A 91 year old Swansea resident was shocked to find that the value of her home had been reduced by approximately half its worth. The reason for this drastic reduction – a ‘jungle’ of Japanese knotweed that was growing on an adjacent patch of land.
The problem with Japanese Knotweed
While this plant may not look like it could cause havoc, it is extremely relentless with its growth. There have been many cases where this plant has flourished, taking over natural ecosystems, killing off other plants and spreading wildly.
The real problem for property owners is that this plant is capable of growing through, walls, tarmac and even concrete. This can cause devastation to properties, damaging the foundation and the walls – creating huge repair costs in addition to the price of removing the offending plant.
Why this affects the house price?
The home in question was valued between £70,000 and £80,000 but estate agents advised her that she should expect to receive around £45,000 as a result of the Japanese Knotweed. This deterioration in price is down to the destructive nature of the plant, which can pose a serious threat to the property by growing through walls and weakening foundations.
Furthermore, because it is so resilient it requires specialists to remove the plant and prevent it from coming back. This in itself can be a very expensive process and as the land that was afflicted was ‘unregistered’ by the Land Registry, it would have to be undertaken and paid for by the concerned property owners.
Could this affect you?
Sadly, this story isn’t an anomaly. Many people find that the true value of their house is drastically less than they believe it to be. Even the slightest trace of Japanese Knotweed on or near to your property can cause the value of your home to hit rock bottom.
If this plant is found or in areas with a history of Japanese Knotweed, you will require a specialist survey at additional cost. While sometimes this may seem like an over-reaction, the damage and risk that this plant poses to properties can cause serious damage and even make the property inhabitable.
Certain banks, including Santander, will refuse mortgage application to any property where Japanese Knotweed is present within a 50 metre radius. This has caused houses affected by Japanese Knotweed to fall even further as it is extremely difficult to find a lender who will finance the purchase.
Talk to Specialists
If you need any legal advice on selling your property then come and talk to Howells today. We are able to offer you the legal advice you need, as well as assisting you with the conveyancing you need to sell the home.