RICS Target Lending Scare on Japanese Knotweed Properties

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have given the first cross-industry approved advice on Japanese knotweed which aims to encourage banks to lend on homes in London which are affected by the plant.

Japanese knotweed information paper

The RICS Japanese knotweed information paper is being published to help lenders and surveyors accurately assess the risk caused by Japanese knotweed. The paper categorises the risk into four degrees of severity. It is hoped that banks will be able to make more accurate decisions on if and how much finance is offered on properties affected by Japanese knotweed.

“There is a real lack of information and understanding of what Japanese knotweed is and the actual damage it can cause. Because of this, some buyers have been left disappointed and homeowners bereft – unable to get the finance they need to sell and buy their dream home.”

“At a time when it is essential to encourage lending to keep the housing market moving, we hope this information will provide the experts with the tools they need to make clear and accurate decisions on the real impact of Japanese Knotweed and who and how much to lend.”

-Philip Santo, RICS Professional Group

Japanese knotweed is a problem because it has no natural enemies in the UK. It, therefore, forces out other native plant species that cannot compete with its tall growth and decaying canes and leaves. It can cause damage to the tarmac, building foundations and wall structures which greatly reduces property values.

How Japanese knotweed can  affect homeowners

Japanese knotweed can grow at the rate of 10cm per day and can cause massive damage to buildings, pavements and roads. In the past, many homeowners have been unable to sell their property as banks are unwilling to provide loans on properties affected by Japanese Knotweed.

Some homeowners have experienced difficulties in securing loans even when there is no evidence of damage to the property as there is a lack of information regarding Japanese knotweed. RICS hope that their information paper will help inform banks on the growing problem of Japanese knotweed.

If you suspect that you have a Japanese knotweed problem or need help identifying Japanese knotweed our specialist website, Wise Knotweed Solutions, provide information on the plant and Japanese knotweed treatment.