Japanese Knotweed and the TA6 Form

The TA6 Form:

The TA6 form (property information form,) is a report that is completed by the seller with information regarding the property that is given to the buyer. Not completing this form truthfully or correctly can result in legal consequences. When it comes to Japanese knotweed the TA6 form is now more important than ever.

What Does This Mean For You?

Whether you are the buyer or the seller it is crucial that you not only understand the importance of the TA6, that you are also up to date with any changes. As of February 2020, the Japanese knotweed section on the TA6 form was amended. These changes were;

  • highlighting that information ought to be provided to a buyer if the seller is aware that there is a treatment plan in place
  • replacing “eradication” with “managing its regrowth”
  • adding an “unknown” response on the basis that knotweed can be difficult for a homeowner to detect

You must state on this form one of three things. That you are aware of the existence of Japanese knotweed on your property, you are unsure or that you are 100% certain that there is no Japanese knotweed.

As shown on the TA6 Form above.

The Legal Implications:

In 2020 there has been an increase in cases being brought against both property sellers and surveyors for failing to report Japanese knotweed. This is why, in keeping with the TA6 we recommend that all surveyors are educated on the identification of Japanese knotweed. Surveyors should be adding a Japanese knotweed section to their report, as is done for damp in the house etc. If a surveyor has clearly stated that an unidentified plant should be checked out by a professional in their report, they are no longer liable.

The answer provided on the TA6 is vital to the property buyer, as Japanese knotweed treatment can cost upwards of £4000.00. If you purchase a house that has Japanese knotweed and the previous owners have selected ‘no’ on the TA6 you are able to seek costs for all damages and treatment costs from the previous owners. This means that if you are selling your property you must be 100% certain that there is no Japanese knotweed, above or underground, if you are selecting no. If you are unsure and want to be covered for the future it is best to have a site survey carried out on the property. A no-knotweed report can then be filed with the TA6 form as evidence that there is no Japanese knotweed present on the property at the time of the sale.

Surveyors:

For all home buyers, we recommend that you confirm with your surveyor that they are trained in the identification of Japanese knotweed. If a surveyor recommends a professional opinion on possible Japanese knotweed, it is crucial that a site survey is conducted by an expert on the property. A site survey will outline if there is in fact Japanese knotweed on the property, or if there is not. If there is no presence of Japanese knotweed you will be provided with a no-knotweed report.

For more information on training courses in the identification of Japanese knotweed click here.

What is a No-Knotweed Report?

A no-knotweed report is a legal document stating that a property is not infected with Japanese knotweed. These reports can be used with lenders, for developers, as well as in legal disputes. The majority of lenders will not lend for a property with Japanese knotweed without a treatment plan. This is similar to if your surveyor has identified ‘possible Japanese knotweed’ it is then imperative that you have a no-knotweed report.

Should I Organise a Site Survey?

Yes, if you suspect that there is Japanese knotweed on your property, or on a property you are looking to purchase it is crucial that you organise a site survey. A site survey will not only identify the presence of Japanese knotweed, it will outline the size, the depth, possible future growth and recommend the best treatment options moving forward.

Need More Information?

If you need more information on what your legal rights are, how to identify Japanese knotweed, what to do if your neighbour has Japanese knotweed and more, find our information page here.