New information paper will provide advice on invasive plant that can grow through concrete
The RICS is consulting on a new information paper intended to help valuers and mortgage lenders consider the implications of Japanese knotweed for property valuations.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive, bamboo-like plant which can grow to up to 12ft tall and push through concrete. It is difficult to eradicate with weedkiller, and its presence on or near properties has previously led lenders to decline mortgages loans.
The RICS believes the plant can be contained with correct treatment, and should therefore be assimilated into the lending process in the same way as other challenges, such as asbestos.
RICS spokesperson Philip Santo said: “When assessing market value, valuers must take account of a variety of factors and the presence and effects of Japanese knotweed is just one of the many considerations that may affect value. While this invasive, non-native plant can be difficult to control it should be recognised that timely and persistent treatment programmes can minimise its impact.
“A standard risk assessment framework is being proposed to help valuers to provide more informed advice to their clients and to enable lenders to adopt more consistent and balanced policies. As the treatment industry develops and matures it is hoped that Japanese knotweed will soon become just one more consideration in the complex valuation process. The RICS consultation aims to canvass opinion in order to help make this happen.”
RICS is inviting responses from RICS members, lenders and Japanese knotweed treatment experts. The consultation runs until 9 December 2011 and can be found here: https://consultations.rics.org/consult.ti/japaneseknotweed/consultationHome