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New guidance: New guidance imminent for homeowners suffering from Japanese knotweed

Author: Atom Content Marketing

Published: 01 Nov 2021

Residential property owners and developers, surveyors, lenders and insurers should look out for guidance from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and others, to be published later in 2021, which will help them deal with the impact of Japanese knotweed on the value of residential properties.

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive, non-native species which is extremely difficult to get rid of. Its presence can significantly affect a property’s value and the owner’s ability to sell, mortgage or insure it. Particularly, it can cause structural damage, including growing though tarmac and similar surfaces.

Draft guidance produced by RICS, the Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Select Committee and DEFRA, says that this is largely due to misinformation about knotweed, and a lack of awareness of ways to deal with it. Their approach is that homeowners should try to control knotweed rather than eradicate it. To that end it provides homeowners and surveyors with:

  • A management framework for surveyors to use when assessing properties where it is present.
  • A system for classifying the most serious degrees of infestation.
  • Advice that will enable a sale of an infested property to move forward.

The draft has now been consulted on, and a final version of the guidance is due to be published later in 2021. It replaces the 2012 paper ‘Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property’.

Particularly, it encourages homeowners and/or developers to create Japanese knotweed management plans, which will be issued by recognised contractors, backed by guarantees with third party insurance, and can be assigned to buyers of the property.

Operative date

  • To be announced

Recommendation

  • Homeowners, residential developers, surveyors, lenders and insurers should monitor the latest news on the RICS website.
Disclaimer

This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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