Experts in Invasive Plant Species Create Code to Help Property Professionals
By |Published On: 13th January 2017|

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Experts in Invasive Plant Species Create Code to Help Property Professionals

By |Published On: 13th January 2017|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Experts in invasive plant species, such as Japanese knotweed, have created the Invasives Code to help property professionals.

Formerly known as the Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) Code, it is set by the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association (INNSA). The group has called for greater uptake of the recently renamed Invasives Code, insisting that it will provide quality assurance and set industry standards across the property sector.

Experts in Invasive Plant Species Create Code to Help Property Professionals

Experts in Invasive Plant Species Create Code to Help Property Professionals

Japanese Knotweed Control, one of the UK’s first specialist remediation firms and a founding member of INNSA, is calling for all invasive plant species specialists to subscribe in a bid to boost standards in the industry and provide reassurance to property professionals.

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species whose rapid growth can destroy manmade and natural structures in its path, costing the UK hundreds of millions of pounds per year. Construction sites are at particularly high risk, as development uncovers and stimulates infested sites – and knotweed grows much faster when disturbed.

Japanese knotweed is believed to be the biggest unmanaged risk in the UK property market. As many as two-thirds of UK mortgage brokers have reported that they have had transactions negatively affected by the invasive plant species, with some even forced to withdraw mortgage applications due to the presence of the plant.

If managed and controlled correctly, Japanese knotweed can be eradicated over time, but it is not like a common weed and requires both specialist treatment and insurances to guarantee the works.

The Invasives Code, which requires subscribers to meet demanding technical standards set by the INNSA, aims to combat invasive plant species by setting out minimum warranty and insurance requirements, consumer service levels, and complaint handling processes. The code is applicable to both residential and commercial properties.

These high standards will reassure property professionals who are at risk of sales falling through. Under consumer protection regulations, estate agents are obliged to advise buyers of any material issues that could affect their decision to buy, including the presence of Japanese knotweed. If sellers fail to disclose these details during the conveyancing process, they risk legal claims of misrepresentation. Some lenders will also outright reject any mortgages on a property affected by invasive plant species.

Japanese Knotweed Control has been at the forefront of encouraging the highest possible standards within the property since it was founded in 2004.

Its Managing Director, David Layland, says: “There is a known case of knotweed infestation in at least every 10km square of the British Isles. The renaming of the Invasives Code gives greater transparency and peace of mind to the clients of the subscribers. This will build confidence, as property owners, professionals and the industries that serve them know they are assured of top quality service.

“We are proud to be subscribers of the code, and hope that more companies join us in becoming thoroughly vetted and quality checked to meet the code’s independently monitored and demanding standards.”

The independent Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB) regulates the code. All members must also meet the independently assessed ISO 9001 and 14001 standards under Amenity Assured, run by the Government-backed independent standards institute, BASIS.

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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