Japanese knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant which can cause a great deal of damage to your property if left untreated.  If left untreated, the knotweed will continue to grow and spread.  The presence and continued spread of knotweed is considered to be a nuisance.  It is a very hardy and robust plant which grows quickly.

It spreads underground via its rhizomes or roots, and can grow up to two metres in height.  It is problematic as it will out-compete native flora.

As of 1981, it became an offence to ‘plant or otherwise cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild’, as a result of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 being passed by the Government.

Does knotweed grow all year round?

In the months of March to April, the plant is at an early stage of its growing cycle but it is still fairly distinctive.

The growth of knotweed will be the most vigorous during the months of May through to October, and is usually always easily identifiable.

During the winter months from October through to February, the plant loses its leaves and dies back.  Its stems however are still recognisable.

What does Japanese knotweed look like?​
Japanese knotweed creamy

It has creamy white flowers in the summer, and the flowers appear in mid to late summer.

Japanese knotweed lush green leaves

There are also lots of lush green leaves.

Japanese knotweed bamboo

The stem of the plant is hollow, bamboo like and red in colour.

Who is responsible for the knotweed?

If a landowner has failed to treat knotweed on their land, and this has subsequently spread to your land, you may be able to make a claim against the owner of the land where it has spread from. 

How can knotweed affect my property?

Knotweed was once thought to be an incredibly dangerous plant which could totally ruin the foundations of properties.  With education and raised awareness, it is now understood that whilst it can cause damage, it is not as severe as it was once thought to be.  Some common effects of knotweed include:

  • The roots of the knotweed can exploit existing cracks and gaps in concrete, and they will reach for water. As a result, blocked drains can become an issue.
  • Knotweed can also grow in between slabs and in between the joints of concrete.
  • Where the knotweed is particularly bad, it can undermine garden walls and shallow foundations, meaning that retaining walls can be pushed over.
  • Older outbuildings with weak structures, and poorly maintained sheds and garages can be become overwhelmed with the strong and rapid growth of the knotweed.
  • Keen gardeners can have their once well maintained gardens blighted by the rapid growth of knotweed.

What should I do if my property is affected by knotweed?

You should not attempt to remove/treat the knotweed without professional help.  You may be committing a criminal offence if you were to attempt to remove/transport the knotweed without the assistance of a licenced professional.

How can knotweed be treated?

Knotweed can be treated successfully in a number of ways, and there are a variety of options available to homeowners.  We strongly recommend that you seek professional guidance as to what the best treatment methods would be, but your options could include:

  • The excavation and safe removal/transportation of affected to soils to a site which is licensed to deal with the invasive species.
  • Knotweed can be excavated and buried on site with the use of specialist membranes which can prevent any regrowth.
  • Barriers can also be used to contain knotweed to neighbouring land, but the best results are often achieved when used alongside other methods.
  • Specialised herbicides can also be applied over several growing seasons to kill off the knotweed and prevent it’s further spread.
Japanese Knotweed what to do
Japanese Knotweed What can I claim for
What can I claim for?

Japanese knotweed can affect your property in a number of ways, and our expert Solicitors will advise you in respect of what you could claim for.  Examples could include:

  • The costs of removing/treating the knotweed on your property.
  • Ensuring the responsible landowner has the knotweed treated on their neighbouring land.
  • The costs of any physical damage to your property (for example damaged sheds/outbuildings).
  • The diminution in value to your property.

How we can help you

  • We are currently representing a number of clients where knotweed has spread from neighbouring land.
  • We are working hard to ensure that they will achieve the best possible outcome for their claim, by working with industry experts in horticulture and property valuation.
  • We will advise you throughout the process to ensure that your property is protected and most importantly, to ensure that the knotweed is treated.
  • We can usually offer to work on a no win no fee basis for most Japanese knotweed claims, so there will be no upfront cost to you.*

* Terms and conditions apply.

MEET THE JAPANESE KNOTWEED TEAM

Our specialist property solicitors are experienced in dealing with Japanese Knotweed claims, and will work on your behalf to obtain the compensation which you deserve.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can usually handle Japanese Knotweed claims on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call or email us today to discuss your claim.

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Kelly Lawson

Head of Property Litigation

Kelly graduated from her Law degree in 2006, and then completed a Masters in Health Law in 2008.  She completed her LPC in 2009 after which she immediately commenced work as a paralegal.  Kelly then qualified as a Solicitor in 2014 and has remained in practice since then.  

Kelly enjoys all aspects of litigation but she particularly enjoys representing her clients at Court wherever possible.  She can deal with all manners of civil litigation however she specialises in Property litigation, for both residential and commercial clients.  She feels her friendly approach puts her clients at ease in what can be quite often, stressful situations.  Whilst litigation is her speciality, she is always keen to negotiate the best outcome for her clients without involving the courts wherever possible. 

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys running, listening to music and walking in the local countryside with her young family and the dogs. 

Kelly Lawson
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