Many London residents are experiencing huge losses because of the Japanese knotweed, which is believed to be resistant to fire, poison and concrete. Many people have actually had their dreams shattered in the last minute simply because of the discovery of the invasive weed in a site.
On the other hand, other people have had to cut their losses when insurers refused to compensate them for losses caused by the weed on grounds that the property prices have declined tremendously. This is according to One’s Inside Out programme aired on BBC.
For instance, upon discovery of the knotweed in their house, Matthew and Suzie Jones had their house devalued to £150,000, down from £300,000. This came as a shock to Suzie, who had recently bought the new home. Being forced to tear down the house was devastating news to Suzie, especially with just recently acquiring it.
This weed is one of the hardest to eradicate considering the fact that it spreads and grows at such a fast pace, which makes it block drainage channels within a short time. It can also damage foundations and make a home appear unattractive.
Another mortgage applicant, Natalie Waterworth, had her application denied when the bank realised that Japanese knotweed was growing about 90 feet from where her prospective home would be. This was supposed to be her first home according to what she told the programme..
According to Sue Andersons who is a representative of Council of Mortgage lenders, the presence of knotweed is an instant put off for prospective homebuyers irrespective of its location. However, all stakeholders in the mortgage sector are working together to devise strategies to fight the weed. To avoid damaging the continuing growth of the mortgage sector, the agencies specialising in fighting the weed have had to give warranties to the other players to ensure sales continue taking place.
According to government estimations, it would cost about £1.5 billion to eradicate the weed. However, an insect that feeds on the weed has also been discovered, hopefully making the eradication process easier.