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Are You or Your Property at Risk from Knotweed?

Ever heard of Japanese knotweed? As a property investor, it is a plant that you should be aware of, why you might ask. Japanese knotweed is an attractive looking plant, some would say nice to see in your garden, however, it’s not your friend!

Some people have unfortunately leaned to their expense that the knotweed is in fact an aggressive, invasive and destructive plant that can lead to problems with your property, your health and possibly even the law! And it would appear that dealing with this attractive garden plant is not an easy war to win.

Tom Roberts of FJP Investment has said “ it is indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plants” not good news for property owners as once the plant takes root it grows extremely rapidly taking over the garden area but more importantly this super weed has the potential to cause structural damage to your property and other problems if not tackled in the right way as soon as you know you have a problem with it, stopping it from causing you financial and other impacts to you and your property.

Possible structural problems

The bushes are seen above ground and that is all well and good, and yes, they do look good in the garden, however, it is what damage is going on beneath the surface of your garden that we don’t realize or know about? Knotweed has a large root system that seeks moisture, it does this by expanding, sending new shoots up as it does so. As the roots expand they can destroy cracks in the walls of properties, disrupt water pipes and any other services that are underneath your garden. The reason for this is the strong growth of Rhizomes (as the roots are known as) which cause the problems for properties, some have reported that the plant has actually come up through floor boards in properties and tarmac in driveways!

How will this affect my properties value?

The Crop Protection Association recently reported that some property owners would spend around £1,800 trying to rid the Japanese knotweed from their gardens whilst other owners have been known to spend up to £4,000, meaning not only the stress this would cause a homeowner but the cost to rid the property of the plant can cost a serious amount of money. One can also consider what this would mean to the value of your property if found during a surveyor’s report, it could well make your home worth far less than you wish or in the worst scenario make it unsellable, not a good situation either way.

What does the law have to do with this?

Should your knotweed not be dealt with by the homeowner and by chance spread to a neighbouring property it could by law result in an “anti-social behaviour” order being issued which would result in a fine (not a small one either we understand), the reason for this the Government says is that it has “ the ability to spread and pose serious threat to biodiversity, the economy and human health”. This would also be taken into account if once found and dealt with in your own property if you do then not dispose of it in the proper way could again result in prosecution.

This, of course, has a solution, by engaging a firm who specializes in eradicating the Japanese knotweed with herbicides that are not available to the general public to kill off the plant as soon as you realise you have it, this can be done in one of two ways, either doing it over two growing seasons or if time is of the essence they can do a dig out which would normally take just a matter of days. These companies will also provide you with peace of mind by providing an insurance- backed guarantee once the work is completed.

FJP Investment is a team of investment specialists sourcing a wide range of investment opportunities both in the UK and overseas.

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