Could you afford to lose £700,000 for not ticking the right box? This is what happened recently as a man has sued the seller after his £700,000 home was ruined by the horrible discovery of Japanese Knotweed loitering behind his garden shed. Jonathan Downing bought his three-bedroom home in Raynes Park, in South West London, from accountant Jeremy Henderson in August 2018. Jeremy ticked the box saying that there was no Japanese Knotweed, instead of ticking ‘Don’t know’ which is why the buyer won this case.
Mr Downing (the new house owner) had planned to build a workshop in his garden, but while he was tidying the garden, he came across a St John’s wort bush that was growing next to the shed which was hiding the Japanese Knotweed. Japanese Knotweed is known for its capability to spread and cause damage to buildings, it is also difficult and expensive to get rid of.
Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive, fast-growing type of weed that can grow up to 10cm each day. The problem that Japanese knotweed causes is that if it comes into contact with houses and properties, the roots of the knotweed can get through the smallest of spaces in concrete and masonry and this could end up posing serious threats to building foundations, structural damage to the property and damage to nearby drains and other pipework. Japanese Knotweed in your home can cause many serious problems, as well as the ones outlined above it can also be costly to remove due to it requiring extensive removal work, the potential for recurring site visits because of how far the root can travel it can be much more widespread than initially thought. Additionally, another issue It causes is that it can make it much harder to sell your home or your home could be significantly undervalued. The Japanese Knotweeds appearance changes the way it looks throughout the year as the plant matures through the seasons, for example people often say that it looks like asparagus when new shoots are sprouting between late February and April, and it flowers towards the end of August and early September displaying creamy white flowers.
Simply Move Home Conveyancers can order Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policies on your behalf via the PALI Platform. PALI has been providing a service to Conveyancers since 1999 and the Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policy, which is produced by underwriters CLS Property Insight, is designed to protect lenders, landlords, buyers, and successors for 5 years. The policy is available for both commercial and residential properties, up to 0.5 acres in size and offers an indemnity offer for £20,000. Instructing a Simply Move Home Conveyancer means they have access to a vast array of Indemnity Policies, such as the Japanese Knotweed Policy, providing you with extra peace of mind.