Knot so clever. The Japanese import that may cause property sales to fall through

March 14, 2022

A delicate bloom growing in gardens could cause untold problems in the buying and selling of property.

Despite its innocent look, Japanese Knotweed is listed as one of the world’s worst invasive species by the World Conservation Union.

Resilient to cutting and strong in growth, the root system can damage all manner of buildings, walls, foundations, and roads.

The removal of Japanese Knotweed can cost thousands of pounds to fix and mortgage lenders are rightly cautious about the impact of the aggressive plant.

Watsons Solicitors partner and residential conveyancing specialist Chris Illingworth believes that carrying out the right survey when buying a property can help alleviate potential issues and save money down the line. 

Chris said: “It was a pretty plant that people would put into their gardens, but it is one of several different plants that lenders consider to be problematic.

“When a valuer notices Japanese Knotweed, it is a big red flag because the bill to sort this can run into the thousands.

“That is why the Home Buyer Survey can be really important. There are alternative surveys, but it is often prudent to go that little bit further as it could save you extra expense in the long run.”

Japanese Knotweed can reduce a property’s value and make it difficult to sell unless there is both a treatment plan and insurance.

Chris continued: “The impetus is on the buyer with regards to carrying out surveys, which typically look for things like knotweed, but if knotweed is found, then it turns things back on the seller because there is a need for it to be put right.

“A buyer and their lender will be expecting to see that there are treatments taking place and make sure there is some insurance backing up that course of action before they proceed.

“Sellers are asked if they are aware of it being present on their land within the Property Information Form, and the answers are yes, no, or not known. Unless you are absolutely sure that there is no Japanese Knotweed the advice is to say not known as the buyer can go back and claim against the seller if it is discovered later down the line.

“The problem is that people answer no in good faith, but sometimes Japanese Knotweed is growing nearby, or it isn’t visible at the time, but even from a neighbouring property it can be directly impacting your own.”

Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family law, employment law, wills and probate, and conveyancing.

The team of experienced solicitors each hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.

For more information, visit

Contact Us

If you are interested or require any information on any of our services then please get in touch for an appointment on:

 01925 571 212
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm

Latest News

Compromise is the perfect solution to flexible working requests

A Cheshire-based employment law specialist believes compromise is the ideal solution to flexible working requests. The goalposts shifted considerably during the coronavirus pandemic with almost half of adults working from home. According to data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), more than eight in 10 workers who had to do their job from home […]

Ageing population highlights importance of writing a will

A Cheshire-based wills and probate solicitor thinks that there is no time like the present for getting your affairs in order and writing a will with the age of the population on the rise. Recently released figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of people in England and Wales aged […]

Family solicitor Lauren celebrates anniversary with step towards key accreditation

Lauren Soutar marked her one-year anniversary at Watsons Solicitors by taking a significant step closer to acquiring the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation. Tuesday 18 October was exactly one-year since Lauren joined the Warrington-based firm as a family lawyer. By the time that date came around, Lauren had undertaken the Children Law scheme’s mandatory three-day […]

Trainee solicitor Hannah shortlisted for top Warrington Business Awards honour

Hannah Dale and Watsons Solicitors are celebrating after the trainee was shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year honour at the prestigious Warrington Business Awards. Hannah is on the three-strong shortlist for the award which is open to any individual who has undergone a full-time training position during the period from January 2020 to September […]

Watsons Solicitors
Lexel Accreditation
Children Law Accredited
Conveyancing Quality

Watsons Solicitors is a trading name of Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales registered number OC386012 whose registered office is 13 Bold Street, Warrington, WA1 1DJ.

Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 598547.

Website managed by Outwrite PR, an online reputation management agency
envelope-oclock-ophonefax linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram