Building land is at a premium. Developers are, therefore, turning to sites which have been previously used for other purposes. Some of these have a legacy infestation of the dreaded Japanese Knotweed.
This extremely invasive and hardy plant can cause serious damage to the structure of a property, and even more damage to its value. When buying a property, purchasers have, to some extent, some protection as the vendor must complete a standard property information form. This form declares whether the property or garden is, or has been, affected by Japanese Knotweed.
However, developers and builders are not required to complete the same forms. The purchaser, therefore, arguably has less redress against the vendor if they are buying from a builder or developer.
In those circumstances, it might be wise for the purchaser to get their solicitor to expressly ask the question as to whether or not the land upon which a new build is constructed has any history of infestation with Japanese knotweed.
It is also sensible to ask any surveyor carrying out a survey of the property to check the position carefully prior to purchase.
Recent research has suggested that Japanese Knotweed is controlled, but not killed, by treatment with herbicides. It may be sensible to treat any claim that the plant has been eradicated with a degree of scepticism.
If you are the proud owner of your pristine, new property and suddenly find that you have some unwelcome vegetation in your garden, your position will be strengthened if you have asked the professionals assisting you to make specific investigations or enquiries on your behalf.
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position, please do not hesitate to contact us.