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Home buyers assured 'Japanese knotweed won't scupper your chances of getting a mortgage'

PUBLISHED: 17:40 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:40 17 May 2019

Steve Pymm, Pymm & Co. Pic: Pymm & Co.

Steve Pymm, Pymm & Co. Pic: Pymm & Co.

People buying a house in Norfolk known to have a problem with the invasive plant horror should not worry they won't be able to get a mortgage.

Japanese knotweed is virulent but home owners need not worry they can't get a mortgage. Pic: PA.Japanese knotweed is virulent but home owners need not worry they can't get a mortgage. Pic: PA.

That was the assurance from financial advisor Keith Hood, from Warners Financial Services, who said many lenders, including the Halifax, would grant mortgages on homes with the plant, known to be so virulent it can grow through concrete.

Criteria on getting approval does rely on treatment being outlined for the weed - and Mr Hood advised anyone buying a home with the problem to get a report detailing the cost to put it right.

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"My 'go to' lender is the Halifax which will lend on homes with Japanese knotweed subject to a quote from a treatment company that must be a member of the Property Care Association.

"My advice is to anyone buying a house known to have Japanese knotweed is to get a report on how much it is going to cost to put it right and then go to the owner and ask for a reduction on the house price accordingly. I have never known any mortgage company not lend because of Japanese knotweed."

Japanese knotweed has bamboo-like stems and usually needs treatment over several years which can cost thousands and has become a recent talking point because of a report by the House of Commons science and technology committee which said lenders were being 'overly cautious' on the issue, leaving homeowners often unable to sell a property.

It is estimated that more than 2% of development sites and 1.25% of residential properties in Britain are affected by the plant. However, it is not illegal to have it in your garden and there is no legal requirement to control or eradicate it but allowing it to spread onto neighbouring land could be considered to be a nuisance. Most local authorities have downloadable advice on what to do if you do have Japanese knotweed and what constitutes a public nuisance.

Keith Hood, Warners Financial Services. Pic: Archant.Keith Hood, Warners Financial Services. Pic: Archant.

Steve Pymm, managing director at Pymm & Co estate agency, said he had known three cases of homes with Japanese knotweed come on the market over the last four years, all of which had sold. "It used to be a buzzword but now it really is nothing to worry about, it usually just means a re-negotiation on price."

Have you had a problem with Japanese knotweed? Please email caroline.culot@archant.co.uk or tweet @edpbusiness

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