Homeowner’s Mortgage Declined Because of Weed in Garden

May 26, 2010 No Comments »


Okay, perhaps the title of this post is a little misleading. There wasn’t “weed” in the garden, but rather the presence of a weed that wreaks havoc on building foundations.

The suspect weed is Japanese Knotweed, which was found in a British homeowner’s flower beds, according to a report from the Telegraph.

The bamboo-like weed reportedly grows up to 12 feet tall and can push through concrete and damage buildings.

It was introduced to the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century after being brought over from Japan to serve as an ornamental plant.

Japanese Knotweed is now running rampant in the UK, as it’s immune to natural pests and disease, and actually grows back thicker if cut back.

And the pesky weed has incensed potential mortgage borrower Dave Williams, who was rejected for a mortgage refinance by Santander Bank.

He apparently only needed a loan for 20 percent of the value of his home, but an appraiser said the property wasn’t suitable for financing because Japanese Knotweed was discovered in the “building curtilage.”

As a result, the property is not “readily saleable for owner occupation.”

A number of UK high street mortgage lenders are declining mortgage applications for the presence of property-threatening Japanese Knotweed, including other big players like Barclays and Lloyds.

There have even been reports that some banks have refused to extend mortgages on properties where the plant was found to be growing next door.

I wonder if this whole Knotweed issue was a problem before the mortgage crisis was fully realized…

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