Japanese knotweed: Phil Spencer discusses plant
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TV property expert and founder of Move iQ Phil Spencer has warned buyers against purchasing a property with Japanese knotweed. The invasive plant may look pretty but can actually decrease a home’s value by up to 10 percent. Phil said in a video for Move iQ: “If it’s discovered in or near the home that you’d like to buy you’ll definitely want to think twice about what to do if you do go ahead.
“Armed with full information about what’s involved, you should be able to negotiate a reduction in price with the seller.”
Why is Japanese knotweed such a problem?
The invasive plant was introduced to the UK by the Victorians and has red bamboo-like stems and heart-shaped green leaves.
It’s easy to see why the plant was once considered attractive.
It grows up to two centimetres a day before dying back in the winter.
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Underground, the weed’s roots burrow down for almost three metres and spread up to seven metres.
The roots seek weaknesses in any building and grow through walls, drains and floors.
Phil said the plant can cause “thousands of pounds worth of damage”.
However, one of the most difficult aspects of the plant is getting rid of it.
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Ousting Japanese knotweed can be expensive and could take “up to three years”.
Phil explained that the plant has to be dealt with straight away as soon as it is spotted.
He said: “Because it grows so rapidly, it’s important to deal with it before it invades other buildings as soon as you possibly can.
“Especially nowadays since a landmark ruling has allowed UK homeowners to sue their neighbours if Japanese knotweed ends up on their land.
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“So it’s perhaps not surprising that presence of this destructive weed can knock several percent off the value of a property – possibly even 10 percent.”
Getting rid of the plant involves spraying it with a glyphosate based weed killer and then digging into the ends of roots and letting it dry.
It can’t be disposed of in household or garden waste as it will come back to life.
The whole process needs to be repeated annually until there is no evidence of regrowth.
It can be costly to remove so while a home with Japanese knotweed may be an opportunity to negotiate the price, there are a lot of costs involved in removing it.
Experts are often required to get rid of the plant for good.
Phil added: “My advice is think twice about buying it if you know it’s [knotweed] there.”
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