Eradicating Japanese Knotweed from Estate Agents’ Properties

The life of an estate agent is far from easy, with many hurdles and battles along the way. For those involved in the rental side of the business, apart from getting, vetting and keeping tenants happy, property maintenance can be a headache — especially if you’re involved in a seemingly endless battle with Japanese knotweed.

As many estate agents will be all too aware of by now, Japanese knotweed is a beast of a plant that almost appears immortal and grows up to 4cm a day. Nothing seems to kill it off — not spraying this highly invasive species with great amounts of weed-killer, or even digging it out of the ground. It just keeps on growing, posing real challenges to properties and those living in them. Plus, there are severe legal implications for property owners who let Japanese knotweed spread onto neighbouring properties, or who don’t dispose of it properly.

As many estate agents will be all too aware of by now, Japanese knotweed is a beast of a plant that almost appears unstoppable. It is notoriously hard to kill it off, and there are severe legal implications for property owners who let Japanese knotweed spread onto neighbouring properties, or who don’t dispose of it properly.

Selling Up with Japanese Knotweed

Then there is the entire issue of estate agents preparing to sell a property for a client, only to discover that it has Japanese knotweed growing in the garden or elsewhere. The roots can easily grow into cracks in walls, expanding them as they go and causing structural damage to homes. The weed — paradoxically brought into the UK in the 1800s as an ornamental plant — can interfere with water and sewage pipes and even grow up through asphalt in the driveway and floorboards in a house. It can seem like an unstoppable alien invasion.  

It’s for these reasons that mortgage providers will typically not approve a new mortgage if the surveyor’s report indicates there’s Japanese knotweed on a property that a potential new customer wants to buy. They will insist that professional eradication first be carried out and that it comes with an iron-clad guarantee that Japanese knotweed won’t grow back on the property. If it does reappear, estate agents insist that further work is carried out by an expert Japanese knotweed eradication firm.

In recent times, many people have been shocked to read in the papers that Japanese knotweed is even responsible for dramatically slashing the value of properties. In one case last year, a pensioner in Wales learned to his horror that his home that he was trying to sell was not worth the £130,000 it had previously been valued at, but almost half that amount: just £70,000. It was all because a surveyor discovered Japanese knotweed on the property.

Killing off Japanese Knotweed for Good

There is one thing the Japanese knotweed experts will tell you: that DIY methods to eradicate the plant just do not work. You can spend vast amounts of time and effort — and plenty of cash — trying to kill the thing off yourself, but it just keeps popping back up, Lazarus-like, and will not die off. There’s really only one solution. It’s a minor investment that will work and save time and money, as well as ensuring the value of properties is secured. It’s time to call in the pros.

Available to expert Japanese knotweed eradication firms are potent herbicides that are not available to the public. They’re able to use these in a variety of ways to kill Japanese knotweed and make sure it stays that way: dead. Herbicide treatments take some time, however — usually at least two growing seasons — and that may not be an option for estate agents looking to deal with the problem ahead of a rental or sale.

If time is critical, Japanese knotweed removal firms can do a controlled dig-out of the infested site and make sure none of the roots are left in the ground to start growing again. This can be done in a matter of days and, with an insurance-backed guarantee for up to a decade, it’s happy estate agent days once again.

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