Japanese Knotweed is a terror for many homeowners and homebuyers. The weed can stop you from getting a mortgage because of how fast it can grow and how quickly it can get out of control. Indeed, this weed can sink roots deep enough to cause structural damage to properties. The tarmac and brickwork of your home could crack and drains underneath your property may get blocked because of it. As this weed makes it near impossible to get a mortgage it can leave sellers stuck with their home.
However, there is a good news. New stricter mortgage criteria may mean that the weed will be under full control in as little as twenty years. This is due to the fact that before a mortgage can be offered, the Knotweed will now need to be effectively taken care of and removed. This should force homeowners to take action and remove the weeds from their property.
How This Works
Under the new criteria, before you can seal an agreement with a mortgage lender an evaluation of the property will need to be completed. A survey like this may reveal the presence of knotweed and if it does then the home will receive a risk-based category.
Categories are based on how likely Knotweed is to impact a property. For instance, it’s possible that the weed is seven metres away on a nearby property and this would be category 1. Alternatively, if it is already causing issues with the home it will be a category 4.
Category 4 properties are far more likely to run into issues when attempting to get a mortgage with a lender. In most cases like this, a plan will need to be put into action to deal with the issue before a mortgage can be agreed.
Since 1.2 million homes are sold every year in the UK, this would mean that in about thirty years most issues on properties would be handled and eradicated.
As well as new lending criteria, the government have also been assessing the issue of knotweed for homes around the UK. A Science and Technology Committee was tasked with investing the impact and determining whether the mortgage lending criteria made sense based on scientific evidence.
The Committee determined that similar to both bamboo and buddleia, Japanese knotweed there was an ‘urgent need’ for a risk procedure. By assessing the risk, the government hopes that a plan can be put in place.
The inquiry will provide all their findings within the next few months and at this point we will know whether more measures will be used to handle this issue more effectively
The main point then is that soon homeowners and home buyers may no longer have to worry about this scourge. Homebuyers will be able to sell without scaring off potential buyers while buyers will be able to get the mortgage they need to make buying a property more affordable. There’s still a long way to go before the issue is resolved completely but it certainly seems like we are now taking the right steps towards a solution.