Japanese Knotweed and the Law Japanese Knotweed is regulated by the following pieces of legislation, the main being: The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 Here’s What To Do. Deciding who is responsible for clearing the Japanese knotweed should be the first step to take after the positive identification of the plant. Japanese Knotweed Ltd does use some non-essential cookies. This is not due to any changes in the law, but due to a small number of cases where surveyors have been found negligent for failing to spot knotweed. In the case where you have bought a property with the knowledge of the infestation then you will be liable for the costs of treatment. Japanese Knotweed UK law. A purchaser of property affected by Japanese Knotweed may be able to bring a claim against the vendor on the basis of answers provided in the Law … Related: How to get rid of Japanese knotweed. The ‘not known’ answer is arguably the most honest for the majority of sellers, but in reality it should serve only to prompt the buyer’s solicitors to probe for further information. And court cases do, of course, represent a minute proportion of disputes. Japanese knotweed is the cause of approximately £170 million worth of home repairs in the United Kingdom every year and is causing problems for developers and private homeowners. Japanese knotweed ( Fallopia japonica ) is a weed that spreads rapidly. Japanese knotweed is listed as one of these plants in Schedule 9, offenders may face a £5000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment, or 2 years and/or an unlimited fine on indictment. 269 Field End Road, Allowing Japanese knotweed to spread to neighbouring properties may be viewed as a private nuisance under common law, but this would be a civil matter. The Law. The act stipulates that Japanese Knotweed can only be disposed of at landfills that are licensed to handle contaminated soil. RICS surveyors should keep up to date with the current guidelines in relation to invasive plants if they miss Japanese knotweed on a survey then they may be sued for professional negligence. The Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the decision of the Recorder but held that the claimants cannot claim in private nuisance merely because of the diminution in the properties' market value because of lender caution in such situations. In the event where you are granted permission to bury your Japanese knotweed waste on your own land then you must adhere to a handful of guidelines to ensure that the plant does not make a resurgence once more. What should I do? If it is clear that the knotweed in your garden is encroachment from an adjoining property we will confirm the encroachment and you will be able to provide this as evidence to the neighbouring landowner. Should you wish to legally build on land with Japanese knotweed then you will need to follow a few steps, to ensure that you’re not held liable years down the line. Has your surveyor missed Japanese knotweed? Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild. Related: How To Identify Japanese Knotweed. There are many legal factors affecting the disposal of Japanese Knotweed. The legal remedy for knotweed spreading onto your land from adjoining land can be found in civil nuisance. It must be proved that the knotweed originated on your land in order for you to be held responsible for clearing it, as in the case of Smith v Line. Trustworthy firms that you can rely on will belong to trade bodies such as the Property Care Association (PCA) or the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association. named but can prove to be a persistent and costly problem if it is found on your land. This issue is exacerbated by property owners lying about the presence of knotweed and by a lack of transparency within the Japanese knotweed removal industry. First, it lowers the value of your property, which if you intend to sell or re-mortgage it, has obvious repercussions. Japanese Knotweed is one of a number of invasive weeds which are controlled by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If you are able to show that the surveyor should have noticed the Japanese knotweed, you can make a claim. Over the past few years Japanese knotweed has raised concerns, perhaps disproportionately, among residential surveyors. Email: contact@knotweed.co.uk So if you allow Japanese Knotweed to spread from your land you may wind up facing a fine of £5,000 or even a prison sentence, since this law can be enforced by both the police and local authorities. You may also need to get permission from Natural England, in cases where the land you’re treating is protected. If they do not take reasonable steps to control the knotweed after they’ve been informed of the infestation, then you should be able to appeal for a Community Protection Notice from your local authority to force them to do so. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that as of 2008 defines, within England and Wales and Scotland, the fundamental structure and authority for waste management and control of emissions into the environment. Homeowners can often be placed in a difficult position where they’re aware that a knotweed infestation is close to their borders, but feel powerless to stop it spreading onto their own property. Look for broad, green, shield-shaped leaves during the summer, attached to reddish hollow stems, similar to bamboo. Open up a discussion with your neighbour, letting them know that knotweed is present on their property. The survey will provide you with a written document that will accurately identify the knotweed and its location. If you own or manage a property or land which is affected by Japanese knotweed, you are responsible for the control