JAPANESE KNOTWEED LITIGATION CLAIMS
If you’d like a free, no-obligation chat to find out more about how Athena Law can help you with your Japanese Knotweed Litigation Claim, contact us today for more information.
Japanese Knotweed Claims
Is your property affected by Japanese Knotweed?
Warning! If you have Japanese Knotweed present on your property the market value of your property could be worth up to 20% less, and this might affect your future ability to:
- Sell your property
- Re-mortgage your property
- Release equity in your property
- Obtain property insurance
You may be able to bring a legal claim for substantial financial compensation for the diminution in value of your property (often up to 20%), and the removal/treatment of the Japanese Knotweed supported by a 10-year insurance backed guarantee.
The presence of the invasive plant Japanese Knotweed on your property, or even in close proximity to your property can create a legal cause of action in private nuisance for an adjoining property owner, and also have the consequential effect of reducing the value of your property on a daily basis.
If you have discovered the presence of Japanese Knotweed you need to plan your financial future now, well in advance of selling your property, applying for a re-mortgage, or applying for equity release.
Our mission is to assist you to deal with any of the legal problems created by the presence of Japanese Knotweed on your property and/or adjoining land.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese Knotweed is one of the world’s most invasive, destructive, and resilient plants. In the UK there is only the female plant which only spreads via the movement of its Rhizomes (the root system).
Like any plant, Japanese Knotweed will be in search of light, food, water so in order to get it, Japanese Knotweed will, and is invasive enough, to grow through any structural or hard-standing weakness. (e.g. cracks in tarmac and concrete, floorboards, cavity walls, drains and anywhere there is a weakness such as a cracks and gaps).
Depending on the time of year the heart or shovel shaped leaves can be light green, red or purple. The stems will start to resemble bamboo shoots and purple specks might be present. Towards the end of the summer small cream – coloured flowers will develop.
Most people have trouble identifying whether they have Japanese Knotweed present or not. A specialist should be instructed to confirm if it is present
Ways to get rid of Japanese Knotweed include excavation and chemical control in order to ensure that the plant does not continue to propagate. Complete eradication may take a couple of years.
Our specialist team can advise as to whether there is a potential legal case for financial compensation in respect of the following causes of action:
- A private nuisance created by an adjoining property
- A professional negligence action against your property surveyor
- A claim against a seller of property and/or their solicitor for misrepresentation as to the presence of Japanese Knotweed when completing the pre-contract enquiry form (TA6)
If you believe you have a claim regarding Japanese Knotweed, get in touch with Athena Solicitors LLP
Japanese Knotweed Disputes
The Financial Compensation (damages) that can be recovered may include:
- Any diminution in the value of the property as a result of the presence of Japanese Knotweed. This amount can be substantial, and many legal cases have been settled with this amount being up to 20% of the value of the property
- The recovery of the costs of the treatment/eradication of the Japanese Knotweed by specialist experts who follow where appropriate, the PCA and INNSA Codes of Practice backed by a transferrable 10 – year insurance backed guarantee
- General damages for distress and inconvenience for each owner of the property at the annual rate of circa £200 – £300 from the date of constructive knowledge of the defendant
- Any damage to parts of the property e.g. a patio, or shed
The Court of Appeal decision of Williams v Network Rail (2018)
In 2017 the County Court ruled that the presence of Japanese Knotweed on an adjoining property to a claimant’s property was an actionable nuisance and that the damages that can be awarded was the remediation costs plus any residual diminution in the properties’ value due to a lender refusing to lend due to caution.
In 2018 the Court of Appeal upheld the County Court decision but on different legal grounds.
The court said that Japanese Knotweed and its underground roots were a natural hazard and that they can affect a property owner’s ability to fully use and enjoy the land, and as a result the encroachment on to the claimant’s land interfered with the amenity value of the land
What Is the Legal Effect of This Decision?
If Japanese Knotweed is on your property, you should address the issue as it can affect the marketability, and the residual diminution value of the property.
If the presence is not disclosed to a purchaser when completing the answers to the pre-contract enquiry form (TA6) then the purchaser could bring a claim in damages and/or in severe circumstances, consider if the contract can be rescinded due to relying upon the misrepresentation.
If the Japanese Knotweed encroaches onto adjoining land, you could be the subject of a legal action for private nuisance.
When purchasing a property your surveyor should be requested to carry out a careful inspection, and to consider if there is any Japanese Knotweed present.
Is your property affected by Japanese Knotweed?
The Professional Team
Japanese Knotweed Claims Solicitors
In addition to our own team of specialist Solicitors, we have put together a specialist team of Barristers, Japanese Knotweed Experts, and Property Surveyors to assist claims to be pursued.
They can assist domestic, and commercial property owners to identify where the Japanese Knotweed has encroached from, when it is likely to have first encroached on the property, and then to consider the merits of bringing legal claims for financial compensation.
If you provide the Japanese Knotweed experts with photographic images, they will then provide an initial free telephone discussion about the presence of Japanese Knotweed on your property, and the legal team will then provide their services on a No Win, No fee basis.
Contact our Japanese Knotweed Legal Team.
Athena Law’s expert Japanese Knotweed Solicitors will ensure that you are provided with the best options based upon your individual circumstances.
Our experienced Japanese Knotweed team can offer guidance and help for every aspect of Japanese Knotweed Litigation.
For a free, no-obligation discussion to find out more about how Athena Solicitors LLP can help you, please do not hesitate to contact our partner Martyn Caplan directly for more information, or by using the contact form on this website.