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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7672
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I purchased a new build property just under2 years ago and I now have Japanese kn

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I purchased a new build property just under2 years ago and I now have Japanese knotweed in my back garden. Can I claim against the builder or the surveyor that carried out the valuation?
Thanks for your question.
Was the valuation simply the valuation for the mortgage lender or did you instruct them to carry out a Home Buyers Report/structural survey?
The the knotweed company indicated when the knotweed may have first occurred?
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, the valuation was for the mortgage lender.

In regards ***** ***** knotweed company, I am awaiting a site visit so I do not have that information at present.

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
Unfortunately, the mortgage valuation is carried out solely for the benefit of the mortgage lender. Therefore the only contractual relationship is between the lender and the valuer.
This means that only the lender could sue the valuer if the value was negligent in carrying out the valuation, even if the knotweed was sufficiently advanced so that the valuer should have spotted it at the time.
You would not be able to sue the value for this reason, even if it could be proved that the valuer should have spotted the knotweed.
There is a question regarding Japanese knotweed in the property information forms that a seller completes when they sell the property. However, the question may not have been included in the forms two years ago. If the seller was specifically aware (eg. because they had a knotweed company confirm the existence of knotweed) and they stated in reply to the knotweed question on the form that they were not aware of knotweed then you may be able to recover monies from them, but this would be your only avenue of recourse in the circumstances.
I would check your file (or your solicitors if you don’t have the papers) to see if the question was asked of the seller and take it from there.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
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