of the invasive weed. In this way, Japanese knotweed can fairly be described as a natural hazard which affects landowners' ability fully to use and enjoy their property and, in doing so, interferes with the land's amenity value. If SEPA agree to you using this method you must clear all of the leaf and stem material above ground and remove all of the roots and fibres in the ground along with any soil or earth that contained the roots and fibres as this will be contaminated. You will be liable for the spread of the plant even if you have attempted to stop its spread by composting or burying it. Ideally, we would need access to all of the affected garden(s). You can be prosecuted or given a community protection notice for causing a nuisance if you allow it to spread onto anyone else’s property. It states: "You must dispose of Japanese knotweed waste off-site by transferring it to a disposal facility that’s permitted, e.g. You can identify it as there is a growth pattern of one stem per node, which forms a zig-zag stem growth pattern. Reporting Japanese knotweed to a local council. Has Your Surveyor Missed Japanese Knotweed? It is not illegal for you to have Japanese knotweed on your property, but it is against UK law to cause or allow the plant to spread in the wild. This may reflect the fact that knotweed can be hard to spot in its early stages and most property owners are not horticultural experts. Find out more about our Japanese Knotweed Survey here. The KMP must be fit for purpose and provide a long term guarantee and for some lenders may need to be backed by insurance. How to legally prevent the spread of Japanese knotweed. Property owners who find Japanese knotweed growing nearby or on their land should be aware of the very serious problems it can cause. Japanese knotweed arrived in the UK in 1850, and since then has spread throughout most of the country. Japanese knotweed is a tall plant, up to 2 or 3 m, that grows vigorously, and forms dense thickets. If it can be proven that the knotweed has entered from a neighbouring property then you should be able to claim for the costs of the removal of the plant. Do have the Knotweed knowledge. If you suspect you have Japanese Knotweed on or around your property, make sure you get professional expertise with identification and eradication. You are able to find this out by opening the browser, clicking on 'Help' and then 'About'. As experts in the field of Japanese knotweed we can provide expert witness services for disputes/litigation claims regarding Japanese knotweed. They were able to claim for the costs of removing the knotweed and their neighbour had to commit to a 5-year treatment plan, to ensure that the infestation would not return. His in-depth legal experience and connections to the Japanese knotweed removal industry make him uniquely suited for handling your case. Eradication requires determination as it is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals. By Paolo Martini on 11th February 2019 (updated: 22nd December 2020) in News. Not Known There are many legal factors affecting the disposal of Japanese Knotweed. It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow schedule 9 species (Japanese Knotweed is classed as a schedule 9 species) in the wild, punishable by fines or imprisonment If it can be shown that a schedule 9 plant has spread from a landowners property onto another property, then the landowner could be considered responsible for any damage caused and the costs of control The following pieces of legislation can and will affect you if you have Japanese Knotweed on your property (commercial or residential). If you suspect you have Japanese Knotweed on or around your property, make sure you get professional expertise with identification and eradication. Managing Trustees need to be aware of the serious implications that can arise when Japanese Knotweed is found on land. Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 lists certain plants that have become established in the wild in Great Britain but which the law seeks to prevent spreading further. Think You’ve Found Knotweed On Your Property? Community protection notice: One important law that could relate to Japanese knotweed legislation is the community protection notice, which can be used against individuals who are acting unreasonably and who persistently or continually act in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. Japanese knotweed is easily recognisable at all stages of its growth, and has characteristic hollow bamboo-like stems which are usually pale green and purple in its mature state. Is Japanese Knotweed illegal? The presence of knotweed does not automatically prevent a mortgage from being obtained, with a case by case basis approach often adopted. ", "You must prevent Japanese knotweed on your land from spreading into the wild and causing a nuisance. There is a reported lack of awareness of the legal responsibility of homeowners to prevent knotweed from spreading, with only 36% knowing they could be sued and just 18% aware they could face prosecution. Reproduced rapidly via tiny fragments of its rhizome, the weeds of Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 10cm a day and in just 10 weeks its stems can reach 3-4 metres in height. Learn more. Japanese Knotweed Related Court Cases, Legal Precedents & Case Law | Knotweed Law | Expert Witness | Case Law | Disputes | Planning | Herbicides | Waste Carriers | Environment Act | Further down on the page we have listed significant court cases which have helped to shape what the legal boundaries are in relation to Japanese Knotweed. The presence of Japanese knotweed can lead to a home being devalued by up to 5% which can be a difference of thousands of pounds