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Getting lost in the legal jargon which is thrown at you once you instruct a legal professional is a rabbit hole too many of us take a trip down, make sure you know what a P35 report is and when you might need one.

Generally, Japanese Knotweed disputes are easily resolved once an individual takes responsibility for the presence of the weed and ensures that it is eradicated in line with the specific rules and regulations put in place. However, in some circumstances where the origin of the Japanese Knotweed is harder to determine, or in situations where the landowner is denying liability, you may need to consult your solicitors on the best way to proceed down the legal route.

Japanese Knotweed is classed as a ‘Schedule 9’ plant and in relation to this, Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that “if any person plants or otherwise cause to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part 2 of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence”. Due to this, we see time and time again, instances where individuals have taken legal action against landowners who have allowed this highly invasive weed to encroach onto their sites.

Typically, your solicitors will firstly arrange for an initial vetting report which will give them the basic details of the Japanese Knotweed they will need to know before being able to decide as to whether or not the case can be taken to court. Once they have the initial vetting report, this is usually when solicitors will arrange for the P35 Report.

Part 35 Compliant Reports are specific documents which answer the questions solicitors will need to know and use in their court case. Typically, these P35 reports are used to determine the cause of the origin of the Japanese Knotweed and therefore pin liability to the correct person. P35 Reports are usually taken around a week to compose due to the in-depth analysis required to fully investigate the situation at hand. If you are not proceeding down the legal route, you usually won’t require this service.

Our MD is the only registered expert on the UK Register of Expert Witnesses for Japanese Knotweed and so if you think you may need a P35 Expert Report, get in touch with us today on 0800 1337 444!

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We all hear the horror stories about how Japanese Knotweed reduces property values by 100% and is notorious for bringing house sales to a grinding halt, much to the dismay of many vendors. Japanese Knotweed Expert speaks to a single mum of 2 who was unfortunate enough to be blighted by this prolific weed.

*names have been changed upon request

JKE: Hi Kelly*, thank you for coming in to see us today.

Kelly: No problem, thank you for inviting me in. I want to get my story out to as many people as possible.

JKE: We can definitely help you do that – let’s start from the beginning; how did you come across the Japanese Knotweed (JK) growing in your garden?

K: Well I’d been renting my property off my landlords for about 7 years and I was finally in a position where I could put an offer in as I knew that they were looking to sell as soon as possible. I thought because I already lived there, it would streamline the whole process and hopefully make it a lot less stressful and I really loved the house, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

JKE: Had you known that there was JK growing in your garden up until that point?

K: No. I never even knew what JK looked like! I knew that the plant was there because I remember noticing how it used to appear to die back for the winter and then it would start growing again in the spring-time as if it had come back to life! It never really occurred to me that it might be a dangerous plant because it always looked so pretty during the warmer months.

JKE: So when did you come to realise that it was an issue?

K: It was only when I had my own survey done, that I come to learn about JK and when my mortgage application was refused, I knew I needed to sort it out. I couldn’t risk losing our family home, but I didn’t really know how I could fix the situation. Luckily my landlords were really helpful and were kind enough to bear with me whilst I was looking into different ways to secure my mortgage.

JKE: What was the extent of the growth?

K: There wasn’t much really, it was growing in the border which runs along the boundary of my garden. I think in the survey report it was said there was around 10sqm. I always wonder what the outcome would be if there was a lot more!

JKE: Was there any damage, to your knowledge?

K: You could tell the roots had started to lift the cobbles that edged my border, it really used to worry me though because it was close to the boundary wall on the left-hand side and I knew it was only a matter of time until the JK brought that to the ground.

JKE: It’s lucky we caught it when we did!

K: You guys really helped me out! I know for a fact I wouldn’t be living in my house today if you guys didn’t step in when you did.

JKE: Would you say you were kept up to date with the whole process?

K: Definitely. From start to finish your team members were great and you were always happy to answer my questions, and as you personally know I had a lot of them! I am so glad I chose such a good company because you really gave me peace of mind and reassured me when I thought buying my house was not a possibility.

JKE: Thank you Kelly, we’re glad we could have been of assistance and it’s so good to hear you’ve been happy with the company! 

Would you like to know more about us? Click here to find out more. If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, please get in touch with the Experts today on 0800 1337 444.

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Originally introduced by Victorian gardeners in 1839, Himalayan Balsam is now one of the most invasive species in the UK. It is known to be the largest annual plant in Britain, and you are likely to see it growing along riverbanks and streams due to the rate at which it has spread. How is it that such an attractive plant is now listed under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981?

