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It’s knotweed which is the problem in stalling London house sales

17th July 2013

A number of mortgage lenders are reported to be refusing to finance house sales if Japanese knotweed is present on the attached land.

The bamboo-like plant can be particularly damaging to the fabric of a property and is extremely difficult to eradicate, but a knotweed expert says that financial institutions have gone “over the top” with their decisions not to lend on affected properties.

Charles Carter of Knotweed Management believes thousands of homeowners have had efforts to sell their homes ruined by the fast growing weed, adding, “It’s getting ridiculous. I could see some sense to it if buildings were going to be ruined by it but a property is never going to fall down because of knotweed.”

However, the Association of British Insurers advises that buildings’ insurance policies will not pay out against knotweed damage and this means that lenders are wary whenever the plant is indicated on a property.

Whilst residential conveyancing solicitors are powerless to affect lenders decisions regarding a mortgage offer, it has been established that not all lenders will refuse a mortgage application on the basis of the presence of knotweed on a property. So, the general advice is to keep searching for a lender.

Vendors, meanwhile, are advised to seek professional help with control of the weed as it cannot be eradicated without special treatment to the rhizomes (underground stems).

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