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3Let guaranteed rental | Japanese knotweed ties up house sales in London

guaranteed rental | Japanese knotweed ties up house sales in London

guaranteed rental

Thousands of house sales in London are being hit by the spread of Japanese knotweed as lenders refuse to offer mortgages for properties affected by the scourge, an expert claimed today.

The destructive bamboo-like plant has been sprouting across the country in recent years and the Government estimates that it would take £1.5 billion to clear the infestations.

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Actor Tom Conti compared the weed to The Day Of The Triffids after it began advancing on homes in Hampstead.

Now a leading expert has accused banks and building societies of “going over the top” over fears about the plant. Charles Carter, who runs Knotweed Management, a consultancy which advises homeowners, companies and councils on getting rid of the plant, said a growing number of lenders were refusing to give mortgages for affected properties.

“Some won’t give out a mortgage unless there’s a control operation signed and sealed. Some mortgage lenders are not too fussed about it, but others are going over the top,” he said.

Mr Carter said one supermarket development in north London was affected when a lender found out the area was blighted by knotweed and pulled out of mortgage deals with the prospective buyers of flats built close to the retail unit. “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,” he said.

He added: “I would say thousands of people in London buying and selling homes have been affected by this.”

The Association of British Insurers said buildings insurance policies do not cover damage and problems caused by knotweed.guaranteed rental

Conti, 71, joked that the weed was “the Japanese secret weapon” after it began spreading along a path linked to a number of properties, including his and those of Esther Rantzen and Thierry Henry. He said: “It spreads like billy-o — over 10cm a day — and takes over everything. And you can’t just cut it down or burn it. By law, you have to call a specialist team and then every stalk has to be injected.”

Last year a couple from Broxbourne in Hertfordshire decided to demolish their home after it was found to be affected. Matthew Jones and Sue Banks took the decision after the property’s value fell from £305,000 to £50,000.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said this month that knotweed “can raise bells with lenders”. He added: “It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker but there are two or three banks which will not lend if it is found.”
Knotty problem

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– Japanese knotweed was introduced into Britain in the 19th century as an ornamental plant.

– It can grow up to 10cm a day.

– The weed is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.

– The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 made it illegal to spread Japanese knotweed in the UK.

– The bamboo-like stems grow up to 12 feet tall and can push through concrete and damage buildings.

– More than £150 million is spent every year trying to control the weed.

– It spreads through its crown, rhizome (underground stem) and stem segments, rather than its seeds.

– The young stems are edible as a spring vegetable, with a flavour similar to extremely sour rhubarb.

Source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/japanese-knotweed-ties-up-house-sales-in-london-8670928.html”

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