Himalayan Balsam can tolerate low light levels and due to the extent of the growth, it creates a pseudo woodland meaning that any other plants growing within close proximity are shadowed, therefore inhibiting their growth. Add this to the fact that it can erode riverbanks, therefore, result in flooding, it comes as no surprise that allowing Himalayan Balsam to spread into the wild can lead to prosecution.

Identification of Himalayan Balsam is very important, as it is advised that if you note the presence of it in your garden, you should take steps to remove it from the site. Each plant can produce as much as 800 seeds and therefore removal should be undertaken in the winter months when the plant is in a dormant state. Himalayan Balsam has serrated green leaves which span approximately 5-8cm and the flower itself is pink/purple in colour throughout the summer months. The stem is green in the autumn months but tends to change into red colour towards the end of the year.

If you think you may have Himalayan Balsam growing in your garden, get in touch with the experts today on 0800 1337 444.

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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive weed, it is rapidly becoming one of Britain’s most invasive weeds. Japanese knotweed can remain dormant for over twenty years, but once it begins to grow, it can spread at a length of 1.2 metres per month and up to a whopping 10cm a day in the summer. It develops a series of underground roots and shoots, referred to as rhizomes, which can grow out for several metres from the original stand. To find out more, click here.

CPD Japanese Knotweed Course

If you work within an industry where Japanese Knotweed poses a real threat, whether that be through your client’s property, your development site or even legal disputes, our Japanese Knotweed CPD course may prove to be invaluable for you!

CPD is an important part of any professional’s development in the workplace. Make sure you are booked onto our next event, which will ensure you are kept up to date with any changes in Japanese Knotweed legislation.

In today’s culture of “where there’s a blame, there’s a claim” can you really afford to be sued for negligence?

Get in touch on 0800 1337 444 or email info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk to book onto the next CPD course now!

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If you live in the UK, you will have noticed the incredibly mild winter we have just had. While typically a lot of us will be happy to have seen the back end of it, those of us who have a Japanese Knotweed infestation on their premises will have a feeling of dread when they see the tell-tale red shoots coming back up earlier in the year than expected.

 

Around this time of year, you can expect to see Japanese Knotweed shoots starting to come through with red/purple speckled stems. You may also notice that the Japanese Knotweed plants may have leaves that are furled with red veins running through them – by the end of the month, these leaves will have unfurled fully, displaying their distinctive heart shape. The leaves also alternate in a zig-zag formation; this being one of the key characteristics to look out for when identifying the invasive weed.

 

Treatment at this time of year is usually not recommended as it can be ineffective, waiting until mid-May, when the plant has had a chance to develop, is a lot more likely to have more of an impact on the weed, as there is a lot more green growth to absorb the active ingredient in the herbicide.

 

 

If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing in your garden and need identification, please feel free to contact us or email us a picture at info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk!Or to find out more click here.

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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive weed, It is rapidly becoming one of Britain’s most invasive weeds. Japanese Knotweed can remain dormant for over twenty years, but once it begins to grow, it can spread at a pace of 1.2 metres per month and up to a whopping 10cm a day. It develops a series of underground roots and shoots, referred to as rhizomes, which can grow out for several metres from the original stand. It is characteristic by its hollow, purple stems and heart-shaped leaves. If you need more information on this, we have a page dedicated to helping our clients to identify Japanese knotweed.

If you work within an industry where Japanese Knotweed poses a real threat, whether that be through your client’s property, your development site or even legal disputes, our Japanese Knotweed CPD course may prove to be invaluable for you!

CPD is an important part of any professional’s development in the workplace and ensuring you are booked onto our next event ensures you are kept up to date with any changes in Japanese Knotweed legislation.

In today’s culture of “where there’s a blame, there’s a claim” can you really afford to be sued for negligence?

Get in touch on 0800 1337 444 to book onto the CPD course now!

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Property owner fined £18k for not remediating Japanese Knotweed

 

Japanese Knotweed growing on a property based in Bristol has been the cause of a property firm being indicted with a hefty fine. The Japanese Knotweed affected 7 properties and Bristol City Council prosecuted MB Estate Limited which owned the offending property.

