Japanese Knotweed Survey Reports – South Wales Knotweed Removal
Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive plant which grows and spreads extremely quickly from one tiny crown or rhizome. For this reason, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 classifies it as ‘controlled waste’. Not only is it invasive but it is resilient which makes it very difficult to remove without infecting other areas of soil, damaging the vegetation around it and removing it completely. If it isn’t treated and removed by a professional then it will come back and likely spread to other areas of your property or land. A Japanese Knotweed Survey will formally identify it and advise you on the most suitable treatment plan and costs.
It is a perennial weed which is also sometimes referred to as Fallopia Japonica, Bamboo and Peashooters. The crown and rhizomes (root system) of knotweed suppress other plants growing around it and it spreads extensively and quickly underground. Established shoots can grow more than 3 metres high and it will colonize the soil within a few years. In the height of its predominant growing season, 60% of its roots are in the soil underground so removal is very difficult. It is known as one of the UK’s most invasive non-native plants.
It will work its way through cracks in concrete and pipework as it searches for the sunlight. If you have it on your property or land it is illegal to allow it to spread onto someone else’s land or into the wild. There is no legal obligation to remove or treat it as long as you are not allowing it to grow onto any adjacent land. Schedule 9 of the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981’ states, you must not plant or cause to grow Japanese Knotweed in the wild. You can be prosecuted and significantly fined if you don’t take suitable action to prevent it from spreading. You could also be fined up to £5,000, or be sent to prison for up to 2 years if you allow contaminated soil or plant material from any waste you transfer to spread into the wild. This is why you should always use a qualified and experienced expert when treating or removing it.
Attempting to remove it yourself, or using someone who does not have the experience and qualifications of using the right chemicals will in most cases result in it spreading to other parts of the soil which were previously unaffected. The correct knotweed plan and treatment package needs to be carried out by a specialist to successfully control it.
If you think you might have Japanese Knotweed then you should use a qualified expert to come out and assess the extent of it and to advise you of the best course of action before it spreads to neighbouring properties, into the wild or causes damage to your own property.
If you are selling a property and you think you could have Japanese Knotweed, you should have a professional survey completed and you legally and have a duty of care to tell your estate agent and potential buyers. An upfront survey will enable them to make an informed decision about whether they want to purchase your property and it can be used for the mortgage lender so they are able to make a decision on if they will lend on it. Not all mortgage providers will offer a mortgage on a property with knotweed but there are plenty that will if they have a qualified survey which gives them an understanding of the extent of it with an advised treatment plan. A property seller is legally obligated to declare if knotweed is present on the land of the property they are selling using the TA6 Property Information Form which is filled out by property owners and given to prospective buyers. This gives them all the facts about the property. Failing to answer truthfully on this form can result in a claim of misrepresentation being filed against you, as well as your property sale falling through.
If you are thinking about buying a property where there may be knotweed, you should always get a certified survey which will identify if it is knotweed, the extent of it and the cost of treatment.
You should tell your mortgage lender that the property you are looking to buy has Japanese Knotweed or it is in proximity to it. Lenders are extremely cautious about lending on properties affected by it, however, it isn’t impossible to secure a mortgage and you will always need reports for a mortgage for both commercial and residential mortgage lenders. Their main concern is the possibility of structural damage to a property, however, contrary to a lot of stories this is highly unlikely if the construction and foundations of a property are sound.
It can decrease a property’s value as people are extremely cautious about buying due to its quick and invasive growth, as well as the difficulty of completely removing it. Again mortgage lenders are very cautious about lending money on a property with knotweed as it can impact property values and resale ability.
For any surveys always use a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) through the Property Care Association. They will specialise in the identification, treatment and control and mortgage lenders will only accept a report from a business with these qualifications.
What is the Property Care Association?
The Property Care Association (PCA) membership provides consumers with a means of identifying specialist contractors and consultants who can undertake invasive weed control services which can help control and eradicate Japanese knotweed and other invasive plant species.
