Is your garden devaluing your home?

There are many things that you might have thought could be devaluing your property – outdated décor, damp, subsidence, and the removal of period features. Yet one thing you may possibly not have considered is the plants in your garden. Your garden is your sanctuary from busy life, yet if you’re not green-fingered you won’t be the best at knowing your plants from weeds. Lurking in the midst of the greenery could be some plants that are devaluing your property without your knowledge.

One of the most invasive plants has to be the Japanese Knotweed, yet according to recent research by Environet, a knotweed removal firm, less than 19% of those of us aware of this plant are able to correctly identify it. What’s more, the warm weather we’ve had this year has prompted an earlier emergence of Japanese Knotweed than usual.

What is it?

In the mid 19th century it was brought from Japan into Europe. As it’s not native to the UK there are no insects that can limit its spread; thus, if it’s not managed it can grow out of control. Japanese Knotweed can be distinguished by its red, bamboo-like cane stems and dark shovel-shaped green leaves. It was an ornamental plant that is now an infamous weed; each winter it dies back, but regrows at a very fast rate.

Why is it so invasive?

Growing by up to 20 cm every single day, it has been described by the Environmental Agency as "Indisputably the UK's most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant". You may not be aware that although having the plant in your garden is not illegal, it can cause problems should you be looking for a mortgage. Mortgage lenders have been known to refuse to lend on a property where it’s present, as it can devalue the property due to the potential damage it may cause.

What would your neighbours say?

Although, as we said, it’s not illegal to have Japanese Knotweed on your property, it’s quite another thing when it comes to your neighbours. Did you know that you could face prosecution should this weed encroach onto your neighbour’s property, as it’s included under the Anti-Social, Crime and Policy Act?

Just get rid of it!

Getting rid of it is unfortunately not as simple as digging it up and burning it, as the roots can grow extremely deep. Even the smallest part of a root remaining can lead to regrowth. Being an invasive plant, it also must be disposed of as waste at specific sites. We would always advise that you seek the help of professional experts in weed control, such as those registered with the Property Care Association.

Next time you’re in your garden, have a look to see if the curse of Japanese Knotweed has encroached onto your property, especially if you’re thinking of selling. The sooner you can eradicate this plant from your land, the better, especially if you don’t want to risk it devaluing your property or spreading to your neighbours’ land.

It’s often not the obvious things that cause an unexpected valuation; if you’d like honest advice on what could be affecting the value of your home, contact Samuel Wood today.

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