Ask … The neighbour could then issue private nuisance proceedings in the Civil Courts for: damages for loss of enjoyment and diminution of value; A recent County Court Case has highlighted one of the many areas a neighbour dispute can arise in – this one being a particularly knotty dispute relating to a legal battle between warring neighbours over Japanese Knotweed. When it became apparent to the Smiths that Ms Line was not going to take the steps they required to remove the knotweed, they issued court proceedings. Who cares whether or not there's a specific type of plant in my garden?' England with number 06874412 at 2 North Park Road Harrogate HG1 5PA and Where neighbouring property has Japanese Knotweed, it is a good idea to contact the owner to alert them to the presence of Japanese Knotweed. Japanese knotweed monitoring programmes. & The roots can extend to a depth of three metres and up to seven metres laterally. Physical damage to buildings and land. Japanese Knotweed Expert – Japanese Knotweed Removal and Eradication At the time they were unaware that destructive Japanese Knotweed was growing on a neighbouring property owned by the defendant (Ms Line). The government states "You do not need to notify anyone about the invasive plants on your land. A neighbour has Japanese knotweed in the front garden. Japanese knotweed is similar to any other weed – it is best treated in the spring and summer, when the rain is less likely to wash away any herbicide-based treatment.Excavation can be carried out year-round, if the location of the weed has been established. For information for Scotland, please visit the Scottish Government’s website. If they are reluctant, simply explain the damage it can do to their property and recommend they research it themselves. If you think that your neighbour has Japanese knotweed you should alert them as soon as possible as it can cause serious damage to their property and the environment. If they do not agree to arrange for a treatment programme to be carried out, you may be able to bring a claim in nuisance against them. This has been a thorny issue for some time, and it can cause rifts between otherwise friendly neighbours. The short answer is no. Chris Langford is a Trainee Solicitor within Berwins' commercial litigation team. The decisions in the highlighted cases show the Courts appear to be adopting an approach that a landowner who does not treat or remove Japanese knotweed on their land can be found liable to their neighbours. Report Japanese Knotweed. All rights reserved. You should consult with your neighbour about how they plan to deal with the Japanese knotweed issue. Network Rail is appealing this decision. Designed by Ms Line’s line of defence was that she had done everything possible to stop the spread through maintenance and herbicides. We finally lost patience two years ago and reported the issue to the council who served a notice on the owner. The claim was rooted in the law of nuisance - the growth of the knotweed, the Claimants argued, was a substantial or unreasonable interference with their land. The law on Japanese knotweed differs depending on whereabouts in the UK you live. What happens if my neighbour has Japanese knotweed? Whilst cautious not to cause a dispute, identify … If you think that your neighbour has Japanese knotweed you should alert them as soon as possible as it can cause serious damage to their property and the environment. This is called diminution of value. Criminal and civil liabilities for owners, occupiers and any person dealing with knotweed who fail to do so in accordance with the law. Councils are only required to treat Knotweed on their own land. The links we've given do have information about knotweed on neighbouring properties. See also: My neighbour has Japanese knotweed - what should I do? WHAT TO DO IF NEIGHBOUR HAS JAPANESE KNOTWEED Towards the end of 2017, a homeowner took his neighbour in Cornwall to Court, alleging Japanese knotweed had been allowed to … In winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other plant growth. Does Japanese knotweed in my neighbour’s garden affect my home’s value? If you are experiencing problems relating to Japanese knotweed on neighbouring land, we can help. You do not have to treat Japanese knotweed if you find it on your property. You can report Japanese knotweed growing on neighbouring council land by contacting your local authority directly. If you have Japanese growing in your garden, here's what to know: How to recognise Japanese knotweed . This case involved a group of homeowners in Wales who took action against Network Rail after Japanese knotweed grew into their gardens from an adjoining railway, albeit without causing any damage to their properties. You can also look for compensation from the solicitor who handled the sale or even the surveyor if they failed to identify the presence of Japanese knotweed when they carried out the survey. Heavy machinery is required and the plant can regrow from a piece of rhizome as small as a fingernail! What to do if neighbour has Japanese knotweed. Even in cases where no actual physical damage has been caused, the court decision opens up claims by neighbours for loss of amenity value due to the hazard created by the mere presence of … How to dispose of Japanese knotweed You could be fined up to £5,000 or be sent to prison for up to 2 years if you allow contaminated soil or … However, you do have a responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t spread from your land to adjacent property. Most of the time your neighbour may not have identified the Japanese knotweed and therefore may not be aware of the trouble it can cause. They are not next door, but we … If damage has already been done to your property your insurance company may be able to help and