Japanese Knotweed Mortgage Issues: What You Need to Know

Japanese knotweed mortgage problems can mean you don’t get the place of your dreams, so it’s time to take real action.


Finding the property you really want is no easy task. It can take ages, lots of effort and frustrations — and then there’s the major issue of coming up with the financing so you can clinch the deal. What if you managed to get everything sorted, but then a plant stood in your way and all your great, new property plans fell apart?


It may seem incredibly strange, but the plant we’re talking about – Japanese knotweed – is a powerful creature that is causing all kinds of property dilemmas all over the UK. It can lead to Japanese knotweed mortgage problems that can be hard to resolve, leaving buyers and sellers tearing their hair out as their deals are being scuppered by a weed.


Japanese Knotweed Property Problems

It is, however, no ordinary weed. Once Japanese knotweed takes hold in a garden or elsewhere on a property, possibly having crept in from a neighbouring infestation, it is almost impossible to get rid of — if you try to kill it off on your own. It can quickly grow, above as well as under the ground, putting you in a world of Japanese knotweed mortgage issues.

Here’s what can happen:

➤ Japanese knotweed roots, known as rhizomes, spread out wide and deep, sending up new shoots as they go. Simply slashing down the plant and trying to dig up the roots won’t likely do anything to stop it spread. Even if a small part of the root network is left in the ground, it will almost certainly start growing all over again.

➤ As the roots of this beastly plant grow ever-outwards, seeking moisture and nutrients, they can grow into cracks in walls and pipes and cause structural damage as they swell and expand. They can also interfere with water and other underground services around a property as well as growing up through asphalt driveways and even floorboards in a house. It’s a real and seemingly unstoppable alien invader.

➤ As Japanese Knotweed is such a fast grower — shooting up by as much as 20cm per day during the spring and summer growing season — there are real risks to neighbouring properties and land, too. It’s legal to have Japanese knotweed on a property but allowing it to spread to neighbouring homes and land, as well as improperly disposing of it, can attract penalties including fines and even prison terms.

It’s for these reasons that it can be hard or impossible to get a mortgage for a property with Japanese knotweed growing on it. ‘How would a mortgage provider know it’s there?’ you might ask. It will be indicated on a surveyor’s report.

This is what the Council of Mortgage Lenders, an organisation representing around 300 British financial firms, says about properties infested with Japanese knotweed: “Mortgage lenders will normally require evidence of treatment that will eradicate the plant as a condition of lending if knotweed is present on or near the site of a property.” So, how do you go about it?

The evidence of treatment you’ll need to show comes from a professional Japanese knotweed eradication company. Many treatment companies have sprung up and some have been around for years and they will have spent years developing the most effective solutions for getting rid of this pest of a plant — for good. They will use one or a combination of methods, including potent herbicides and dig-outs, so the plant can be removed and should not grow back, in theory anyway!

In the event that it does start regrowing in the same location, further work will be carried out and typically at no additional cost to the homeowner. This is because the insurance-backed guarantees typically provided alongside a treatment plan. Many insurance backed guarantees last for 10 years.

Now, you’re all set to go ahead with the purchase of the property of your dreams.