Many homeowners are aware of the danger of Japanese knotweed, the invasive non-native species to the British Isles that spreads rapidly. Its ability to grow through concrete and other man-made structures makes it a real threat to property while its suppression of other growth has led even the normally proper Royal Horticultural Society to describe the plant as a “thug”.
The prevalence of the plant and its risk to property means its presence is taken very seriously indeed with legislation covering both planting and removal of the weed.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has produced an information paper that provides help for homeowners, property buyers and lenders on how to identify the plant’s presence and how to deal with it. Some lenders will refuse to mortgage a property where Japanese knotweed is present, making its identification crucial for a potential sale.
Surveyors identify internal and external risks
Chartered surveyors, who are members of the RICS, are responsible for carrying out RICS Level 2 Surveys and RICS Level 3 Survey that note external risks to a property.
While Japanese knotweed is the best known of the invasive non-native plant species that are present in the UK – it was first identified as a problem at the start of the 19th century – there are other, more recent invaders that are posing a risk to property.
The Invasive Weed conference will take place in Cambridge on November 23 and cover a range of topics around this subject and look at a variety of species that have made their way on to British shores. Speakers including professionals from Europe discussing biodiversity and how to manage the challenge of non-native invasive weeds such as aquatic plants and Buddleia, known as butterfly bush that grows rampantly along Britain’s railway lines.
The conference will end with a panel debate discussing the question: “What would be the two main changes you anticipate in the management of invasive non-native plants in the next five years?”
Expert advice is essential
Anyone looking to buy a property should always get expert advice before sealing a deal. Instructing a RICS Level 3 Survey will give you the best information possible, including any risk from Japanese knotweed or other non-native invasive plants.
All the chartered surveyors on Surveyor Local’s nationwide panel are members of the RICS and follow strict guidelines on how to identify defects and risks to a property. Call our team now on 0800 022 4428 for guidance on the best survey for your circumstances or get a no-obligation quote here. We can offer a quick service if speed is of the essence for your purchase.