Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed causes a lot of problems in the UK, but you might be surprised to learn that this invasive species is NOT notifiable.

This means that, if you find Japanese knotweed in your garden, you are NOT legally required to notify the authorities. It is not an offence to have Japanese knotweed on your property as long as you are not allowing it to spread.

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Garden spades in the soil

We usually treat Japanese knotweed by spraying the leaves with herbicides. A typical knotweed treatment programme consists of multiple herbicide applications over a period of 3 years, followed by a 2-year monitoring period to ensure that the problem is under control.

If time is of the essence, excavation is a quicker (but more expensive) alternative to the above. Heavy excavation machinery is used to dig up the affected area; this may be combined with spraying for optimum results.

Learn more about our Japanese knotweed treatment plans

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The TA6 form's Japanese knotweed question was revised in February 2020. Now, when selling a property, you can only answer 'no' if you are certain there is no Japanese knotweed within 3 metres of the property boundary.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the recent TA6 form change and what it means for buyers and sellers.

Filling out a form

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A row of terraced houses

Selling a house whose garden is infested with Japanese knotweed is a tricky proposition. Japanese knotweed can have a big impact on the value of a property, and make your home considerably less desirable in the eyes of potential buyers.

It may be tempting to just play dumb and pretend you're unaware of the invasive species in your back garden, but if you conceal the fact that there is Japanese knotweed on a property you're selling, you may be breaking the law.

Whether you're a homeowner or an estate agent, here are some tips to help you complete the sale AND stay on the right side of the law.

 

First, make sure it actually IS Japanese knotweed.

If you think there's Japanese knotweed on a property you're trying to sell, your first course of action should be to call an expert.

Note that Japanese knotweed looks quite similar to a number of other plants and weeds - including bindweed, Russian vine, broadleaf dock and ground elder - so we recommend contacting a Japanese knotweed specialist and asking them to carry out a survey of your property.

An experienced professional will be able to confirm whether or not you have a Japanese knotweed problem and advise you on what to do next.

READ MORE: How to Identify Japanese Knotweed

 

Be honest.

Japanese knotweed isn't technically classified as a 'notifiable weed', but since 2013, the Law Society's TA6 form includes a specific question on the subject of Japanese knotweed. Failure to disclose information relating to a knotweed infestation on your property can be deemed a breach of Consumer Protection Rights regulations.

Naturally, such a transgression can have legal ramifications, providing solid grounds for misrepresentation and potentially leaving you open to a lawsuit. So it's best to be honest and upfront about the issue during the entire selling process.

 

Look for a guarantee.

If it turns out that you do indeed have Japanese knotweed on your property, it's important to take action as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the worse the problem get.

Mortgage lenders can be extremely hesitant to lend the full amount if a property has Japanese knotweed, mainly because the plant can affect the building's structural integrity. However, lenders can be persuaded - you just need to take a proactive approach.

We recommend finding a Japanese knotweed removal specialist who offers a Japanese knotweed guarantee, i.e. a warranty that will safeguard you in the event that the infestation should return after treatment.

If you can demonstrate that appropriate removal measures have been implemented, this will potentially convince mortgage lenders to overlook the fact that you have Japanese knotweed on your property (or at last lead them to be more sympathetic to your situation).

 

Don't expect a quick fix.

Japanese knotweed control can be a lengthy process - several visits will be required, and a complete course of treatment often takes around three years. If you want to maximise your home's value, you may want to refrain from selling until after your knotweed problem has been eradicated.

That being said, if you really are in a rush to sell your house despite the presence of Japanese knotweed, you may be forced to take a hit on the sale price in exchange for speed of the sale. This might mean that lenders are put off, in which case you'll have to take the cash buyer route; as a result, you could see the sale price drop by up to 20% below market value.

 

Call the professionals.

Essentially, if you're serious about selling a house that has Japanese knotweed (and you don't fancy dealing with a lawsuit or slashing your sale price), your best option is to call in the pros and get to the root of the problem.

