I want to raise awareness of the banks policy on Japanese Knotweed and campaign for them to introduce a grading system for surveyors acting on behalf of the banks. This grading system could then be used by banks to guage their mortgage lending.
In extreme cases Japanese Knotweed can be very serious, but in many cases it can be professionally treated over a period of time.
The banks current policy is slowing down the housing market by causing buying/selling chains to break down at great cost to all parties. A grading system would allow the banks to approve a mortgage on the basis of property owners implementing a knotweed eradication programme. This would provide a guarantee to both the bank and purchaser.
About the campaign
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Campaign gets media coverage!
The Observer newspaper has picked up the campaign and run an excellent article highlighting the issue. Click here to view...
What is Japanese Knotweed?
In the U.S. and Europe, Japanese knotweed is widely considered an invasive species or weed. It is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. It entered the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental plant.
The invasive root system and strong growth can in extreme cases damage concrete foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites. Because of its root system, most UK banks currently have a blanket policy not to approve mortgages on any properties where the weed is found within serveral metres.
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Banks won't lend!
Banks should lend
if an erradication
Banks should lend
if specialist report
SUGGESTED GRADING SYSTEMS THAT BANKS COULD USE TO GRANT MORTGAGES
*knotaware.com suggestions only
In extreme cases, and when left untouched for a long period of time, this weed can get out of control.
If serious, within a few metres of the house and a surveyor deems it to be
a potential risk to the structure of the property, then it is fair for a bank to refuse a mortgage and suggest specialist advice.
As Japanese Knotweed can spread easily, in many cases there will just be a small localized area of the weed.
In this case it would be fairer for banks to approve a mortgage, but on the basis that an erradication programme is in place to prevent the weed from spreading further.
A surveyor may find a tiny amount of the knotweed (few cm high), but is duty bound to report it to the bank.
Instead of a blanket policy of no lending, it would be fairer for banks to approve a mortgage, but on the basis that a report is provided by a specialist detailing a course of action or treatment.