Does Japanese knotweed cause diminution to the value of residential property?

A recent story in the media talked about a property in South Wales being halved in value due to the presence of Japanese knotweed in the garden and on adjoining land. Difficult to believe I hear you say, especially if the knotweed is far enough away from the house not to be a risk of causing damage to it.

Winter’s on its way – does the knotweed go away?

Sadly not, it just ‘plays dead’ above ground.

In the Autumn the leaves turn yellow and drop, the green canes with their distinctive purple speckles turn brown, brittle and inert. Gradually, over months or years, these dead canes will decompose. However, before you can say ‘Spring sunshine’ new shoots appear amidst these tall brown canes to cause more havoc. See our videos on identification and damage on our website.

"Rip Off Britain" & Japanese knotweed

The BBC consumer programme 'Rip Off Britain' earlier this week broadcast a story on Japanese knotweed, featuring a lady in the Midlands unable to get a mortgage due to Japanese knotweed on adjoining land owned by a local council. Sadly, this type of story is all too common. However, with the correct advice, the right treatment plan and an insurance backed guarantee underwritten by Lloyd’s of London that does not need to be the case.

Japanese knotweed and Carbon Emissions

The other day I was asked whether Japanese knotweed causes global warming. I had to think this one through. I guess the argument goes that if knotweed is growing, then surely it is fixing carbon from the atmosphere into the plant and therefore reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. So that’s a good thing, if you believe the theory that greater concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming.

Return of the Undead - Japanese Knotweed Regrowth

We are constantly being called out to eradicate Japanese knotweed because a DIY attempt has failed. The comments that usually accompany such a request are along the lines of:

- ”I’ve nearly killed it, but it keeps growing again.”

- “It’s certainly a bit smaller than it was last year. That stuff from B+Q is doing the trick……I think.”

- “It’s looking a bit poorly. I think it’s nearly dead.”

Notification and Disclosure of Japanese knotweed

Contrary to popular belief Japanese knotweed is not a notifiable weed, so there is no legal requirement to report its presence on land you own or control to the Authorities.  

However, when you come to sell a property you will be required to answer a set of pre-contract enquiries which typically follow the Law Society’s TA6 Form. This form has a specific question relating to Japanese knotweed and is phrased:

The Plant that Ate Britain

An excellent 6 page article by journalist Matt Rudd on Japanese knotweed entitled “The Plant that Ate Britain” was published in the Sunday Times Magazine on July 13th 2014. It’s worth a read if you want to know more about this highly invasive weed. Download Japanese knotweed - The Plant that Ate Britain

Japanese knotweed encroachment and neighbours

Not only does Japanese knotweed cause damage to property, and interfere with a house sale because a lender won’t lend, it can also create problems with those perfectly nice people next door – your neighbours.

Japanese knotweed disputes and litigation is on the rise as more property owners realise the severity of the knotweed spreading to their property from next door, and how this will affect them.