Couple considered not moving into new home after invasion by ‘jungle’ of bamboo

A couple almost didn’t move into their new house due to fast growing trees in the garden that led to a bamboo invasion.

Katherine Beckford and Oliver Jones were excited after getting to keys to the property, but their dream home turned into a nightmare after just days when they spotted a huge issue in the garden.

They were faced with what Katherine described as a “jungle” of bamboo which had run riot in the front garden.

The exotic plant infestation had spread from a hedge to the front garden, covering it completely.

It destroyed the side fence to encroach onto the neighbour’s driveway and grew several metres in height to the first floor bedroom.

Bamboo roots can spread 30 feet or more and there is no legal requirement for a seller to declare the presence of bamboo on a property when they sell. This left the couple with the dilemma of facing the bamboo head on or giving up the home.

Katherine told CambridgeshireLive: “I’d heard bamboo could be invasive but I had no idea it could cause so much damage.

“On viewing the property we were confronted with a dense bamboo jungle, with new shoots popping up all over the place including on the pavement and on our neighbour’s driveway.

“Luckily the house was built in the 1980s with solid concrete foundations, so the bamboo’s spread was blocked at the front of the property, sending it upwards against the façade, blocking the windows. The front fence was completely destroyed.

“We loved the house though, so we still wanted to go ahead with the purchase as long as the seller paid for the bamboo to be professionally removed with a guarantee in case it reappears in the future.

“If they hadn’t been willing to deal with it properly and pick up the bill, we would have walked away.”

Nic Seal, founder and MD of Environet said: “As understanding of the dangers of planting bamboo grows, we’re seeing more cases where it’s holding up or even scuppering property sales altogether.

“Buyers are right to be concerned as there’s no regulation to protect them, meaning if bamboo starts to cause problems after they’ve moved in, they have no legal recourse against the seller.

“I would urge all buyers to check gardens for evidence of bamboo and ask their surveyors to do the same. If it is present, instruct a professional bamboo survey and renegotiate the cost of removal off the price, ensuring you have a guarantee for the work just in case it regrows in the future.”