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Bamboo -What's the UK Law?



MARK QUINN
MARK QUINN >

Consultant Partner

Wed 10 July 2024 Bamboo -What's the UK Law?

Bamboo and the Law UK

You may have noted a recent article which highlights the growing problem of bamboo in the UK and some cases where the bill for damage reached £100,000.

We have written about Bamboo previously as it related to Japanese Knotweed claims and like we highlighted in that article, it really does seem that bamboo could be tomorrow’s knotweed!

Usually around the warmer months of the year is when we see more claims coming through due to increased growth in the plant itself and this raises questions with regards to the law around bamboo.

Bamboo - Who is Responsible?

The news article referred to above indicated that 71% of people aren’t aware that bamboo can cause any damage and 84% are not aware that it could prompt legal claims between neighbours or hinder property sales, but we are seeing quite the opposite.

Although bamboo is not classified as an invasive species by the legislation, it can have just as devastating an impact on your property.

We are increasingly being asked if homeowners can sue their neighbours for the encroachment of bamboo and the simple answer is yes, but evidence is crucial.

A claim can be brought for common law private nuisance if bamboo has encroached onto your property and caused damage. If this is the case you will likely be seeking compensation for property damage, costs of removal or the loss of enjoyment or amenity (which may amount to devaluation of your property).

If you suspect bamboo is encroaching onto your property then it is key to get the evidence first and you should obtain a report which will be able to break down where the bamboo has likely coming from (therefore who is likely liable), how it should be treated to prevent further damage and how much it will cost to treat it.

These reports are extremely useful for bringing a legal claim regarding bamboo.


Legal Case Study on Bamboo

In a recent case of ours, bamboo had encroached onto our client’s property and was growing up through a concrete slab (again this shows the potential damage this plant can cause).

Our client obtained a report in order to evidence their claim as they were adamant that they had never planted bamboo in their own garden.

Even though the bamboo was no longer present on the neighbour’s property, there was evidence that it did originate from their garden and ultimately, they had to accept that they were liable. The neighbour did indicate that they had grown bamboo in their garden years before but had cut it down and dug up the roots. However, the rhizomes still appeared to be present which then caused further growth and encroachment into our client’s property.

This also highlights how important it is that the bamboo plant is removed correctly (and by experts) as you may well be held liable in the future.

With such overwhelming evidence, the neighbour was really left with no other option than to try to settle the matter given that it was clear they were liable. This case ultimately settled for just under £20,000 which was a great result for our client who is now able to treat the bamboo at no cost to himself.

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

Contact Mark Quin, Consultant Solicitor at our Peterborough Office on 01733 865136 or click the 'contact us' button to email him directly.


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