Japanese Knotweed UK Law
At Pearson Solicitors our specialist Japanese Knotweed claims solicitors can advise if you need to make a claim or need representation defending a claim against a neighbour or landowner when Japanese knotweed has spread.
Call us for a consultation on potential Japanese knotweed claims as soon as possible on 0161 785 3500.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese knotweed is a pernicious weed which spreads rapidly and when left untreated it could cause damage to your property or neighbours land resulting in removal costs and compensation.
If Japanese knotweed is discovered it can make it extremely difficult to obtain a mortgage against the property or to sell your property and in some cases it can lead to buildings being condemned.
Identifying Japanese knotweed can be difficult especially in the winter as the weed will either look dormant or dead or may not be visible. We always advise seeking professional help to identify and remove any signs of Japanese knotweed.
Making Japanese Knotweed Claims
Our specialist Japanese Knotweed solicitors can advise if you need to make a claim against a neighbour or landowner when Japanese knotweed has been identified and spread from their land.
How to make Japanese Knotweed claims:
- If Japanese knotweed has encroached onto your property from a neighbouring property you may have a nuisance claim which entitles you to an injunction (Court Order) that your neighbour removes the knotweed. Our solicitors can make a claim for “nuisance for encroachment” through the appropriate legal channels.
- You are also able to claim damages, treatment costs and legal costs for the effects of Japanese knotweed.
- Japanese knotweed can also cause serious difficulties if you wish to sell your property. Many lenders will not lend if you have Japanese knotweed on your property. If a sale falls through due to the presence of Japanese knotweed, you may be able to claim damages accordingly.
- The sellers should note and declare the presence of Japanese knotweed, this is especially crucial in winter months when it is not visible. You may claim against the seller for the presence of knotweed.
- If you have had a survey on the property the surveyor should have noted the presence of Japanese knotweed prior to your purchase
- Similarly, if the value of your property reduces as a result of Japanese knotweed you may be able to claim for the loss in value. This is known as a diminution of value.
Japanese Knotweed Claims Cases
In the case of Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, the Court of Appeal found that where Japanese knotweed is encroaching on their land, landowners do not have to wait until physical damage to their properties occurs before bringing an actionable claim in private nuisance.
In another case, Bristol City Council took a prosecution against a local property owner under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the “Act”) this was after complaints from adjoining properties about the spread of Japanese knotweed. The landowner, MB Estates Limited was found guilty and fined it £18,000 plus costs and had to treat all the site and professionally clear it of knotweed within 28 days. If Japanese knotweed has encroached onto your property you may be able to take legal action straight away in order to protect your property value and claim damages.
At Pearson, we are able to provide legal advice on the appropriate action you can take and we will represent you throughout the Court process, should Court proceedings be necessary. If you are concerned about Japanese knotweed on your property our legal team can advise you.
Defending Japanese Knotweed Claims
If Japanese Knotweed is identified growing on your land you must take all necessary steps to prevent it spreading into the wild or onto neighbouring properties, a failure to do so could result in fines of up to £5,000 or even a custodial sentence of up to 2 years.
A Japanese knotweed claim may be made against you if it has been discovered on your land. It could also lead to nuisance proceedings being taken against you in respect of an injunction (Court Order) that you professionally treat and remove the knotweed. You will also have to pay damages, treatment costs and legal costs, so the advice of a solicitor in the earliest instance in cases of Japanese knotweed is always recommended.
Most home and landowners do not realise the legal responsibility and implications of Japanese knotweed. In a recent survey only 36% knew they could be sued and just 18% were aware they could face prosecution.
However, if Japanese knotweed is not treated properly or removed it can damage neighbouring properties and can even lead to buildings being condemned, therefore it must be taken seriously.
Japanese knotweed can also cause serious difficulties if you wish to sell your property. Many lenders will not lend if you have Japanese knotweed on your property. You must also declare it if Japanese knotweed is on your property, failure to do so will lead to a claim against you as it is a clear misrepresentation to the purchaser.
You are also at risk of a claim against you from your neighbour if they lose a sale as a result of the encroachment of Japanese knotweed or their property value reduces because of it. This could lead to a claim against you in the tens of thousands of pounds.
It is therefore crucial to obtain legal advice without delay if you have Japanese knotweed.
At Pearson, we are able to provide legal advice if you have Japanese knotweed on your property and a claim has been made against you.