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Still Knot so Weedy: RICS issues new guidance on Japanese Knotweed following consultation

Published on 10 February 2022

The RICS has published its new guidance on Japanese Knotweed, following a period of consultation last summer.

We previously wrote an article on the history of the guidance and the issues Japanese Knotweed can cause, along with the main changes proposed in the draft guidance. Please click here for further information or to refresh your memory on our summary and check-list.

We are pleased to note that all those changes have been incorporated, along with further research and developments in this area. 

Takeaway points

One of the main points to take away is the move away from the stigma of Japanese Knotweed and the push towards education and understanding of the real risks it can pose to a property and thus its potential impact on valuation.  It is hoped that, by providing further understanding of the impact of the presence of Japanese Knotweed on land/property, the focus can shift to 'managing' an infestation as opposed to eradicating it. The latter, of course, is extremely time-consuming and costly, as well as not always being effective. 

The new assessment method, designed to assist professionals in assessing an infestation of Japanese Knotweed by categorising the infestation, should provide much needed assistance for lenders when making decisions on a subject property.

In addition, the reduction from the previous 7m distance from structures to 3m will be a most welcome development for purchasers and sellers alike, as well as homeowners looking to re-mortgage. 

The RICS is keen to promote further reading alongside the guidance, in particular the information published by the Property Care Association, such as the 'Japanese Knotweed: Guidance for Professional Valuers & Surveyors', as well as the RICS Valuation Global Standards.
If you have any questions on the issues raised in this article, please contact Alex Anderson or Kat Cusack for further information.