Securing a mortgage is difficult enough from a financial perspective, but now there are rising concerns about the extent to which lenders are taking other attributes of property into account when making a decision.
One of the biggest issues in the modern era is the presence of Japanese knotweed, which can be a deal-breaker for banks and building societies in the same way that a lack of damp proofing was in the past.
However, the mortgage market is now being influenced by a growing list of plant life originating outside of the UK which, like knotweed, may have a negative impact upon a buyer’s ability to secure a mortgage.
Plants that are deemed to be invasive are an issue that property owners and buyers alike are being urged to tackle by lenders. This invariably leads to steadily mounting costs for management and treatment. And with even a simple report into any potential issues costing several hundred pounds and introducing an extra step in the process, advisors are increasingly taking advantage of financial advisor software such as the solutions in order to keep track of ever more complex cases.
Dealing with knotweed and other plant life can be costly depending upon any guarantee required in order for the mortgage to be approved. In some instances, the removal work needs only be guaranteed for 24 months, while other lenders demand up to 20 years of assurance. As a result, some people end up having to find thousands of pounds if their property is affected.
Annual visits from experts to check that the problem plant remains absent, combined with a range of different removal options that vary in price and effectiveness simply serve to exacerbate the issue.
While it would be wrong to ignore the risks posed by Japanese knotweed and its invasive allies, some insiders are convinced that this issue is being overblown by lenders. Royal Horticultural Society Representative Buy Barter, for example, told the Telegraph that a small amount of Japanese knotweed should be inexpensive to remove and should not justify an additional burden on those seeking a mortgage.
For the time being it looks as though lenders will remain eager to order weed removal before awarding mortgages, but things may improve once the initial hysteria abates.