Recent cases brought against homeowners for potentially misleading buyers about the presence of Japanese Knotweed on or near a property have resulted in the Law Society providing advice to sellers and their lawyers in the new Explanatory Notes for Sellers and Buyers on Form TA6 issued in February 2020.

The notes relating to Question 7.8 (which deal with Japanese Knotweed) have been extended to make it clear to a seller that they should choose “No” as the answer when they are certain there are no roots present in the ground of the property, or within 3 meters of the property boundary. Merely checking for above ground growth is no longer sufficient as roots may still be present. Consequently, more sellers will now select “Not Known” as their answer.

The lack of a definitive answer may well cause problems and uncertainty for homebuyers and particularly for their lenders. Fortunately, Stewart Title’s Residential Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policy can provide peace of mind in these circumstances.

Mark Davies, Head of Underwriting, explains “Our policy is available where a ‘Not Known’ answer is given and provides up to £20,000 of cover against remediation costs necessary to comply with a remediation notice. It covers buyers for a period of 5 years and most importantly lenders for the whole term of the loan.”

Residential Japanese Knotweed Indemnity Policies are available via Stewart Title’s online ordering platform at or by email to .

11 March 2020 - E&W

This bulletin is intended to provide general information only. For full cover details, please refer to a copy of our policy.

Stewart Title Limited is a title insurance company authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England and Wales No: 2770166. Registered office address: 11 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4BP.

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