Japanese Knotweed was brought to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 19 th century. It was later found to be very invasive, with a pernicious root system that can stretch up to three meters downward and up to seven meters sideward. For this very reason, some railway companies have, in the past, actively planted Japanese Knotweed to strengthen embankments.
Network Rail Infrastructure, Ltd. v. Williams and Waistell.
The “strength” from the weeds proved to be a weakness, however, for Network Railway Infrastructure, Ltd. when it lost in the latest landmark case on Japanese Knotweed. NRI, Ltd. was found liable for damages for being in breach of duty to deal reasonably with the Japanese Knotweed. It was held that the owners of the bungalows affected by the Japanese Knotweed were prevented from enjoying their properties without the hassle of having to get rid of the weeds.
When there is an infestation of Japanese Knotweed by fault of the owners of a property who were not able to keep the weeds in check, private nuisance laws apply. Interference with, disturbance of, or annoyance to a person in the exercise or enjoyment of his ownership or occupation of land, is actionable as a private nuisance dispute.
These other laws clarify on just how big a trouble Japanese Knotweeds can be:
Eliminate – The paramount thing to do is to immediately and completely eradicate the Japanese Knotweed. This may be costly, but your expenses will pile up even more if a claim for the damages caused by the Japanese Knotweed is filed against you in court.
Inform – In the soonest time possible, inform the owners of neighbouring properties that are and will most likely be affected by the Japanese Knotweed of the possible spread to their properties. Offer to share or fully pay for the expenses for removing the weeds off their properties.
The land you bought, reach out to them for compensation. If they refuse, call up our solicitors and they can, for a start, find out if there has been any misrepresentation in the TA6 form required to be filled up when selling properties. The form asks whether the property is affected or has ever been affected by Japanese Knotweed.
Early detection of Japanese Knotweed will, foremost, save you, from damages and costs. There are Japanese Knotweed surveyors that can investigate and examine your property, or one you are about to buy, for any infestations. But if filing an action remains to be your sole recourse, speak to our competent Japanese Knotweed Dispute lawyers today and we will lay down the best remedies available for you.