 

Close up of Japanese Knotweed

The presence of the Japanese Knotweed was not highlighted in house surveys undertaken by the owners of the affected properties, even though the plant was thought to be reaching 8 foot. Unfortunately for the buyers, they were unaware of the adverse effects Japanese Knotweed could cause on their properties and it was only when one homeowner Googled the plant that the severity of the situation became clear.

When the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into effect, it was only then the local council were able to take action against the property management firm. The firm had various opportunities to take steps to remediate the invasive weed and unfortunately did not take adequate steps to prevent the legal action to be taken against them.

With cases such as Waistell v Network Rail making headlines recently, it has set a precedent for other homeowners who are affected by the troublesome weed that there are cautions in place to ensure encroachment does not occur.

 

 

If you think there is Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, get in touch with the experts on 0800 1337 444!

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What should you do if you find Japanese Knotweed growing on your property?

New Shoots of Japanese Knotweed

If you are looking to buy or sell a property, you will most likely have heard of Japanese Knotweed. Although it is not illegal to allow Japanese Knotweed growing on your property but it is illegal to allow it to spread – what is your responsibility when it comes to invasive weeds?

Japanese Knotweed is extremely invasive and can cause structural damage if it is left untreated – due to this, most mortgage lenders will not release funds against the property if there is any indication of a growth nearby. If you are looking to sell your property, it may prove useful to ensure you have a management plan in place before putting the property on the market.

 

DIY methods to remove Japanese Knotweed are not recommended as most mortgage lenders will not accept methods which have not been conducted by a qualified contractor. You may end up paying a lot more than what you need to! Qualified contractors are also able to offer guarantees on their work, which means if the Japanese Knotweed does come back, the property will be protected.

 

 

If you notice Japanese Knotweed growing on your property. Get in touch with the Experts today! Give us a call on 0800 1337 444!

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What the Waistell vs Network Rail case means for you…

We have all heard about the landmark Japanese Knotweed case of Mr Waistell v Network Rail, but what exactly was the precedent which was set following the hearing?

Japanese Knotweed was typically used by Network Rail to stabilise railway embankments in the past, and due to this, most railways in Britain are dotted with stands of the invasive weed. Unfortunately for Mr Waistell, his property backed onto one such area. Although there was no Japanese Knotweed growing on Mr Waistell’s property, it was in such close proximity, so as that his solicitors were able to argue that it was interfering with “quiet enjoyment of the property”. This shows us that if there is a premise for Japanese Knotweed to spread onto your property, you have some legal standing.

If you do find yourself in a situation where there is Japanese Knotweed growing within close proximity, we would always advise initially getting in touch with a Japanese Knotweed remediation company as they will be able to come out and conduct a survey for you to get a more detailed insight into the situation at hand.Following the survey, the company should be able to provide you with a management plan to eradicate the Japanese Knotweed. Depending on the extent of the Japanese Knotweed, you may not be prepared to pay for these costs, and this is when getting in touch with a legal professional will come in handy.

If you think there is Japanese Knotweed growing on a neighbouring property or site, please feel free to get in touch with us on 0800 1337 444!

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Neighbours with Knotweed – a guide to avoid disputes

Your home is your castle.Eradicating Japanese Knotweed in Cheshire

And if you are particularly house proud, you will know that the outside of your home is just as important as the interior. So what should you do when you notice Japanese Knotweed growing in the property next door?

Ideally, you will get in touch with the neighbour initially to see if there is an eradication plan in place. Once you know the status of the offending plant, you should be able to then decide your next steps on how to proceed.

If there is a management plan in place, there’s no need to worry as the neighbours are adequately dealing with the problem. If not, there a few options you can explore:

  1. Arrange for a Japanese Knotweed professional to come out and assess the situation: by doing this you are able to determine as to whether or not the Japanese Knotweed will affect your property directly. They will then be able to advise of any recommendations they may have with regards to your property.
  2. Get in touch with the Environmental Agency: if the Japanese Knotweed has spread over into your garden, your neighbour is liable to pay for the costs of remediation. This is because although it is not illegal to have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property but it is illegal to allow it to spread, and by doing so, your neighbour may be faced with a fine of up to £2,500.00 plus the remediation costs!
  3. Take out your own management plan: with your neighbours permission, it may prove easier to take out a management plan yourself for the remedial work on their property – this would be the best situation if you are looking to sell your property, as many mortgage lenders will refuse to allow funds against a property which has Japanese Knotweed growing within 7m of the boundary. This is obviously a last resort and you may need to decide whether or not the sale of the property is worth the treatment cost.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, speak to the experts! Get in touch today!