Encroachment is the spread of Japanese knotweed rhizomes (roots) across property boundaries. If you have exhausted all friendly attempts then you can threaten legal action. This should not, however, be the first step.
What practical measures can I take to stop Japanese knotweed encroaching onto my land from my neighbours?
Japanese knotweed is not fussy about where it grows, which is demonstrated in our gallery of knotweed pictures. It has an uncanny desire to grow along and across property boundaries, without any respect for boundaries. It spreads its invasive rhizomes and continues to encroach and wreak havoc until action is taken against it.
The damage Japanese knotweed can cause should not be under-estimated, so if you notice Japanese knotweed encroaching onto your land, you should take immediate action.
Notify the adjoining landowner of the problem, preferably in writing. A co-ordinated approach that tackles the Japanese knotweed on both pieces of land is much more likely to be successful than piecemeal attempts.
Talk to us about a Treatment Plan and try and agree with the adjoining landowner the allocation of costs. We have a number of different Japanese knotweed removal methods we can use, to ensure that the knotweed is completely removed. If required, Guarantees can be issued to both properties once the work has been completed.
If you can’t agree a way forward with the adjoining owner, (some are more receptive and motivated than others) then your options are to look for a Japanese knotweed control method, such as using herbicides and or vertical root barriers or to seek legal redress.
What legal redress do I have if Japanese knotweed encroaches from adjoining land?
The legal remedy for knotweed spreading onto your land from adjoining land can be found in civil nuisance. To bring a successful claim, the claimant needs to demonstrate that the knotweed originated from the adjoining land, and that the knotweed is causing the claimant owner "nuisance".
It's not always easy to prove the knotweed origin, but an expert should be able to give an opinion based upon "the balance of probabilities", the test required in a civil case. A site survey should be able to identify this.
If the adjoining landowner, the defendant, is seen to be taking reasonable steps to mitigate the nuisance that may in itself be a suitable defence, making any claim likely to fail. However, we often see steps being taken that are not reasonable e.g. long treatment programmes and restrictions on use of the garden/property whilst the lengthy treatment programme is carried out.
If you think you are a victim of encroachment please talk to us. We can help you. One of our experts can provide Japanese knotweed expert witness services in accordance Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 35). We can also put you in touch with lawyers, highly experienced in Japanese knotweed disputes.
Call us on 01932 868 700 today.