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Japanese Knotweed season starts early in 2019!

Posted on 8 March 2019 by Laura Godfrey

Japanese Knotweed season starts early in 2019!

Whilst many of us have been enjoying the unusually warm weather for this time of year, the warm start to the year could push the Japanese Knotweed growing season ahead of its usual pattern; since Japanese Knotweed lives through winter in the soil and starts to sprout in the warmer temperatures of spring.

The growing season last year was also effected by the “Beast from the East”, which brought snow across the country in March 2018, putting the growing season back.

It is well-known that Japanese Knotweed is a problem plant which can devalue land and property and lead to a refusal of mortgages. It is an invasive species due to its root system and strong growth, meaning it can disrupt paving/slabs, undermine walls, block drains and drain runs and effect the stability of outbuildings and conservatories.

There have been recent cases dealing with the issue of Japanese Knotweed that show removal works can be forced against uncooperative property owners.

In one case a Council relied upon the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to address a Japanese Knotweed infestation. The Court held that the encroachment of the Japanese Knotweed roots onto the Claimant’s land along with the Defendant’s knowledge of this and its failure to do anything about it, was sufficient to provide and injunction. Whereas in another case, a Council enforced a Community Protection Notice (“CPN”) against a landowner, because of concerns that a house owned by the landowner had become overrun with Japanese Knotweed, and secured an order requiring removal works to be undertaken (as well as a fine). The CPN was granted on the basis that the landowner’s failure to act on the Japanese Knotweed was unreasonable and was having a negative effect on the quality of life of several neighbouring property owners.

It is important to note that Japanese Knotweed is a “controlled waste” which means it can only be removed and disposed of by licensed organisations. This is why it is important to identify the plant and put the correct controls in place quickly.

Our conveyancers at Pardoes have experience dealing with transactions involving properties affected by Japanese Knotweed, so if you have any queries please feel free to contact any of our office to discuss your matter with one of our conveyancers.

Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home