Buyers beware: Hell has no fury like an alien scorned

japanese knotweed
Buyers beware: Hell has no fury like an alien scorned
User Rating: 5 (3 votes)

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive alien plant that can take over your property and destroy it. This plant can grow through concrete foundations, tarmac, and roads, and can cut through the foundations of your house like a knife through butter. It’s been listed by the world’s conservation society as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

Forget Jack and the beanstalk, this is the real McCoy!  It is one of the most destructive plants in the UK and it could be in the garden of the house you are about to buy.

Dr John Bailey, Department of Biology at Leicester University, who has published papers on Japanese Knotweed since 1985, states: “There is a parallel with what was once said of American GIs in Britain during the war: ‘over-fed, over-sexed and over here!’  These plants are certainly giants; they hybridise promiscuously and in spite of all our efforts to eliminate them, they are certainly over here to stay!. All the Japanese Knotweed in Britain belonged to a single female clone, and the same clone was also present in continental Europe and the USA.  This means that they are just parts of one gigantic organism, and its total biomass may make it the largest female in the world.”

Dr Bailey goes on to state: “As with all good aliens, we are asking three questions about Japanese Knotweed and its relatives: ‘Where do you come from, and why and what are you doing here?” Answers, and Dr Bailey’s full research can be found here.

What has this got to do with mortgages?

Surveyors must state the presence of Japanese Knotweed in the valuation report, which is the kiss of death for most lenders. Lenders are petrified of this female invasive alien because of the damage it can cause to a property and property values. As a result, they will not lend on properties with severe Japanese Knotweed unless you can confirm that it has undertaken some robust treatment, and been shipped and exported back to Japan.

There are remedies, but it could be expensive as she doesn’t go without a fight. If you are about to buy a house, then this six minute video could save you a fortune.

If you are about to buy a house and the valuation report states that there is extensive Japanese Knotweed growing in the garden, would you:

A: Proceed to make a reduced offer?

B: Request for a specialist to ascertain the cost of treatment and removal?

C: Simply walk away and find an alien-free property?

D: Ask your broker to pull out all the stops and find an understanding lender?


We are on the lookout for Japanese Knotweed savvy mortgage brokers to cater to the “I am completely in love with the property” buyer. The diplomatic spiel from all brokers is that lenders consider all applications on a case by case basis.

Not sure what she looks like? Click on the image below and click again.Japanese Knotweed




The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most types of buy to let mortgages, bridging loans, development loans and commercial loans.

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