In this brief blog, we will discuss Japanese knotweed mortgages, how to get a Japanese knotweed mortgage and the challenges you may face.
Can you get a mortgage if you have Japanese knotweed?
Yes, you can get a mortgage if you have Japanese knotweed but it really depends on the extent of Japanese knotweed in the property. Japanese knotweed can grow up to 1 foot per week during the summer months and they can grow inwards and damage the pipes and foundations of a home.
To get a Japanese knotweed mortgage you will need to assure the mortgage lender that the Japanese knotweed is under control. You can first treat the Japanese knotweed mortgage by employing a professional specialist. You should then look to obtain a GPI Japanese knotweed warranty for 10 years. This should improve the amount of Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders willing to lend to you.
When choosing a specialist Japanese knotweed provider to help you prepare for the Japanese knotweed mortgage you will want to find a provider whois PCA regulated. This means to get approved they have to adhere to the strict guidelines of the PCA. The PCA is a government-approved trade body for “the damp, waterproofing, wood preservation and invasive weeds industries”
Some Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders will have detailed criteria on what they expect to see in properties affected by Japanese knotweed.
If you don’t create a detailed plan for the Japanese knotweed then you will find that many Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend to you.
Most Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders will expect you to have conducted a Japanese knotweed survey and then created a Japanese knotweed management plan which will report on what was found, elaborate on any Japanese knotweed issues and present a solution that will allow you to be able to get a Japanese knotweed mortgage.
Whether you should buy a house with Japanese knotweed will depend on if you can get a Japanese knotweed mortgage and if the Japanese knotweed is manageable.
If Japanese knotweed is found within 7 meteres of your home then it is classed as being affected by Japanese knotweed. Some mortgage lenders will even consider Japanese knotweed which was found at more than 7 metres to your property if they deem it close enough.
If Japanese knotweed is recorded on a property survey, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has 4 risk categories:
“ Japanese knotweed is within 7 metres of a habitable space, conservatory and/or garage, either within the boundaries of this property or in a neighbouring property or space;
Japanese knotweed is causing serious damage to outbuildings, associated structures, drains, paths, boundary walls and fences and so on.
Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required ”
“Although Japanese knotweed is present within the boundaries of the property, it is more than 7 metres from a habitable space, conservatory, and/or garage. If there is damage to outbuildings, associated structures, paths and boundary walls and fences, it is minor. Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required.
Further investigations by an appropriately qualified and/or experienced person are required “
“Japanese knotweed was not seen within the boundaries of this property, but it was seen on a neighbouring property or land. Here, it was within 7 metres of the boundary, but more than 7 metres away from habitable spaces, conservatory and/or garage of the subject property. “
“ Japanese knotweed was not seen on this property, but it can be seen on a neighbouring property or land where it was more than 7 metres away from the boundary.“
As you can probably tell the Risk category 4 is the most severe category of the Japanese knotweed whilst risk category 1 is the least severe.
As mentioned prior, different mortgage lenders will have different criteria for Japanese knotweed.
Most Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders will want to see that the prospective owner has the capital to undertake any work needed and has a suitable Japanese knotweed guarantee lasting for at least 5 years linked with any remedial work which has been carried out.
Most Japanese knotweed mortgage lenders will have one of the below as part of their mortgage lending criteria:
“A fully funded 10-year Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) in place for the herbicide treatment of Japanese knotweed
A fully funded 10-year Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) with the benefit of an Insurance Backed Guarantee
Provision of ‘third party fund protection’ if the remedial work continues past the point of sale
No lending where major structural damage has occurred, otherwise it considers each case on its merits”
Japanese knotweed could affect house prices due to the belief that it can destroy the foundation of a house, pipes underneath the house or affect the structure of the house and make it unsafe.
In truth, Japanese knotweed may not be as bad as the media hypes it up to be. It certainly will cost you a lot of money to get rid of and this is where it mostly affects house prices.
This is one of the main reasons why getting a Japanese knotweed mortgage is hard.
Yes, Japanese knotweed can damage foundations but this is very rare. If you are worried that Japanese knotweed has destroyed or damaged your foundation then you should carry out a RICS survey to see if you are right.
If you are considering getting a Japanese knotweed mortgage then you may want to consider a survey as a priority as it will reassure the kortgage lender.