Japanese knotweed is an invasive species, that has been known to cause serious damage to homes and other buildings. It can also spread to neighbouring sites and disrupt public spaces such as footpaths or parks. Knotweed can be difficult to remove and it is important that homeowners are aware of the risks and take appropriate action before purchasing a property.
A surveyor can provide a report that will give an overview of the site, the location of the Japanese knotweed and any previous treatment work or development plans. The report can also include a risk assessment and an outline of potential management options. If other invasive plants are present on the site, these can be highlighted too. It is also possible to include a quote for the cost of a Japanese knotweed control programme.
If a property is contaminated with Japanese knotweed, it is likely that mortgage lenders will not be willing to lend money on the property in question. This can significantly hamper any homebuyer’s hopes of getting a loan to purchase the property. However, there are some lenders that may allow for more flexibility and may be able to recommend an expert to eradicate the knotweed in question.
It is important to note that not all surveys will be able to identify the presence of japanese knotweed. This can depend on the type of survey that has been commissioned, the level of professionalism of the surveyor and the scale of the infestation. For this reason, it is vital to choose a reputable and experienced company when having a survey carried out.
For a full Japanese knotweed survey, an ecologist will visit the site to examine the site and its surroundings for evidence of the plant. This can be done via visual inspection, ground disturbance testing and site excavations. An extensive report will be produced that provides a detailed overview of the findings, and effective recommendations to overcome the problem.
The report will be able to recommend the best method of treatment depending on the circumstances and site conditions. It will be able to provide a quotation for the cost of the treatment programme and this can then be passed on to the client.
Once the treatment plan has been implemented, a follow up report will be provided to the client. This will include confirmation that the site is free from the effects of Japanese knotweed and will also be able to confirm any future growth. It will also detail any changes to the land use proposals. As a founding member and former Chairman of the Property Care Association’s Invasive Weed Control Group, Phlorum’s Director Ben Lindley has a great deal of experience in this area of expertise. He is also a member of the RICS Japanese Knotweed Steering Committee and regularly contributes to the guidance that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors provides. This recently updated guidance, on which he is a contributing author, sets the standard that all professional surveyors should operate to.