Thursday 25 April 2019
Japanese Knotweed - Indemnity Insurance now available

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed is a weed native to East Asia, found in Japan, China and Korea.

Originally brought to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, it is now the UK’s most invasive non-native plant. Failure to control the spread into the wild could land you with a jail sentence.

Why is Japanese Knotweed ‘so bad’?

Whilst not harmful to humans, Japanese Knotweed can create devastating damage to your property. The plant can grow up to 10cm per day, up to 3 meters high, and can be powerful enough to break through concrete and undermine foundations of properties.

The Environment Agency describes the plant as “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant”.

Do I have to declare Japanese Knotweed?

A seller must declare that a property has Japanese Knotweed if it is known to be present. The Law Society’s TA6 form has a specific question relating to Japanese Knotweed and if answered untruthfully during the conveyance process, a legal claim of misrepresentation could be brought against you by the buyer.

NOTE: The TA6 form does not relate to new-build properties and therefore the housebuilders have no legal obligation to declare if the site has historical Knotweed issues, but can provide pertinent information if this is requested. Buyers of new-build properties should therefore make appropriate enquiries in this regard.

Buyers and lenders will be justly concerned when a seller’s Property Information Form indicates that there is a risk that Knotweed is present at a property. Many lenders will consequently refuse to lend or will impose strict conditions in these cases.

WTJ are able to offer a Residential Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policy which gives lenders and buyers confidence to proceed with a purchase.

Covering residential properties for a period of 5 years for buyers and the term of a loan for lenders, the policy provides up to £20,000 of cover against costs necessary to comply with a remediation notice.

The Residential Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policy is available where the sellers are not aware if Knotweed is present, and even where it has previously been treated, dependent upon the location of the Knotweed and its proximity to the property.

For advice or a quote, contact WTJ on 01924 871111 or email