The PCA states, “knotweed is another type of ‘property problem’, in that it can be identified and treated with minimal impact. Its effective eradication is a job for the experts, so it’s vitally important for anyone who thinks they might have an issue to seek professional advice.”
Their membership has been formed by a group of leading industry experts who have formulated strict criteria for PCA membership. The implementation and monitoring of these standards provide assurance that members listed are experts in the control and management of invasive species, and are capable of offering the highest levels of technical knowledge and practical skill.
You can search for a PCA Member easily using your postcode in their ‘Find a Specialist’ section on their website.
You are able to take out insurance to help protect you and your mortgage lender if it is identified at your property within 5 years of you purchasing it and this is advisable if you are buying a property in an area where knotweed is known to be.
What will a Survey with South Wales Knotweed Include?
A survey provides you with formal Japanese knotweed identification, it gives a location of the knotweed, the extent of the infestation, the risks and the advised treatment options.
Our detailed Surveys provide:
- Formal Identification by a qualified Knotweed team member
- Specify and outline all boundaries and property positions in detail
- A risk assessment detailing the extent of the knotweed infestation and the risks of it spreading
- Detail the size of the infestation, where it is present and what perimeters it breaches or threatens to breach
- Provide your mortgage lender, bank or building society with the risk assessment they need in regard to lending on the property and our recommended specialist treatment method
- Advisable removal and treatment methods (management plans) for your infestation, property and land
What are the Benefits of a Survey with us?
- The earlier you can formally identify you have Japanese Knotweed at your property and treatment is started the better. As it grows and spreads the cost of treatment will increase so you shouldn’t leave identification and treatment
- Our Surveys are recognised by mortgage lenders and will save you time and money in the long run
- A survey can safeguard you if you are buying land to develop as you can incorporate the cost of removal in your offer price, this is also relevant when purchasing a property
- We will assess the extent of the problem against any proposed development plans and review any unchecked plant growth as part of our identification process
- There are different methods of treatment and removal advisable for every property, land and site and a report will ensure that an extensive treatment plan is included. Our reports are bespoke and our treatment plans will depend on the time of year, condition of the site, land available, timescales, neighbouring properties and property location
- A full remediation proposal is included with full Knotweed Management Plan documentation
- It can be difficult to identify during the winter months when the growing season is dormant. Our expertise can identify knotweed at any time of the year
- As a business and our surveyors are accredited by the Property Care Association (PCA)
- Our reports are mortgage compliant, providing mortgage lenders and house buyers with an understanding of the extent of the knotweed
- We will advise you on the risks to any buildings, structures and your property boundary’s, detailing the level of risk
- Our reports are in an easy and understandable report format
- Our report includes a detailed quote, our recommended Knotweed Treatment Programme (proposals for treatment) which is bespoke to your property, land or site
- Our experts are based in Wales, the South West, Shropshire, the Midlands & Birmingham
You can read our full Knotweed FAQ’s here:
Here is the link from gov.uk providing you with more information.
Why choose South Wales Knotweed Removal for your Japanese Knotweed Survey?
We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in identifying the presence of and controlling Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ found in the UK for residential and property development sites. Our professional service uses herbicide treatments that are appropriate for your property and the vegetation growing around it.
We also provide tree services, such as pollarding, crowning, pruning, felling, through our NPTC chainsaw operators, all of whom possess a vast amount of experience in the forestry industry.
Our Qualifications & Accreditations
- City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
- Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
- Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
- Herbicide Stem Injection
- Member of the Property Care Association
- The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
- Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
- Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed
If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed or you are purchasing land, commercial or residential properties that may have it and you need a Japanese Knotweed Survey, contact us today on 01269 591651 or 07531 142316 and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and book in your no-obligation survey, or you can book a free site survey here.
Martyn works for South Wales Knotweed Removal as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content regarding Japanese knotweed.