for homeowners. Japanese Knotweed is classed as “controlled waste” and the law requires it must be disposed of at a registered landfill site. The effect is the same: the presence of Japanese Knotweed amounts to an interference with quiet enjoyment and … Recently, though, the law has joined the fight against Japanese Knotweed on two fronts. According to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is the responsibility of the landowner to prevent the spread of Japanese knotweed into the wild, or neighbouring properties. To which there are three possible answers: Yes What to do if there is Japanese knotweed encroaching from adjoining land, What to do if a neighbour has Japanese Knotweed. If you have bought a house that's affected by Japanese knotweed, and you are able to show the seller knew about Japanese knotweed on the property, you can sue the seller. Japanese knotweed sketchbook study. Who is responsible for clearing Japanese knotweed? Japanese Knotweed is one of the most pernicious weeds in the UK. It is not an offence to have Japanese knotweed on your land and it is not a notifiable weed. E   london@knotweed.co.uk, Unit 13A Westlink, HA4 9XA, T   020 3463 2349 As an extremely invasive species, Knotweed can take over gardens, as well as potentially damage buildings, if not eradicated properly. Now, when selling a property, you can only answer 'no' if you are certain there is no Japanese knotweed within 3 metres of the property boundary.. Japanese Knotweed is innocuously ? The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating waste. This is called diminution of value. Hampshire, A private nuisance is an act or omission which is an interference with, disturbance of or annoyance to a person in the exercise or enjoyment of his ownership … Room 5, Television House, Is Japanese Knotweed illegal? Failure to meet the requirements of this notice, without a reasonable excuse, could be treated as a criminal offence making the recipient liable to a fixed penalty notice or prosecution, which could lead to a further hefty fine. It's worth noting, however, that since the passing of this Act in 1981, there have been various amendments to the text of the Act and the species listed in the schedules. It is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed in your garden, but on your property you should aim to control this invasive non-native plant to prevent it becoming a problem in your neighbourhood. If a property is found to have an infestation of Japanese knotweed on their land or Japanese knotweed within 7 meters, it is extremely difficult to secure a mortgage against the property. Japanese Knotweed Law At Charles Lyndon, our specialist Japanese knotweed lawyers have successfully represented clients whose properties have been affected by Japanese knotweed. It is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your property, but it is against the law to cause or allow the plant to spread in the wild. Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (‘WCA’) lists certain plants and animal invasive non-native species that have become established in the UK but which the law seeks to prevent spreading further. If your infestation happens to be close to a water source you’ll need to apply for approval from the Environment Agency. There are serious legal risks inherent with having Japanese knotweed growing on your land so it’s best to get a handle on it sooner rather than later, otherwise you may find yourself at the receiving end of a fine. The Environment Protection Act 1990; The Environment Agency - Code of Practice The Wildlife and Countryside Act … The Government website has guidance called "Prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading". Bought a House With Japanese Knotweed? Dealing with the plant professionally will ensure the lawful disposal of it from your property. If you find Japanese knotweed on your land then you should take care to isolate the area and establish how much of your property has been affected by the plant. Follow this link for instructions on how to manage your cookies through your current browser and for more information on cookies. This precedent has been set in cases involving both individuals and large organisations, so whether you’re dealing with Japanese knotweed on council land or from a next door neighbour, you should be able to claim for the treatment of the infestation. If it does have knotweed, they usually ask for evidence that there is a Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) in place. Although it is illegal to allow the plant to spread outside of your land, you are not required to declare the presence of Japanese knotweed to your neighbours or the local authorities. A specialist knotweed contractor will be required to treat the affected areas and the long term management plan should clearly detail the record of works carried out and to be carried out. The Law. Failure to do so could lead to unwanted disputes, substantial fines, or even imprisonment. These notices are only reserved for those who persistently or continually act in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. If you’re a private landowner then you do not need to ask permission from the Environment Agency, but you might want to check with your local council that you’re allowed to go ahead with burning your knotweed. A professional evaluation and survey will be able to answer the questions that you have and give you an idea of the actions that you’ll need to take to get rid of the infestation. E   manchester@knotweed.co.uk, Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. The Japanese knotweed and its rhizomes presence impose and immediate burden on landowners who face an increased difficulty in their ability to