RICS issues guidance on Japanese Knotweed to aid property sales

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Japanese Knotweed “doesn’t have to derail home sales” according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS has published new guidance for consultation which sets out how sales can proceed, even where knotweed is found.

Knotweed is estimated to affect 1.45 million homes in the UK and has developed a fearsome reputation for the damage it can cause. However recent assessments suggest that some of the risks are overstated (see Brunel News, November 2019) and the RICS new guidance sets out an easy-to-follow management framework for surveyors.

“In most instances the weed can be remediated with effective treatment.”

RICS says the framework will enable surveyors to provide preliminary assessment, enabling appropriate initial mortgage lending or pre-purchase advice. The guidance also establishes a classification system that will highlight the most serious instances of knotweed infestation.

Philip Santo FRICS, the author behind the new guidance says knotweed is not a ‘bogey plant’. “In most instances the weed can be remediated with effective treatment – so it’s critical that all those involved in the home buying and selling process have access to unbiased, factual information that sets out when they need to obtain reputable remediation services.”

James Burgoyne of Brunel Professions says: “Surveyors must still take care when they are inspecting properties as missing a knotweed infestation could still leave them facing claims for negligence. As the reassessment will take time to enter the public consciousness, there will still be immediate reactions to the name, and these are likely to manifest as complaints and claims. The cost of remediation is not insignificant either, and buyers may feel aggrieved if they have lost the opportunity of passing this to the seller where the plant was not identified pre-purchase.”

RICS’ press release and the new guidance have been published on its website. Reports about the development have been published by Roofing Today and the Mail Online.

Professionalindemnity.com is owned by Brunel Professions, which is a leading professional indemnity insurance broker in the UK. Click here to get a quote or call 0345 450 1074 to speak to a broker.

 

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