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we specialise in Japanese knotweed removal and have over 15 years' experience under our belts. For a long-term solution with an insurance-backed guarantee, Japanese knotweed removal from Taylor Weed Control is the smart choice for you and your property.

Contact us to request a FREE survey

Japanese knotweed regulations

Can you get in trouble with the law if you have Japanese knotweed in your garden? Technically, no. There are no regulations stating that you have to remove Japanese knotweed from your own property.

However, you MUST NOT:

  • Let Japanese knotweed grow or spread into the wild.
  • Allow Japanese knotweed to spread from your garden into neighbouring gardens.

Failure to comply with either of these Japanese knotweed laws can lead to prosecution, a fine and/or imprisonment. Therefore, it is important that you put a proper plan of action in place if you do notice Japanese knotweed is growing on your property.

Currently, there are no laws stating Japanese knotweed infestations need to be reported, however, reporting the problem & notifying neighbours can prompt them to check their own gardens for signs of knotweed and get the problem resolved quickly. 

Japanese Knotweed UK Law - Treatment

Treating your Japanese knotweed

The most effective way of treating Japanese knotweed involves the use of pesticides. Anyone who chooses this method of treatment is bound by The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 to ensure that all the necessary precautions are made to protect other human beings, animals and plant life.

To treat your own Japanese knotweed, you do not have to have Japanese knotweed qualifications, however, applying pesticides can be quite difficult for a gardening novice. If the Japanese knotweed is in a high traffic family garden or near to an open water source, it can be hard to know how much pesticide contamination is 'too much'.

Here at Taylor Weed Control, we always recommend leaving the treatment of Japanese knotweed to the professionals. We have been dealing with this invasive plant for over a decade, so we can get the job done quickly and efficiently without damaging the surrounding environments.

Professional Japanese knotweed treatment

There are Japanese knotweed laws in place to make sure that people treating knotweed commercially have the necessary Japanese knotweed eradication certificate. 

Companies offering a professional Japanese knotweed removal service must be certified to use, supply and store the specialist 'agricultural pesticides' required for the knotweed treatments. Operatives must also be properly trained in the application of these pesticides.

If a knotweed removal company employs an individual who doesn't have the proper Japanese knotweed qualifications, they can be supervised by a more senior member of staff (someone who does have their Japanese knotweed eradication certificates). The conditions of this require that they must be seen and be able to hear their supervisors instructions at all times.

Our Japanese Knotweed Qualifications

As one of the leading Japanese knotweed removal specialists in South Wales, we have gained a number of industry-recognised accreditations. All of our Japanese knotweed removal technicians are properly trained and qualified to complete their job, and that's why so many people choose us for their Japanese knotweed removal! 

We can offer you a FREE, no-obligation lawn survey to establish the extent of your Japanese knotweed problem, then we can treat it for you. This way, you won't have to concern yourself with the legalities and regulations of Japanese knotweed.

Request a FREE lawn survey >   Japanese Knotweed Treatment >

Looking through the blinds at neighbour's property

Japanese knotweed is a notoriously intrusive plant that can rock your property to its very foundation, damaging your home's value as well as its structural integrity.

However, you don't have to have it on your land for it to cause issues. A case of Japanese knotweed next door can be nearly as problematic as having knotweed present in your own garden.

If Japanese knotweed has been discovered on your next-door neighbour's property, the principal concern above all else is preventing the possibility of the knotweed spreading onto your property.

Luckily, we at Taylor Total Weed Control have you covered with our Japanese knotweed monitoring programme. It's tailor-made to keep your property protected in the event of neighbouring knotweed.

 

'Help! My neighbour has Japanese knotweed!'

From a legal perspective, your neighbour is under no legal obligation to remove or treat Japanese knotweed on their own property (although this can differ under Scottish law).

