Property sellers face a knotty issue

A property expert is warning of a change in rules for anyone selling their home which means they must now disclose details as to whether the notorious plant Japanese knotweed is present.

The question has been added to standard property forms which sellers must complete prior to being passed to the buyer to confirm whether or not their property is affected.

According to official reports, the large invasive plant is currently widespread in Great Britain.

Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at Napthens solicitors, says the new rules will affect sellers and buyers alike.

Sarah said: “It’s imperative for sellers to ensure they are honest and open when completing property forms, as this can affect buyers when it comes to applying for a mortgage, so it’s hugely important for sellers to be upfront.

“Lenders are not strictly prevented from lending on properties which are affected by knotweed, however due to the difficulty in treating the plant, some buyers have experienced reluctance in the past.

“Sellers must also indicate if there is a management plan in place for dealing with knotweed, in the event of its presence. “The main thing is for all parties to be made aware of the issue at the earliest stage, so that measures can be put in place to remedy the situation with less likelihood of a sale being affected. If you have any concerns, contact a legal expert for more information.”