotweed is ‘not that’ bad if properly managed, says RICS

New guidance will highlight how Japanese Knotweed should not in most cases lead to a property sale being delayed or lost.

Nigel Lewis


RICS has published new Japanese Knotweed draft guidance that it says will help more sales proceed where the invasive plant is detected within a property’s perimeter.

The institute says it has been working with both the housing ministry’s select committee and DEFRA to establish a ‘manageable framework’ for house sales even when Japanese Knotweed has been detected.

A consultation period will now follow prior to final guidance due to be published later this year.

Many sales involving the 1.45 million properties which have the plant growing nearby are often derailed or aborted when lenders find out about it.

But RICS says this is down to incorrect information in circulation about the plant and its disruptive capabilities.

Instead, it says that in many cases proper remedial action can keep the plant at bay.

The draft guidance includes an easy-to-follow management framework setting out how surveyors will provide preliminary assessment and the appropriate initial

mortgage lending or pre-purchase advice.

It was also establish an objective classification system that will red flag the most serious instances of knotweed infestation.

santo rics knotweedThe report’s author Philip Santo FRICS (pictured), says: “Creating confidence and awareness that knotweed isn’t a death sentence for home sales is a key principle behind this guidance – it’s certainly not the ‘bogey plant’ that some make it out to be.

“In most instances the weed can be remediated with effective treatment – so it’s critical that all those involved in the home buying and selling process have access to unbiased, factual information, that sets out when they need to obtain reputable remediation services.”

Read more about knotweed.

June 22, 2021

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