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A Knotty Dilemma - Japanese Knotweed

View profile for Amanda Payne
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Japanese Knotweed is one of the most evasive plants in Britain which is highly aggressive and destructive. It has been known to block footpaths, grow through concrete, damage tarmac and affect people’s property.

Japanese Knotweed was originally introduced in the mid-19th Century and is a plant which can grow as much as 20cm per day in any type of soil and can reach a height of up to 3 metres in just a few months. It’s spreading is almost unstoppable and its underground roots can be as small as a few millimetres making it very difficult to remove once it has been established.

Treating an infestation can cost anything from £5,000 to £10,000 or more although larger infestations and particularly those that may require off site disposal of significant volumes of controlled waste could cost tens of hundreds of thousands of pounds to be effectively dealt with.

Japanese Knotweed has become a major issue in property transactions and in the last few years lenders have become particularly aware of the issue and have formalised their secure lending decisions concerning property affected by Knotweed infestations.

On occasion this has resulted in mortgage lenders withdrawing their mortgage offers. Although it is not an offence to have Japanese Knotweed on your own land and property and there’s no legal obligation to remove it or notify anybody but if the plant is allowed to encroach on to neighbouring property this may constitute a private nuisance under common law potentially resulting in an injunction.

The plant itself is a hardy bamboo like perennial plant but is something to be aware of in your own garden or in the garden of a property you are seeking to acquire.

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