Everyone Selling A House Needs To Read This…
Are you selling your house?
Japanese knotweed effects 1 in 20 properties in the UK. So when you are asked to fill out the Ta6 form version 4 because you are selling your property be very careful about answering the question on Japanese knotweed!
Why? I here you ask, because Japanese knotweed on average depreciates a house by 10% that is the equivalent of £23,185 for people not filling out the Ta6 form correctly many are being taken to court and sued for misrepresentation often in excess of £30,000 and no one wants to lose that much money.
The rather innocuous question is, “Is the property affected by Japanese knotweed?” The majority of people will say ‘No’ as a reflex answer, however with 5% of properties in the U.K. affected by this plant there is a real risk that your most valuable asset is affected by Japanese knotweed.
The guidance notes which are rarely shared by the vendor’s solicitor, shed significant clarification on which box to tick, Yes, No, or Unknown.
If ‘Yes’ has been selected, then a Management plan should be provided to the purchaser’s solicitor along with a 10-year insurance backed guarantee and proof that the Treatment plan is or has been implemented.
If ‘No’ is selected, then the guidance notes say you must be ‘certain, that there is no Japanese knotweed rhizome present in the ground or within three metres of the property boundary.’ This puts the earnest on the vendor to ensure they are accurate when filling in the Ta 6 and opens them up for misrepresentation if, even not intentionally, the form is filled out inaccurately.
The guidance notes for ‘Not known’ say, “The seller should state whether the property is affected by Japanese knotweed. If you are unsure that Japanese knotweed exists above or below ground or whether it has previously been managed on the property, please indicate this as ‘Not known’.” The information is very clear, and it would be advisable to follow this guidance not only for peace of mind but also to mitigate further legal action.
If the vendor is advised properly, we feel the majority will mark the box ‘Not known,’ as this passes the risk to the purchaser. In turn we would recommend the purchaser insists on a Japanese knotweed survey carried out by a PCA qualified surveyor to ensure the property is not affected by this plant.
If you have any questions regarding selling your property and Japanese knotweed please phone Japanese knotweed Experts on 0800 1337 444.