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Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed?

Should I be worried about Japanese Knotweed?
Should I purchase a property if it has Japanese Knotweed?

When you sell your house, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire for the purchasers buying your property and one of the questions asked is: are you aware of your property being affected by Japanese Knotweed. Japanese Knotweed was first brought to the UK in the 1840s as an ornamental plant but is now seen as an extremely invasive weed that is difficult to eradicate.  It is common along roadsides, waste ground and railway embankments, rivers and streams.

Red/purple shoots emerge from the ground in March or April and rapidly grow into lush green plants with bamboo like canes and heart shaped leaves

Please see the following link for detailed pictures to help you identify this plant: digital_quick_jk_id_guide.pdf (environetuk.com).

Japanese Knotweed spreads rapidly and as it can grow through hard surfaces including concrete it can be a problem for house owners, causing damage to driveways, drains and even the walls of your house. Its roots can be as deep as 2 to 3 metres and spread up to 7 metres.

You should therefore take action before it causes serious damage or spreads to a neighbour’s property.

Don’t panic though because it can be treated.

You should always use a company who specialise in treatment as there are strict guidelines in treating and disposing of invasive non-native plants. You can be prosecuted if you allow Japanese Knotweed to spread from your property for example by dumping contaminated soil or plant material elsewhere.

Any treatment will have to form part of a management plan and there should also be insurance cover linked to that plan.

Usually it will be necessary to spray the plant with an herbicide over a period of 3 years as the plant can remain dormant underground for many years.

Our Dispute Resolution Team has considerable experience of pursuing and defending nuisance claims on behalf of clients and our Residential Property Team can advise on the consequences for a potential sale or purchase. Together we can advise on any possible steps to mitigate the problem, including insurance options if applicable. Visit our web site and request call back or telephone Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich Suffolk 01473 213311 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester Essex 01206 584584 where a member of team will be happy to speak with you.

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