What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive growing clump forming perennial with long and thick annual stems.

Although this plant will die in the winter, it grows back every summer and the bamboo like stems can grow up to 10cm a day, reach up to 7ft in height and the roots known as rhizomes can burrow under ground to a depth of 3metres, with individual rhizomes growing up to 20cm thick.

At present the Worlds Conservation Union states Japanese Knotweed as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

Do you live near a railway line?

Does your property border railway tracks?

If so you should check for Japanese Knotweed urgently and get in touch with us if you believe your property may be suffering from Japanese Knotweed.

Network Rail has been accused of affecting thousands of properties. Japanese Knotweed was used by the Victorians on railway embankments because it grows so quickly. Network Rail have failed to spot the problem – that this weed can infest the neighbouring land and cause huge damage and distress to homeowners. Leaving some owners struggling to sell their homes by failing to properly treat Japanese knotweed.

The state-owned company has received 11,000+ complaints about the weed including more than 6,000 complaints that the plant was spreading on to private property.

The number of complaints lodged each year against Network Rail, which owns and maintains the railways and adjoining land, has increased by 70 per cent from 2012-2019.

Japanese knotweed can spread and grow rapidly, blocking drains, cracking tarmac and damaging foundations. Land beside railway tracks provides perfect conditions for the weed to grow and infest neighbouring property.

FREE help and advice

Read our guide below and if you believe you have, or may have, Japanese knotweed, then please contact us to receive your FREE and no-obligation advice from our panel solicitors and surveyors:

Why do I need to know about Japanese Knotweed?

If you discover Japanese Knotweed at your property it is imperative that you act quickly and seek professional assistance. We can put you in touch with surveyors who will review your property for FREE subject to meeting initial criteria.

You can sometimes locate Japanese Knotweed on your land, signs of a previous chemical treatment of the weed can include twisted short bent stems due to stunted growth.

You also need to take into account that some mortgage companies in recent times have rejected the backing of any homeowners trying to buy properties struggling with Japanese Knotweed. It is often the case that Lenders and insurers won’t accept home treatments as proof of management of the Japanese Knotweed as the weed can be dormant for years.

Failure to disclose the presence of Japanese Knotweed, provide a management plan for the problem or locating the weeds before attempting to sell your home can cause serious delays to the process. Furthermore, it can result in increased costs in your own attempt at buying another property caused by the delays of your own sale. You could also face a misrepresentation claim following the sale should it be proven your property did suffer with Japanese Knotweed.

What is the appearance of Japanese Knotweed?

See the pictures below:

David can you please insert the Japanese Knotweed pictures in this section please think they are on the main Japanese knotweed page for our site if not can you locate some royalty free pictures of Japanese knotweed please)

In spring, the weed will appear as red and purple shoots with rolled back leaves. In the summer the stems are bamboo like but green in colour with purple flecks and clusters of small white flowers. Into the winter the large, once green leaves wilt, turning yellow then brown. The canes lose their colour turning into stalks and can take years to decompose.

Japanese Knotweed prefers a warm and wet climate but can still grow through mild winters. Growing season is typically from mid-spring to mid-autumn.

How does Japanese Knotweed damage my home?

Japanese Knotweed can cause serious damage to the structure of your home and is one of the most damaging plants in the world for example,

  • Blocking drains.
  • Cracking concrete. e.g. Driveways and Patios.
  • Invading Cavity wall space.
  • Pushes through cracks and mortar joints.
  • Utilities such as water pipes, waste pipes and electric cable systems may be compromised.
  • Breached foundations can result in the plant growing indoors via walls, floors, sockets and vents.
  • Can kill other plant life due to lack of light damaging your garden.
  • Can grow through garden sheds and greenhouses.

These are just some of the examples of the destruction caused by Japanese Knotweed, all of which can not only decrease your house value but also result in you not being able to sell it at all.

It can not only just damage your home it can also damage your neighbour’s land/property. You may be liable for any damage caused. Failure to treat Japanese Knotweed can result in an Anti-Social Behaviour Order being served upon you to force you take the necessary action.

Can you sell a house with Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed is a weed with creeping roots that grows rapidly and causes havoc not only just to your garden but can also seriously damage your home. It causes structural damage which leads to a reduction in property value and can make the process of selling your home more complicated and difficult.

What you must do if selling a property with Japanese Knotweed

When selling your property, you are now required legally to state that you have Japanese Knotweed on your property information form and a management plan for eradication (TA6 Form).

It is your responsibility to check the garden for Japanese Knotweed and to confirm you have this problem before selling your home.

To locate Japanese Knotweed can be difficult, you should take into consideration that it can die in the winter and other weeds can sometimes be confused as Japanese Knotweed. Such as common Lilac and Dogwood. If you discover Japanese Knotweed at your property it is imperative that you act quickly and seek professional assistance. You can sometimes locate Japanese Knotweed on your land, signs of a previous chemical treatment of the weed can include twisted short bent stems due to stunted growth.

You also need to take into account that some mortgage companies in recent times have rejected the backing of any homeowners trying to buy properties struggling with Japanese Knotweed. It is often the case that Lenders and insurers won’t accept home treatments as proof of management of the Japanese Knotweed as the weed can be dormant for years.

Failure to disclose the presence of Japanese Knotweed, provide a management plan for the problem or locating the weeds before attempting to sell your home can cause serious delays to the process. Furthermore, it can result in increased costs in your own attempt at buying another property caused by the delays of your own sale. You could also face a misrepresentation claim following the sale should it be proven your property did suffer with Japanese Knotweed.

Can I be compensated for damage caused by Japanese Knotweed?

As outlined above, Japanese Knotweed can result in the value of your property being decreased significantly. It can also cost you a lot of money investigating/maintaining the problems caused by this dangerous plant.

Your Japanese Knotweed problems could have been caused by a Surveyors negligence when inspecting the property before you moved into the property or the negligence of the owner of a neighbouring property.

You may be entitled to bring a claim to mitigate your losses and bring legal action against the people responsible for the damage caused by Japanese Knotweed.

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