However, the moment the knotweed creeps over the threshold and into your land, it's effectively classed as a private nuisance. Once this breach has occurred, your neighbours are liable for legal action.

Naturally, taking legal action on a neighbour can lead to all sorts of social issues, and a knotweed-related neighbour dispute can easily turn into an unwanted headache for all parties. As such, it should be considered a last resort.

That being said, Japanese knotweed can spread all too easily, so it's important to keep your best interests protected. Keep potential knotweed drama to a minimum with a Japanese knotweed monitoring programme from Taylor Total Weed Control.

 

Japanese knotweed monitoring programmes

Japanese knotweed infestation can seriously damage the value of your property, so it's not an issue to be taken lightly. 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.

If you can't come to an amicable solution with your neighbours or they are simply denying that a problem exists, Taylor Total Weed Control's Japanese knotweed monitoring programme can provide your neighbour with documented evidence of Japanese knotweed on-site, highlighting to all involved that knotweed is indeed present.

 

Keeping You Covered

Once we have identified the knotweed, we can inform your neighbours via an official letter of their legal obligation to deal with the issue, in order to prevent it from spreading to your property. This will include the knotweed-specific TA5 and TA6 property information forms.

After we've notified your neighbours, we can also conduct regular visits thereafter to check the development of the knotweed, whether your neighbour has taken action and, if so, how effectively have they dealt with the issue. This includes photographic evidence where necessary.

If your neighbour has neglected to take appropriate action or the treatment has proved ineffective and the knotweed does indeed spread to your property, your back is legally covered. The records of our TWC monitoring programmes will provide ample evidence that you took preventative actions to avoid such a situation arising and you are free to take action as needed.

For more details on our Japanese knotweed monitoring programme or additional advice on how to deal with Japanese knotweed next door, call Taylor Total Weed Control on 029 2039 7554.

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How to dispose of Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant that grows quickly and can cause significant damage to buildings, roads, and other types of infrastructure that stand in its way.

If you've discovered Japanese knotweed on your property, you're probably eager to get rid of it as soon as possible - but don't be too hasty!

It's extremely important to take care when disposing of Japanese knotweed. Under UK law, those who help the plant to spread - even accidentally - may face:

  • Up to 2 years in prison
  • Or a fine of up to £5,000

It's all too easy for Japanese knotweed to spread!

Japanese knotweed didn't become such a widespread problem in this country by pure coincidence. The plant's rhizome root system allows it to spread from one location to another with frightening ease - a single small root fragment can quickly grow into a whole new plant!

This is why you simply can't be too careful when disposing of Japanese knotweed. Failure to follow the law can end up fostering further knotweed growth, and frankly, this species is doing just fine for itself without any extra assistance from us.

So what's the right way to dispose of Japanese knotweed?

While it's not illegal to dispose of Japanese knotweed yourself (as long as you know exactly what you're doing), it's usually preferable to hire a contractor who knows how to dispose of Japanese knotweed properly.

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to deal with Japanese knotweed, both of which are generally better left to the experts:

  1. Excavation - The Japanese knotweed is dug up using heavy earth-moving machinery, then transported to a specialist landfill site with the relevant environmental permit (taking care at all times not let any contaminated soil or plant matter find its way into the wild).

  2. Herbicide - Over a number of months, the Japanese knotweed is repeatedly sprayed with herbicide to control the plant's growth.

Although there are certain situations where option 1 may be preferable (e.g. if there is a tight deadline for clearing the site of Japanese knotweed), herbicide application is by far the cheaper option and is usually sufficient to prevent Japanese knotweed from causing any long-term problems.

Japanese knotweed removal services from Taylor Weed Control

Taylor Weed Control specialises in herbicide-based Japanese knotweed control, and we offer this service throughout South Wales, the South West and beyond.

We are registered with the Property Care Association, and our reports are approved by the RICS (Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors), so you can rely on us to handle your Japanese knotweed problem in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Property Care Associations

FREE Japanese Knotweed Survey >

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