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mullethunter

Japanese Knotweed

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Yes Daphne we will be about £2k out of pocket in total if the sale falls through now. I know you can pay a specialist company to put in a four or five year eradication plan followed by a 10 year certificate, but from what I have seen this costs about £4 to £5k, and as the land wouldn't even be ours I'm really loathed to pay that sort of money. I think also as you suggest, even if we or the vendor, or even the council (yeah right) were to do that we'd still have to find another lender who would almost certainly be considerably more expensive than what we currently have arranged.

 

I could scream :evil:

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Yes Daphne we will be about £2k out of pocket in total if the sale falls through now. I know you can pay a specialist company to put in a four or five year eradication plan followed by a 10 year certificate, but from what I have seen this costs about £4 to £5k, and as the land wouldn't even be ours I'm really loathed to pay that sort of money. I think also as you suggest, even if we or the vendor, or even the council (yeah right) were to do that we'd still have to find another lender who would almost certainly be considerably more expensive than what we currently have arranged.

 

I could scream :evil:

 

if you want to go ahead, and the mortgage company will accept this plan, then it would seem reasonable to me to ask the vendor to drop the price by that amount. As much as you like him he will have also incurred expense and if you walk away he may struggle to find another buyer. So in my book he has far more to lose than you and its more his problem currently than yours.

 

If it means a different mortgage company and even more cost you have to ask yourself if it is worth it. Is it really the house for you. When we bought this house we had a lot of difficulties and someone in the chain died :shock: it was hassle and did cost more than anticipated but I knew this was our forever house. We've had trouble with other conveyances previously and either we've lost it or lost a buyer and looking back I say they happened for a reason....and got us here.

 

Sending you positive vibes; scream, scream louder and work out if that house is the one for you. You have a tough decision and I'm sure it will be the right one.

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Looking at it purely from the "future" point of view - I would be very concerned that a house with a history of a knotweed problem (even just nearby, not on the property itself) might be hard to shift in future - bear in mind that if you are having trouble getting a mortgage then so might others which is automatically going to make the house harder to sell ... if you can find a solution that will satisfy your lender then that might be fine - have you thought about asking a licensed contractor to come in and survey the site - to give an idea of how much of a problem there is and exactly what needs to be done to kill it and make sure it doesn't return?

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I don't know anything about Japanese Knotweed so out of curiousity Googled it. Came across this - you probably know all this already but just in case you don't. (It's from Wikipedia so can't vouch for its accuracy!)

 

In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed has received a lot of attention in the press as a result of very restrictive lending policies by banks and other mortgage companies. Several lenders have refused mortgage applications on the basis of the plant being discovered in the garden or neighbouring garden.[24] The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors published a report in 2012 in response to lenders refusing to lend "despite [knotweed] being treatable and rarely causing severe damage to the property." [25]

 

There is a real lack of information and understanding of what Japanese knotweed is and the actual damage it can cause. Without actual advice and guidance, surveyors have been unsure of how to assess the risk of Japanese knotweed, which can result in inconsistent reporting of the plant in mortgage valuations. RICS hopes that this advice will provide the industry with the tools it needs to measure the risk effectively, and provide banks with the information they require to identify who and how much to lend to at a time when it is essential to keep the housing market moving.

 

—Philip Santo, RICS Residential Professional Group[25]

In response to this guidance, several lenders have relaxed their criteria in relation to discovery of the plant. As recently as 2012, the policy at the Woolwich (part of Barclays plc) was "if Japanese knotweed is found on or near the property then a case will be declined due to the invasive nature of the plant."[26][27] Their criteria have since been relaxed to a category-based system depending on whether the plant is discovered on a neighbouring property (categories 1 and 2) or the property itself (categories 3 and 4) incorporating proximity to the property curtilage and the main buildings. Even in a worst-case scenario (category 4), where the plant is "within 7 metres of the main building, habitable spaces, conservatory and/or garage and any permanent outbuilding, either within the curtilage of the property or on neighbouring land; and/or is causing serious damage to permanent outbuildings, associated structures, drains, paths, boundary walls and fences" Woolwich lending criteria now specify that this property may be acceptable if "remedial treatment by a Property Care Association (PCA) registered firm has been satisfactorily completed. Treatment must be covered by a minimum 10-year insurance-backed guarantee, which is property specific and transferable to subsequent owners and any mortgagee in possession."[28] Santander have relaxed their attitude in a similar fashion.[citation needed]

 

Property Care Association chief executive Steve Hodgson, whose trade body has set up a task force to deal with the issue, said: "japanese knotweed is not “house cancer” and could be dealt with in the same way qualified contractors dealt with faulty wiring or damp."[29]

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Hi, just to share our experience, we had a similar situation when buying our current house. We tried a different lender who's surveyor didn't pick up on it and the mortgage went through. In our case it was much further from the house, but within 7m of the boundary which is why the first lender turned it down. There was a big patch on wasteland backing on to our house, so with the landowners permission treated it ourselves with glysophate. It took 2 years and it's gone now. We burnt any stems that we had. As others have said it's in the vendors interest to help here too, so maybe there is a way if it hasn't put you off the house. Another interesting fact, it is edible, they cooked some on countryfile and ate it like rhubarb!

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Thanks Counturchickens. It's logged on the council interactive map so I suspect would come up in standard searches - it wasn't the survey that picked it up this time.

 

Our solicitor has spoken to the council today who say they do have a written treatment policy for knotweed on a highway, so that will be passed onto the bank and we'll see what happens next...

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Fingers crossed for you, HSBC can be a right bunch of b******s, me and OH had a right game with them 2 years ago and I have to say that I would no longer recommend them

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Thanks luvachicken. Jellybean I wouldn't recommend them to anyone - they've been everything from difficult to massively incompetent.

 

A slight chink if light at the end of the tunnel today. The council contractors are able to produce some sort of certificate, and the vendor has commissioned a lender approved company to do a survey and management program which according to the estate agent will be accepted by HSBC and they will lend. I'm not totally convinced but things don't sound quite as hopeless as they did.

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I think we all feel we are with you on this particular house purchase :lol:

 

I hope even more that it goes through then - I don't want to make everyone miserable! Probably won't know anything new until the middle of next week when the survey has been done and the management plan drawn up and sent to the bank.

 

Fingers crossed :pray:

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UPDATE: Lender approved (apparently) company Phlorum (I think) have been out and done a survey, and drawn up a management plan which comes with a ten year insurance backed guarantee. Apparently this is what HSBC will need to have. Vendor had paid £2k up front for the management program which could take up to 6 years (although I doubt it given the size of the patch) to complete. Fingers crossed :pray:

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Hopefully, that will be the token 'thing that goes wrong' and all will be plain sailing now.

 

Believe me, it's normal for these hurdles when you're buying a house.

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Brilliant news, good luck with the rest of the purchase.

 

I'm in the process of buying the house I've been renting for the past 10 years (which is why I can finally get chickens - landlords are great about pets but I thought chickens was pushing it!), it's very stressful, isn't it?

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