Get a positive confirmation that it is indeed the plant that you think it is.
Japanese knotweed has many ‘look a likes’, so it’s possible that you may be dealing with a plant that isn’t anywhere near as aggressive or challenging to deal with. Get a positive identification from a professional before taking any further steps.
Once you’ve confirmed that you’ve got knotweed on your land, it’s understandable to be a little stressed but it’s important not to panic. Although the discovery of Japanese knotweed on your land is not something to celebrate, it might not be as catastrophic as you first think.
A thorough survey of your property by one of our professionals could help clear the air and determine your next course of action. We’ve helped other people just like you determine the source of their knotweed infestation, whose responsibility it is to clear the infestation, and can help you claim compensation in cases where the presence of knotweed is through no fault of your own.
Here are three examples of scenarios that could lead to a successful claim on your part:
Japanese knotweed in neighbours garden?
Your next door neighbour may have little care for their garden, but it’s not until you’ve noticed that the plant matter has started to enter your own land that you’ve taken a closer look. It’s not illegal to allow Japanese knotweed to grow on your land, however there are laws condemning those that allow an invasive plant to cross from your property onto another’s land. Both the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, as well as the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 have been amended over the years to include Japanese knotweed which can cut a house value down by as much as 10%.
In the event of a neighbour (whether it be an individual or an organisation) allows knotweed to leave their land and enter yours, they will be liable for the costs incurred of you removing the infestation. A precedent was laid down for this in 2018. It’s important to note that before a claim can be made for the costs of removal, you will need to formally notify your neighbour of the presence of the knotweed. Find out more about the legal implication of having Japanese knotweed by reading our guide.
Bought a house with Japanese knotweed?
A Home Buyer Survey is undertaken by a chartered surveyor. Home Buyer Surveys come in a variety of formats and give prospective buyers the opportunity to learn more about a property that they are considering to buy. A correctly undertaken survey should highlight areas of the property that may need work completed, including the presence of knotweed. The resultant survey is a legally binding document that carries serious legal implications if incorrectly completed by the surveyor. In the case where a surveyor misses knotweed on the property and you decide to make the purchase, then you may be able to pursue a claim to cover the costs of removing the plant from your land.
TA6 form incorrectly completed by the property owner?
Taking the form of a simple questionnaire, the TA6 property form is an 18-page document which is filled out by the property owner and given to prospective buyers. The questionnaire includes questions relating to the boundaries of the property, any disputes or complaints relating to the property, as well as the presence of knotweed. In the case where a property owner expressly denies that knotweed is affecting the property and you later discover this to not be the case then you should be able to claim against that property owner. When pursuing this kind of claim it’s important that you have a way to contact the previous owner.
If you have discovered knotweed on your property, or have been dealing with it for some time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out how could help you find a solution to your problem by either filling the form out on the right, or calling us directly on 0151 242 9050.
Mark Montaldo is the lead solicitor for Knotweed Help and has over 12 years of experience in the field of Civil Litigation and has advised a Parliament Select Committee on the legal issues faced by individuals dealing with Japanese knotweed on their land. Now considered one of the country’s leading litigators in the field, he works alongside the country’s top barristers and experts. His in-depth legal experience and connections to the Japanese knotweed removal industry make him uniquely suited for handling your case.