they may offer legal advice too. If your neighbour chooses not to take action or there is no one living at the property, there are some steps you can take to get a resolution. Yes you can take action against your neighbour (though discussing and being reasonable about this is a preferred option) and yes – you can make them pay to get the plant removed. Do not take legal action until you have let them know about the issue, as they may not be aware. Take a look at our step-by-step guide for what to do next. Japanese knotweed monitoring programmes. Several actions can be taken if the normal neighbourly channels of communication fail. It has also escaped into the wild where it is spreading. Am I liable? Neighbour’s Japanese Knotweed Has Caused My Floor To Fall In But I Don’t Want To Litigate (Wales) Civil Issues. Furthermore Japanese Knotweed is not cited under any legislation requiring it to be notified. Keep potential knotweed drama to a minimum with a Japanese knotweed monitoring programme from Taylor Total Weed Control. There's no-one to report it to. 510280. Plus, as with the above case, it can cause upset between neighbours! VAT No 613 3482 62, The legal implications of Japanese Knotweed in a neighbour's garden. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on their land or Japanese knotweed within 7 metres, it is extremely difficult to secure a mortgage against the property. We know this can be a problem, but we can't afford not to sell. They can be liable, however, should they allow the knotweed to spread onto neighbouring land. What to do if a neighbour has Japanese knotweed? Eradication requires determination as it is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals. If you believe that your neighbour has Japanese knotweed & that it is spreading in to your garden. Japanese Knotweed was brought to the United Kingdom in the 19th century after the plant was discovered in Japan growing on the side of volcanoes. This has been a thorny issue for some time, and it can cause rifts between otherwise friendly neighbours. Q My boyfriend and I purchased a house in east London this year. What followed was a 15-year dispute between the neighbours as the knotweed grew closer to the claimant’s land. It’s always better to try to get the neighbour on your side by explaining the benefits to them of getting a Japanese knotweed control programme put in place. Do not take legal action until you have let them know about the issue, as they may not be aware. If the Japanese knotweed has been present since you bought the property you may be able to seek compensation from the seller if they did not mention this within their seller’s information form. If even a small piece of root is left in the ground, it can quickly re-infest the land. We are worried about our neighbour’s Japanese Knotweed plant spreading Invasive species will spread through walls, drains and foundations and can very quickly become a major infestation Japanese knotweed is often described as being like an iceberg as the roots can spread for several metres underground, therefore the chances of it reaching your property from a neighbouring property are very high. It is an offence, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to plant or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild.If you do, you may find yourself landed with a fine of up to £5,000 and possibly even a prison sentence. Just as the title states, I own a three story shop on a main road, I don’t use the shop or the 1st floor flat (other than to store things) and I live in the 2nd floor flat. The court ruled in favour of the claimants. Call PBA Solutions now on 0203 174 2187 for expert advice and to book a site survey. The neighbour hasn't committed a legal offense unless they actually planted the knotweed. What to do if a neighbour has Japanese Knotweed If there is Japanese Knotweed on adjoining land, there are several things you can do. Copyright ©2020 If they are reluctant, simply explain the damage it can do to their property and recommend they research it themselves. Japanese knotweed requires professional treatment, either with herbicide over two to three years or by excavation. Landowners can now claim damages if Japanese knotweed has encroached on their property following a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of two householders whose properties were affected by the plant. These cases could also lead to a number of similar other claims being pursued and it will be interesting to see the Court’s decision in the Network Rail case on appeal. If there is a general reluctance, it is important to make your case clear and the list … Japanese Knotweed in neighbours garden. If you suspect your neighbour has Japanese knotweed next door, quick action can lead to an effective solution and … The claimants, (Mr and Mrs Smith) purchased a seaside property 15 years ago. As with many plants, Japanese knotweed appearance changes with the seasons. If you are concerned about Japanese Knotweed on land in Salford let us know. Japanese Knotweed Encroachment. It is similar to Japanese knotweed in many respects but is larger, growing over 4m high and having leaves around 20-40cm long. They found knotweed was an actionable nuisance before it caused physical damage on neighbouring land because of the harmful effect on the land’s value. As a result, a property affected by Japanese knotweed, whether it is in their boundary or within 7 meters, loses value. Local councils only get involved if it's growing on their land. “Landowners have a measured duty of care to ensure that Japanese Knotweed does not spread from their land, following the Court of Appeal decision in Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited. Send us some photos of the suspected Japanese knotweed, and we will identify the plant for you, let us put your mind at ease. Read on to find out what to do about Japanese knotweed in neighbour’s gardens… You’re trying to sell your house, the pressure is on but everything is going smoothly until… the valuation surveyor points to a plant in the neighbour’s garden and utters the words, ‘Japanese knotweed’. Get in touch with the Environmental Agency: if the Japanese Knotweed has spread over into your garden, your neighbour is liable to pay for the costs of remediation. An owner or occupier of land is not obliged to control, remove or treat Japanese knotweed on their land. The case went before a Judge in October last year, with the ruling being published this month. Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 10 cm a day between April and October. However, if it starts to encroach upon your property they are causing a private nuisance and therefore are open to court action. Stephen Williams and Robin Waistell, neighbours in Maesteg, South Wales, made a claim against Network Rail – which owns land immediately behind their properties – because Japanese knotweed … A root barrier membrane can also be used to encapsulate Japanese Knotweed where space does not allow burial. However, you should report certain non-native species on the Non-native Species Secretariat (NNSS) website. In this case, the Court also ruled in favour of the claimants. If you suspect your neighbour has Japanese knotweed next door, quick action can lead to an effective solution and minimise cost, damage and headaches along the way. Local councils are subject to the same knotweed laws as any other organisation, therefore they are prohibited to allow Japanese knotweed … This notice can require them, within a set period, to remedy any knotweed which could adversely affect the amenity of an area. Failing this, a solicitor and an invasive weed specialist such as ourselves will be able to assist you in getting a solution. They can be liable, however, should they allow the knotweed to spread onto neighbouring land. What should I do if my neighbour has Japanese Knotweed? Initially valued for its beauty, opinion changed when it was discovered the extensive and fast-growing roots can have catastrophic consequences on a building’s drains and foundations. Notify your neighbours about Japanese Knotweed. If your neighbour has Japanese knotweed, then you should tell them as soon as possible. In short, if it can be proved that the knotweed growing stemmed from an adjoining property, that homeowner … It could be that they haven’t identified the Japanese Knotweed … Towards the end of 2017, a homeowner took his neighbour in Cornwall to Court, alleging Japanese knotweed had been allowed to spread from the neighbouring property to his own, and that this had reduced the value of their home by £50,000 (10%) – he won! authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number Ask if they could seek professional advice for the problem. reallymoving comment: The law around Japanese Knotweed changed in 2014. What's the big deal? Japanese knotweed ( Fallopia japonica ) is a weed that spreads rapidly. It is best to identify and treat Japanese knotweed as soon as possible as this not only leads to a faster resolution but is more cost effective. Do not seek legal action straight away as your neighbour may not be aware of the issue. If your neighbour has allowed knotweed to spread into your garden, you should tell them about this. The hostile plant can cause a range of headaches for landowners, including: An owner or occupier of land is not obliged to control, remove or treat Japanese knotweed on their land. We would always recommend you approach your neighbour before starting legal proceedings to discuss the situation with them and attempt to reach a resolution. In addition, Local Authorities have the power to serve notice on an occupier of land containing knotweed. The final step would be a small claims court but ideally, it wouldn’t reach this stage. Having read all of the above, you may now be thinking: 'Good grief! damages for loss of enjoyment and diminution of value. OakHouse Professional. Without causing a dispute, highlight why Japanese knotweed is a problem. What to do if your neighbour has Japanese knotweed? Based in Harrogate & Leeds: Berwins Solicitors, 2 North Park Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5PA, Berwins is the trading name of Berwins Solicitors Limited registered in Disputes between neighbours are a common occurrence, can arise for many reasons and can permanently sour relations between previously amicable neighbours. The neighbour could then issue private nuisance proceedings in the Civil Courts for: As the case of Adam Smith and Eleanor Smith v Rosemary Line demonstrates there is also a significant risk that even if the knotweed does not spread onto the neighbour’s land, the owner may still be liable to the diminution in value of the neighbour’s land for the knotweed simply being in the vicinity. Powered by WordPress The truth is, Japanese knotweed can cost you money, space and your health. Why is Japanese knotweed such a big problem? This can affect the value of the property, as well as its marketability and insurability; The expense and time required to eradicate, often requiring specialist help to treat the plant; The government has estimated the costs of eradicating all Japanese Knotweed from the UK is £2.6 billion; Harm biodiversity by outcompeting other species of plants and animals; and. If your neighbour has Japanese knotweed on their property, they are under no legal obligation to remove Japanese knotweed from their own property. What if Japanese knotweed encroaches on your land? Failure to abide by this or to properly dispose of the knotweed (such as discarding it in the wild) can lead to criminal liabilities. Do … Japanese knotweed can be mistakenly identified as other similar plants, such as Russian vine or Himalayan Honeysuckle, but it can cause a lot more damage than these plants. The claimants asserted their loss was caused by the presence of the weed which could knock 10% (£50,000) off the value of the beach-side family home. ... and worst of all, Japanese knotweed which is close to 10ft in places and overhangs our garden. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on their land or Japanese knotweed within 7 meters, it is extremely difficult to secure a mortgage against the property. But Japanese knotweed is no ordinary plant. As with Japanese knotweed it was brought to Europe to be grown in botanical gardens. You are not under any legal obligations to remove knotweed from your own property (although it is advised) but the moment it encroaches upon your neighbour’s land or affects natural wildlife you are in violation of the law.This could potentially lead to prosecution, fines, or even imprisonment for up to two years. The law around Japanese Knotweed changed in 2014. This information applies to England, where we are based, Wales and Northern Ireland. This should be … If you bring claim in nuisance, you can obtain an order making them carry out a treatment programme. If you need more advice on this issue, contact us, or refer to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. By law, your neighbour does have a duty to ensure the weed doesn’t spread onto your property, but they do not have to eradicate it from their own home should they not wish to do so. If you are successful in bringing a Nuisance Claim against a defendant, … By law, your neighbour does have a duty to ensure the weed doesn’t spread onto your property, but they do not have to eradicate it from their own home should they not wish to do so. REMEMBER, many people do not know what Japanese Knotweed is, or the problems associated with it, so approaching your neighbour in a polite and respectful manner in the first instance is sound advice. Japanese knotweed infestation can seriously damage the value of your property, so it's not an issue to be taken lightly. If they do not arrange to have the Japanese knotweed treated and allow the Japanese knotweed to spread to your land, then you may able to bring a claim against them. What happens if my neighbour has Japanese knotweed? According to a recent Court of Appeal ruling, landowners are now able to claim damages if the identified Japanese knotweed plant has invaded their property from elsewhere, which won’t leave you out of pocket. So could you provide your neighbour with an incentive get the Knotweed removed? If you notice your neighbour may have a Japanese knotweed issue, the first step to take would be to make sure they know and understand the implications of this invasive plant. We do not treat knotweed on land not owned by the council and you will need to contact the relevant land owner. Any owner or occupier dealing with Japanese knotweed would be well advised to seek specialist help. We are pretty sure that Japanese knotweed has encroached from our neighbour's land. The decision follows a similar case in 2017 (Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd [2017]). What are the implications of this for my property?A Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species, not native to the If your neighbour’s land has Japanese Knotweed that encroaches onto your land, you may have an actionable negligence claim if they are not removing or treating the plant. This should be enough to encourage them to take action. What to do if your neighbour’s land has Japanese Knotweed? If they … Don't spend money that you don't have to. Where it is on land owned by the council, we will include it in our treatment programme. Q My neighbour has recently discovered Japanese knotweed growing in their garden. This interference was caused by a feature of the defendant’s land, the knotweed that she was allegedly failing to control. Japanese knotweed infestation can seriously damage the value of your property, so it's not an issue to be taken lightly. Start amicably and mention the situation to your neighbour, who may not be aware of the issues relating to the plant. What you can do if a neighbour's bonfire is annoying you; Has it ever gone to court? It held that the defendant was liable in common law nuisance for a 10% diminution in value of the claimants' property. There are several incidents of people successfully suing adjacent land owners for damage caused by Japanese Knotweed where the losing party has had to pay to have the plant removed and root barriers installed along the … Ms Line was ordered to employ a contractor over the next five years to eradicate the weed, as well as pay substantial legal costs, believed to run into tens of thousands of pounds. Start amicably and mention the situation to your neighbour, who may not be aware of the issues relating to the plant. Most surveyors are now aware of the problems with Japanese Knotweed and much of the hysteria has calmed down meaning that common sense and careful management of the issues can resolve any potential for conflict. This also includes responsibilities for the proper disposal of any Japanese knotweed material removed from your land. Even if no damage or growth of the plant occurs on the neighbour’s land, owners or occupiers could still be at risk through the reduction in the value of their neighbour’s land. Therefore, Japanese knotweed doesn't have to be located within the boundary of your property for a surveyor to categorise your property from being at risk from Japanese knotweed. What to do if a neighbour has Japanese Knotweed If there is Japanese Knotweed on adjoining land, there are several things you can do. 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