Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant species that can grow up to 7 feet high. It has been known to wind its way around property foundations, causing structural damage to property and bringing thousands of pounds from property value and making property difficult to sell.
It’s a huge concern for surveyors and therefore mortgage lenders. It’s expensive to treat, difficult to remove and the soil it’s been left in is treated in the same way as contaminated land.
Under the Country and Wildlife Act 1981, it is an offence to grow or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild.
If it spreads and gets out of your garden or from your land, you could face a £5,000 fine or up to 2 years imprisonment. It’s not a crime to have Japanese Knotweed on your property, provided that you control it properly. The Anti-Social behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 contains provisions in relation to this.
Seek specialist help from a horticulturist and ensure that a Japanese Knotweed Management Plan is in place if you find it, or suspect it, on your property.
Financial implications can be huge. Structural damage could be caused to your property, and its value decreased. It could even become difficult to obtain a mortgage on.
If a neighbour requests you to remove it from your land so it doesn’t encroach on theirs its advisable to do so. It was reported in recent media that Network Rail were ordered to pay damages after failing to do so.
If the home you are selling or considering purchasing has Japanese Knotweed growth, or you consider that it does, it is very important that you advise your conveyancer so we can advise you and raise the necessary enquiries with the seller. Japanese Knotweed can be treated, but our advice would be not to wait.
If it’s on a neighbouring property and you would like a neighbour to remove it, or it’s already spread on to your property and damaged it, then please call our experienced Conveyancing and Litigation teams. Contact myself Ashley Mallet on firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call 01904 917 982.