develop, and in the cost of developing, their land, should they wish to do so, because of the difficulties and expense of eradicating Japanese knotweed from affected land. At Cobleys, our specialist Japanese knotweed lawyers have successfully represented clients whose properties have been affected by Japanese knotweed. Legislation states that Japanese Knotweed is classed as controlled waste, and if not disposed of correctly, may lead to prosecution under section 34 of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act (EPA). You are only allowed to bury your Japanese knotweed waste on your land if you have permission from the Environment Agency; you should leave at least a week’s notice to inform them. Japanese Knotweed, commonly known as Asian Knotweed, is recognisable by its pretty heart-shaped green leaves and red stems. You can bury Japanese knotweed at the site it’s produced as long as you: bury it at a depth of at least 5 metres. Williams. Unfortunately, there’s endless swathes of misinformation relating to Japanese knotweed law. In the 1990 Environmental Protection Act(EPA), Japanese Knotweed is identified as a controlled substance. In short, if you have knotweed on your land and you’re looking to dispose of it, you’ll need to follow the correct procedure should you wish to avoid a hefty fine. In early 2018 Adam and Eleanor Smith successfully sued their neighbour after they discovered a serious knotweed infestation on their land which had entered from an adjacent property. You’ll also need to ensure that you keep in mind the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. Can you remove Japanese knotweed yourself? At Japanese Knotweed Ltd, we are fully equipped and highly trained to deal with Japanese knotweed infestations. If it has a "detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality", the legislation could be used to enforce its control and property owners may be prosecuted Even after herbicide treatment has “eradicated” the aerial and surface growth, the deep underground rhizomes can remain in a viable state and may do so for up to twenty years. So you can check and update your cookies settings, you need to know what browser you are using and which version. Before you transfer any knotweed contaminated waste you must warn the waste site that you are about to transport an invasive plant and confirm that they have the correct permit to deal with the plant. There is provision within Common Law to take civil action against neighbouring landowners where the spread of Japanese Knotweed is considered to be a private or public nuisance. If Japanese knotweed has encroached from a neighbouring property, we can help you claim for the resulting diminution of value as well as making your property mortgageable. Japanese knotweed UK law. If you’ve more questions about Japanese knotweed legislation or are seeking further legal advice in regards to a Knotweed infestation then please don’t hesitate in calling us on 07595 653 226 or sending us a message using the contact form. Related: Has your surveyor missed Japanese knotweed? Japanese Knotweed – what does the law say? Japanese knotweed is classed as a controlled plant under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 section 114 (2) (WCA 1981). A solicitor representing the buyer should ensure that the KMP is adequate. The Act aims to reduce or eradicate harmful acts of waste crime, such as fly-tipping. As an extremely invasive species, Knotweed can take over gardens, as well as potentially damage buildings, if not eradicated properly. The next step is to determine where the plant came from and the extent to which the plant affects the property. Digging out Japanese knotweed - you must consult SEPA before you use this method. Japanese Knotweed Claims. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is the primary legislation which protects animals, plants, and certain habitats in the UK. You will not be seen to be breaking the law until Japanese knotweed from your land spreads into another’s property or onto public land. If Japanese knotweed spreads from one property to another the relevant law is that of private nuisance. The plant produces small white flowers in late summer, and its leaves are arranged in a zigzag pattern up stem which enables the plant to utilise maximum sunlight. This is due to new Home Office rules and regulations relating to anti-social behaviour being introduced in 2014 that include new laws around Knotweed amongst other invasive species such as the Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. Here’s What to Do. In winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other plant growth. Japanese knotweed is a resilient plant that can often persist through adverse conditions, so it’s imperative that your treatments are thorough and effective. A private nuisance is an act or omission which is an interference with, disturbance of or annoyance to a person in the exercise or enjoyment of his ownership or occupation of land. It’s often the case that Japanese knotweed is spread by gardeners, or construction workers who do not dispose of contaminated soil in the proper fashion. Japanese Knotweed, commonly known as Asian Knotweed, is recognisable by its pretty heart-shaped green leaves and red stems. Paolo Martini is the lead solicitor for Knotweed Help and has over 30 years of experience in the field of Civil Litigation and is an expert on the legal issues faced by individuals dealing with Japanese knotweed on their land. In these circumstances, you should ask your neighbour to effectively treat the knotweed not only on their land but also on your property in order to solve the problem and ideally the remedial action they choose should include a suitable guarantee. What