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What are the latest Japanese knotweed legal claims?



OISIN QUINN
OISIN QUINN >

Consultant Litigation Executive

Thu 16 February 2023 What are the latest Japanese knotweed legal claims?

You may have seen the recent case reported in the news about the potential increase in Japanese knotweed claims. Some estimate that various Councils and Network Rail could be forced to pay up to £10million to victims of this hazardous plant.

This estimate aligns with what we are seeing on the ground. Japanese knotweed claims are not going away any time soon. We are also noticing an increase in claims for compensation related to bamboo (particularly during Spring and Summer).

The Japanese knotweed vs bamboo discussion is something we have previously reported on. Both plants can be very invasive, so it’s important to understand more about which applies to your property if affected.


Japanese knotweed FAQ’s

The issues caused by Japanese knotweed, particularly for homeowners, are now well established. Here are some frequently asked questions we are seeing more and more of, in Japanese knotweed claims:

Q : Is Japanese knotweed dangerous?

A : It is not poisonous, but it can cause physical damage to property.

Q: Will Japanese knotweed devalue my house?

A: The amount an infestation will devalue your property depends on how close the plants are to the property and the extent of the infestation. Its presence alone may affect the value of your house. In most cases, the marketability of your home may be lowered.

Q: Can Japanese knotweed be eradicated?

A: Much like bamboo, Japanese knotweed is notoriously difficult to eradicate. It can be eliminated, however the removal can be very expensive and time consuming. 

Q: Will Japanese knotweed affect my mortgage application?

A: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors outline that some applications can be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggests that lenders may be reluctant to lend on properties where Japanese knotweed is present.

Q: Will Japanese knotweed affect my home insurance?

A: Most house insurance policies will not cover damage caused by Japanese knotweed or its treatment or removal. However, check your policy as costs related to damage caused by a neighbour’s infestation could be covered.

Japanese knotweed case law

This most recent case in the Court of Appeal could be the litmus test on more homeowners bringing a claim for the presence of Japanese knotweed. It could also have wide ranging implications for landowners across the UK, including Councils and Network Rail. 

The position now is that, even if the Japanese knotweed has been treated, the homeowner can still potentially recover damages. These damages would be for loss of value to their property. 

Japanese knotweed lawyers

We have extensive experience in bringing these types of claims and will be able to advise you accordingly. 

Should you require further advice on Japanese knotweed, or for assistance with encroachment of bamboo or Japanese knotweed onto your property, please get in touch.

Please contact Oisin Quinn, Consultant Litigation Executive by clicking the ‘contact us’ button to email him directly or call Oisin on 01733 303475.

 


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