Landlords Need Knot Fear Japanese Knotweed
One of the most pressing and demanding issues for any landlord is proper maintenance of their properties, so that tenants are satisfied, and they are in compliance with responsibilities and existing legislation. Keeping the inside in top shape is one thing, but garden areas present a particular problem, and especially when faced with the peculiar and persistent problem of Japanese knotweed.
It’s particularly challenging during the long summer months — when many a landlord would rather do anything than carry out garden maintenance, or pay someone to do it for them — as it’s peak growing season for this ferocious non-native species that can be incredibly hard to control. If it’s not dealt with quickly and properly, it can soon overwhelm a property and even cause structural damage.
Japanese knotweed was brought into the UK in the 1840s as something of a curiosity. A Dutch botanist named Phillipe von Siebold introduced it into high society, whose moneyed members were fond of its delicate, heart-shaped leaves but largely oblivious to its fast-growing nature and the havoc it would eventually cause up and down the country.
Putting Down Nationwide Roots
Japanese knotweed really started to take root in the UK when it was improperly disposed of — as in generally dumped out in the wild — and began to grow untamed and out of control. For landlords today, just cutting back Japanese knotweed on their properties is not enough, as it will quickly spring back to life. This is due to the plant’s deep and extensive network of roots that quickly send new shoots up when what’s above ground is slashed back. It can make dealing with Japanese knotweed yourself an immensely challenging task, and one that’s not recommended.
It’s nearly always better to call in Japanese knotweed specialists when landlords want to get rid of the plant from their properties, and there are a range of options available. These include herbicidal treatments that usually last a couple of years and are effective in destroying the plant above and below ground.
For those looking for a faster solution, the answer lies in dig-outs. Leading Japanese knotweed specialists in the UK can effectively remove the entire root system of an infected site and extract it from the soil while returning the soil to the location, resulting in minimal disruption to a property and no unlevel surfaces left that could be unsightly or dangerous, or both.
Public Opinions on Japanese Knotweed
Effectively dealing with Japanese knotweed on a property is all the more important given people’s views on the problem as revealed in a new poll. A YouGov survey for Japanese knotweed specialists Environet show that most people — nearly eight in 10 — would not go ahead with a property purchase if they knew Japanese knotweed was growing on or near it.
While this opinion may not be problematic for landlords looking for tenants, or to keep existing ones satisfied, it may pose a difficulty if they eventually wanted to sell the property. And indeed, prospective tenants might not go ahead with a lease if they were aware of Japanese knotweed growing in the garden areas of a flat or house.
Getting Japanese knotweed specialists in to deal with the problem is all the more beneficial given that the top ones working in the UK today provide insurance-backed guarantees that the plant won’t grow back. Usually this is for a period of around five years, and can be extendable to 10. It doesn’t mean the plant will never grow back but if it does, further work would be carried out at no additional cost.
For landlords, it means ultimate peace of mind that their properties are protected and their tenants kept happy.