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RICS 2012 information paper established a framework to assess the threat of Japanese knotweed to residential properties. The RICS information paper 2012 identified four risk categories (1-4). It used a 7m distance from buildings and borders as the defining measure. It also asked for an assessment of minor and major structural damage. This information paper helped to provide a reason for lending on residential properties affected by knotweed.

However, academic research on Japanese knotweed published since the original 2012 information paper, has led to a review of property impacts guidance and the development of the Guidance Note.

This guidance incorporates previously published research on Japanese knotweed. Modifying the property impact assessment to advise lenders about whether they should apply for a mortgage retention or not.

The property surveyor will always recommend that clients seek the advice of a specialist in Japanese knotweed remediation contractors when advising on non-lending matters.

Contractors' trade group, the PCA Invasive Weeds Control Group, has produced a more thorough assessment of the impact and remediation recommendations in their Guidance Note "Japanese Knotweed- Guidance For Professional Valuers and Surveyors".

Japanese Knotweed Ltd is a specialist in remediation and will inform clients about the potential impacts knotweed can have on their property. This includes loss of use, restrictions on maintenance, development limitations, waste disposal costs and possible litigation.

An expert contractor in remediation will advise the best course of action, such as excavation or herbicide treatment.

When you are looking to buy or sell property affected by Japanese knotweed, it is important to remember that 'Caveat Emptor' buyers must beware.