A Court of Appeal ruling on Japanese Knotweed has brought huge relief for thousands of homeowners whose land is threatened by the rampaging plant.
Network Rail had appealed a decision in Cardiff County Court which had allowed a claim against them by a landowner who said Japanese Knotweed was causing loss of enjoyment of their land. There was no evidence to show that the Knotweed had encroached on to their land or caused any damage to the structure of their properties, but despite this, because of the plant’s proximity damages were awarded for the cost of treating it and for the residual diminution in value to their property.
The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal brought by Network Rail in what is going to prove a landmark ruling. Cobleys Solicitors Ltd expected and welcomed this ruling which protects what is almost always a person’s most valuable asset.
Solicitor, Mark Montaldo, Head of Civil Litigation for London and North West based law firm Cobleys Solicitors has represented hundreds of homeowners adversely affected by Japanese Knotweed.
He commented, “This decision will be welcomed by all those who have suffered with the problems caused by Knotweed for a number of years. Many people have been left in the impossible situation of being unable to sell their homes or even if they managed to do so, having to accept a heavily reduced price, sometimes as much as 10-50%. This ruling confirms individuals’ entitlement to the cost of removing the Knotweed and potentially any residual fall in the value of the property. It is a victory for common sense.”
He added, “the ruling will make people realise the importance of Knotweed and will make them take their responsibilities seriously in removing and treating the infestation.”
Solicitor, Paolo Martini, Managing Partner added “We have been waiting for this ruling for months. This is a huge decision for home-owners everywhere. Unfortunately more and more people are becoming aware of the terrible financial impact Japanese Knotweed has once found near or on one’s property. We are one of the very few of the country’s leading experts in this very specialised area of litigation. We work only with the most credible and experienced of experts to win our clients’ cases. This decision allows us to help so many people who have been asking for our help. The ruling cements the maxim that an Englishman’s, and woman’s, home is their castle.”