27th May 2017
London, UK; The nation’s leading Japanese Knotweed removal company, Environet UK, is exploring the ways in which Japanese Knotweed is effected by Civil law. . Over the last 4 years there has been a landmark increase in the number of civil cases that have arisen as a result of this aggressive perennial.
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) is a large, herbaceous plant that is native to East Asia but was introduced to the UK in the 1940s. It is extremely fast-growing and has bamboo-like stems and small white flowers which appear in summer. Knotweed has been grown as an ornamental plant in years gone by, but is now more commonly found as a wayside weed. During the winter months, the plant’s stems die back, but the rhizomes beneath ground remain alive. However by early summer, the knotweed can grow to over 2 metres in height. This suppresses growth of other neighbouring plants and causes widespread damage.
In Environet UK’s recent blog, titled “What you need to know about civil law and Japanese knotweed”, resident Japanese knotweed expert Nicolas Seal has outlined the three ways in which civil disputes arise.
“Private nuisance claims, also known as Encroachment, occurs when the Japanese knotweed spreads from one area of land to another…” commented Mr. Seal. “…prior to any claim the aggrieved owner should seek to resolve the issue with their neighbour in an amicable way. This will involve co-operation between neighbours, perhaps agreeing to a combined treatment programme on a shared cost basis. If this fails, the aggrieved neighbour should seek legal advice to determine whether they have a case against the landowner of the neighbouring land.”
There has also been a rise in misrepresentation cases and professional negligence cases. Both of these civil disputes are primarily caused during the sale or transfer of a property. Misrepresentation occurs when the vendor provides wrong information to the buyer in regards to the presence of Japanese knotweed on the property; whereas professional negligence cases arise where a conveyancer or solicitor fails to accurately report the presence of Japanese knotweed on the property.
“During the conveyancing process, sellers are obliged to complete pre-contract enquiries, usually following the Law Society’s standard TA6 form. Question 7 of the form asks “Is the property affected by Japanese knotweed?” giving the seller the choice of “Yes”, “No” or “Not known” as answers. The seller must answer this question truthfully, having made due enquiry, or face the risk of a misrepresentation claim”
In any case where Japanese knotweed is found on a property, help and advice is needed to decide on the appropriate treatment. Japanese knotweed removal companies like Environet UK can assist with solutions to treat or permanently eradicate the plant. Setting up a Japanese knotweed management plan will often be sufficient to demonstrate that the home owner is taking action to remove the plant from their property. Environet UK provide a free help and advice service and can be contacted by members of the public or estate agents and solicitors.
More information about Japanese knotweed removal can be found at https://environetuk.com