Knotweed and the LawLegal disputes
Is Japanese Knotweed illegal?
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild. 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.
Legal obligations regarding Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Knotweed is definitely a garden pest and one which is best removed as soon as possible. However, it is up to you as the landowner to decide what to do. Provided it doesn’t spread onto nearby gardens and land, the owner is actually under no legal obligation to have their Japanese Knotweed removed.
Japanese Knotweed spreading from a neighbour’s garden
Home or property owners who allow Japanese Knotweed to spread, either through negligence or inaction, to neighbouring properties may be liable to pay damages, such as in the case of Williams and Waistell v Network Rail. Knotweed doesn’t actually have to cause any damages to our neighbour’s garden, the fact it has spread is enough cause for legal action.
Japanese Knotweed legal disputes
The case in question involved two neighbours in Maesteg, South Wales, Stephen Williams and Robin Waistell who owned adjoining bungalows backing on to Network Rail property. They first raised their concerns about the potential spread of the pernicious weed in 2013. It turns out the Japanese Knotweed had been there for over fifty years and the company had not done anything to prevent it from spreading.
In 2017, the plaintiffs were awarded £4,320 each to treat the Japanese Knotweed on their property. They were also awarded a further £10,000 to compensate them for reduced property value, which was withheld pending an appeal by Network Rail.
The two men were eventually awarded the full payment, under the judge’s stipulation that it was to compensate them for a reduced ability to enjoy their property, rather than any potential loss of value to the property.
Contact Japanese Knotweed Specialists to avoid legal disputes
As well as a range of removal methods including leaf spray herbicides, stem injection herbicides, excavations and even root barriers solutions, we also offer a free, no-obligation assessment of Japanese Knotweed. Simply send us a photo, and we will let you know if you’re dealing with Japanese Knotweed or not, for all other removal issues, please get in touch with Japanese Knotweed Specialists.