Japanese Knotweed: STL mitigates the impact of this growing risk

STL have launched their unique Japanese Knotweed Hazard Alert and associated insurance policy to the conveyancing industry and within an hour of launch orders were received. This alert automatically notifies conveyancers of the risk of Japanese Knotweed at each and every residential property during the transaction process. Conveyancers can then immediately purchase an insurance policy to help protect the buyer and lender in the event that Japanese Knotweed is identified on the property within 5 years.

Japanese Knotweed is potentially as great a risk to property as flood for the conveyancing process; the speed at which the plant has spread, and continues to spread, throughout Britain is nothing less than spectacular. As a result, the Environment Agency describes Knotweed as ‘the UK’s most aggressive and destructive invasive plant’. The plant penetrates drains, paths and driveways, boundary/retaining walls, outbuildings, conservatories and gardens.

In terms of the conveyancing process Japanese Knotweed has a significant impact on mortgageability, value, saleability and development of properties and land. Japanese Knotweed is therefore a serious and necessary consideration for conveyancers and this is reflected in the TA6 form question ‘is the property affected by Japanese Knotweed? (Yes / No / Not Known)’.

“The Hazard Alert is based on exclusive data from the Centre for Hydrology & Ecology,” comments Alan Thorogood, STL’s CEO. “The risk of this highly destructive plant being present at a residential property is automatically identified as low, medium or high when the usual property searches are ordered by conveyancers. Then, with just a couple of clicks, conveyancers can order the insurance policy.”

The highly affordable insurance policy, provided by Conveyancing Liability Solutions Risk Solutions (CLS RS), provides up to £20,000 towards financial loss if Japanese Knotweed is found at the property within 5 years. This includes costs arising from a Japanese Knotweed survey, remediation and repair work. Legal fees and expenses as well as loss of market value are also covered.

Thorogood continues: “Japanese Knotweed is never far from the public media or industry media; it is a huge concern to many professional bodies including the CML, RICS, The Law Society and the Environment Agency to name a few. This new Hazard Alert and insurance policy will go some way towards providing peace of mind for buyers and lenders by helping to mitigate the risk of this highly aggressive and destructive plant.”

This article was submitted to be published by STL as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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