should I do if I find Japanese knotweed? Legislation states that Japanese Knotweed is classed as controlled waste and if not disposed of correctly may lead to prosecution under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990. Japanese knotweed arrived in the UK in 1850, Japanese knotweed anti-social behaviour law, Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), How to tell if you have Japanese knotweed. even exotically ? Japanese Knotweed. Japanese knotweed stifles native species and reduces house prices. The law regarding the disposal of Japanese Knotweed. This hardy, invasive plant can grow rapidly throughout the warmer months, and then die back in winter, remaining dormant underground in a network of rhizomes, before emerging to spread even further. Japanese, Giant and Hybrid Knotweed all appear in that Schedule. Cupernham Lane, Burning Japanese knotweed is one method of removing an infestation, however you must ensure that you have effectively removed every part of the plant from your land beforehand, otherwise your infestation will return again. During the winter, these stems appear to die off, becoming brown and brittle. Japanese knotweed is a problem for most people for two simple reasons. We have a vast amount of experience in dealing with these types of cases. Phone: 0333 2414 413, Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991. Besides the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, the main legislation that identifies and controls Japanese knotweed is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981). Can You Build On Land With Japanese knotweed? However if a seller, based on the best of their knowledge, answers ‘No’, and it subsequently transpires that the plant is present, then the buyer may pursue the seller for compensation. This notice could require the recipient to make reasonable efforts to remove the knotweed from their property or prevent the knotweed from returning. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981 Legislation: The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides the primary controls on the release of non native species into the wild in Great Britain. Managing these settings is highly recommended if you share access on your computer. Romsey, Although it’s possible to confuse Japanese knotweed with a number of other common plants found in England, there are a handful of tell-tale signs that should tell you if you’re dealing with an infestation or not. Understanding your legal responsibilities in regards to the knotweed growing on your land is crucial should you wish to avoid an unexpected date in court, or a run in with your local council. Because of Japanese Knotweed’s aggressive and damaging nature, the UK introduced legislation over 30 years ago to prevent its spread: Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 14(2), it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause the species to grow in the wild. No In 2014, a decision was made to include the negligent cultivation of invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed into the remit of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that your home insurance will cover Japanese knotweed, so you will not be able to rely on it to financially support the removal of the Japanese knotweed or any damage caused to your home. The law on Japanese Knotweed (“Knotweed”), which will equally apply to Bohemian Knotweed, is now well established. Knotweed removal – typically £1,000 – £3,000+ Loss of property value / land utility / amenity – typically £10,000 – £20,000 + Complainants who are using a law firm … Japanese knotweed is an invasive and resilient weed. It is illegal to plant or otherwise cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild in the UK. Japanese Knotweed is one of a number of invasive weeds which are controlled by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If you’re planning on moving knotweed, or knotweed contaminated soil, off-site then you must use a registered waste carrier and ensure that the waste is taken to a licensed landfill site. Our team of field technicians have the relevant qualifications and experience to treat Japanese knotweed in a professional and legally compliant manner. Evidence of a suitable Knotweed Management Plan is paramount. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Japanese knotweed growth can lead to the criminal prosecution of an owner or occupier if they do not handle the plant in accordance with the law. Because of Japanese Knotweed’s aggressive and damaging nature, the UK introduced legislation over 30 years ago to prevent its spread: Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 14(2), it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause the species to grow in the wild. Choosing to ignore its presence on your land can often prove to be a costly mistake. However, we will look at the civil liability associated with this plant below. It’s important that plant is taken into consideration in the planning process, and that every effort is made to remove the plant and prevent it from further spreading. Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 [WCA 1981] lists certain plants that have become established in the wild in Great Britain but which the law seeks to prevent spreading further. Despite the dangers of Japanese knotweed being well publicised, it’s still the case that landowners turn a blind eye when they have an infestation on their property. Breach of any requirement of a community protection notice, without reasonable excuse, would be a criminal offence, subject to a fixed penalty notice. Up the roots of the Japanese knotweed - you must wrap the with. 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