If you have lived in the areas of Bristol, Rotherham, Nottingham, Norwich, and Newcastle, most likely you have heard of neighbours suing each other because of a pesky grass known as the Japanese Knotweed. Even outside of these hotspots, you may experience the invasion of your property grounds by this knotweed originating from an unkempt adjacent land. Our specialist team of solicitors can handle Japanese Knotweed Disputes and assist you in filing claims for the total removal of the weeds, or for the repair of the damage caused to your property, among others.
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.
Laws and Regulations pertaining to Japanese Knotweed
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:
Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 – bans the planting, growing, or spreading of
Japanese Knotweed in the wild
Environmental Protection Act 1990 – classifies Japanese Knotweed as controlled waste
Duty of Care Regulations 1991 (Amended 2003) – failure to dispose of Japanese
Knotweed according to may lead to a criminal prosecution.
When any of the following issues appear on your property, and it is determinable that Japanese Knotweeds are the culprit, our solicitors, who are experts in this particular field of property dispute, can help you in settling the matter with the liable party.
Cracks on the concrete surfaces
Damage to brick walls
Blockage in the drainage systems
Reduction in the growth, or death of other plants
Damage to the foundations of a building
Damage to underground cabling and water pipes
Some damages do not manifest physically but are still considered as an encroachment on your quiet enjoyment of your property. Let our Japanese Knotweed Dispute lawyers aid you in proving such interference.
In the NRI, Ltd. v. Williams and Waistell case, it was ruled that the presence of Japanese Knotweed is “a natural hazard which affects landowners ability fully to use and enjoy their property and, in doing so, interferes with the land’s amenity value In other words, the unwanted weeds that grow on your property decrease the usefulness of your property and lessen its potential to be sold or mortgaged at a good price.
What if the Japanese Knotweed originated from your property?
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.
Contact the conveyancer
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.
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