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Conveyancing

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant species that can cause a lot of problems and cost. The treatment of Japanese Knotweed is costly and time consuming and the plant’s invasive root system and growth has been known to cause damage to concrete foundations, buildings, roads, paving and retaining walls. Davisons Law can advise or represent you in matters where your property has been affected by Japanese Knotweed.

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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant species the can cause a lot of problems and a lot of cost as it can cause damage to concrete foundations,buildings, roads, paving and retaining walls.

There can be a stigma associated with Japanese Knotweed that may make potential purchasers put off purchasing the property if it has or is undergoing treatment for Japanese Knotweed and therefore can devalue property prices.

In addition, if Japanese Knotweed spreads form your property to another, the owner of that property could take a claim against you.

If the property you purchased has an infestation of Japanese Knotweed and you haven’t been notified about it by the seller or the surveyor, you may have a potential claim. Also, if knotweed has encroached onto your land from your neighbours’ land, you can consider making a claim against your neighbour. Values of these claims can range from £10,000 upwards.

 

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How Davisons Law can help?

Our solicitors will instruct specialist experts to determine the value that your property may have devalued as a result of the presence of the Japanese Knotweed, and this will be recovered from the party who the claim may be made against.

If you have recently bought a house and discovered Japanese knotweed or are worried about Japanese Knotweed on adjoining land, we will also be able to advise you.

We can act on these matters on a no win, no fee basis. In addition, if you would like a free no obligation consultation with one of our solicitors then you can contact us to discuss this in confidence.

If you believe that you may be entitled to compensation because of any of the above or would like to discuss your current position further with us, you can contact one of our specialist solicitors.

We can also advise and assist you if you have had a claim made against you for the presence of Japanese Knotweed.

You can send us an enquiry by filling out the free initial assessment form online. Fill in the form with your details and details about your current situation and a member of our team will be in touch to offer a free initial assessment. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0808 304 7471.

Japanese Knotweed can leave you open to claims against a few people. Below is how each claim can differ and how to deal with it.

1

Claims against the seller of the property.

The seller of the property that you purchased has an obligation to notify you if the property is affected by Japanese Knotweed. Within the Property Information Form (TA6) there is a question that asks the seller to confirm whether the property is affected by Japanese Knotweed. The seller is under a duty to answer this question correctly. If they answer this question incorrectly, they can be sued for misrepresentation.
2

Claims against the surveyor.

If you instruct a surveyor to carry out a report on your property, they will be under an obligation to report if the property is affected by Japanese Knotweed. If they have failed to inform you within the survey report that the house has Japanese Knotweed or that there is knotweed nearby within adjoining land, then they can be sued for professional negligence.
3

Claims against the neighbour.

If Japanese Knotweed spreads from one land to your land, this can amount to nuisance. This is where the origin of the knotweed is from a neighbouring property, and this encroaches onto your land.

Treatment of Japanese Knotweed can be costly and is carried out over several years, this can cause a lot of inconvenience to you and the loss of use of your garden. Our solicitors will be able to recover the cost of the treatment that you have incurred and will include a claim for loss of use of your garden for the period that the treatment is ongoing.

The problems that are caused by avoiding the issues of Japanese Knotweed are that many mortgage lenders will not lend on properties with Japanese Knotweed or where it has been identified nearby. Mortgage companies may agree to lend if treatment if proper treatment is carried by an accredited Japanese Knotweed company and certain insurance has been obtained for the treatment.

Professional treatment of eradication of Japanese Knotweed is recommended. There are two main methods of eradication of Japanese Knotweed.

This is applying an herbicide treatment. Herbicide control options are very cost effective and simple to deliver but is done over a number of years.

Excavation is more costly but can be a more effective control option. However, this can prove to be expensive and complex, as all the crown and rhizomal material must be removed.

More about Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed has a large underground network of roots (rhizomes), and eradication of knotweed can be time consuming and costly as the rhizomes need to be killed and removed to eradicate the plant.

Japanese knotweed emerges as small asparagus-like shoots green/purple in colour and produces small red/green shield-shaped leaves growing from the stem’s many distinct raised nodes or ‘knots. Once the leaves have blossomed, they can become a bright green colour reaching lengths of up to 1.2m

The red/green stems of adult Japanese knotweed have a bamboo like appearance which grows in thick ‘stands. Creamy coloured flowers are produced, growing in clusters at the end of the stems. The dead stems often remain upright amongst new growth during the following season.

The RICS Guidance Note published on 23rd March 2022 replaces the previous RICS Information Paper (IP27 2012) and the previous RICS Risk Categories (1 to 4) which was based on the measured distance of the Japanese Knotweed from a property and has now
changed to Management Categories. The categorisation is made by the professional judgement of the surveyor as to what is the most appropriate Management Category for the identified Japanese Knotweed, based on the question – ‘’ what is the Japanese Knotweed
doing?’’ – and not the more binary approach of the previous Risk Categories, which were exclusively driven by mere distance of the Japanese Knotweed from anyone building.

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help

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