Japanese knotweed: the plant that strikes fear into the heart of every home and business across the country thanks to its incredibly invasive nature and ability to cause extensive damage as it grows.
Photo by dankogreen (Flickr)
Dealing with knotweed on your own property is one thing, but when you have to deal with knotweed that is growing and spreading from a neighbouring property, the situation can and has proven on many occasions in recent history, to become an even bigger problem to contend with. Especially when the neighbours in question choose to ignore it.
So, what can you do if you have a Japanese knotweed neighbour dispute? Taylor Total Weed Control are here to help! In this blog, we take a closer look at some of the legal issues surrounding Japanese knotweed and its spread and what you can do if your neighbour chooses to ignore it.
Knotweed and neighbours
As we mentioned, a combination of Japanese knotweed and neighbours often doesn't end very well. This is is because you are reliant on the neighbour to deal with any infestation that has been identified and there is usually little that you can do if they themselves are unwilling to deal with it.
There is little that legislation can do, despite knotweed being legislated against in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Japanese knotweed is unfortunately not cited under any legislation requiring it to be notified either, causing even more problems between neighbours.
What can you do?
If the normal neighbourly conversations have seemed to hit a dead-end when it comes to dealing with a knotweed infestation, then there are several options that you can take.
- If the knotweed has already spread onto your property and has caused damage, then your insurance company may be willing to help. Here, you can gain legal advice through your property insurance policy that can help with any legal proceedings.
- If the first option fails then the next option is to get a solicitor to draft a letter and hire a specialist who deals with invasive weeds and plants to quote on the cost to implement a treatment plan. Gather both documents and send them across to your neighbour in hope that they will make the arrangements to get rid of the infestation.
- Your third option if the previous step doesn't work is to make a private nuisance claim against your neighbour in the small claims court. You can appoint a qualified surveyor who is a member of the RICS to assess the impact of the knotweed infestation on the value of your home and use this within your claim against your neighbour.
We understand that disputes with neighbours over Japanese knotweed can become tiresome and expensive, so our best advice is to try to advise the neighbour on the implications of allowing a knotweed infestation to spread. Explain that insurance companies won't cover any damage caused by knotweed and they can in fact seek to recover any costs where it can be proven that it was a neighbour's infestation that has caused damage.
Tell them that the presence of knotweed can have a huge impact on the value of your home and their home and that mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend on their property.
If you would like to learn more about what to do if your neighbour has Japanese knotweed, read our previous blog below.
What to Do if Your Neighbour Has Japanese Knotweed >
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Unsure on whether your neighbour has a knotweed infestation? Send us a photo and we can confirm it! Our new website feature allows you to send and upload a photo of a potential knotweed infestation found in a neighbouring property. Simply click the button below, submit your details and upload your image and we will confirm whether knotweed is present.
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