Rental Agreements & Japanese Knotweed
When taking out a rental agreement, the garden or Japanese knotweed can be the last thing on your, or your landlord’s mind. You are excited about the property and moving in, you agree the deposit, sign everything off and then realise that you have a very broad clause in your tenancy agreement, saying that you will take ‘reasonable care’ of the garden and grounds.
The broad phrase could end up leading to thousands of pounds of costs.
Japanese knotweed can grow at a rate of 20mm a day so it can appear seemingly out of nowhere in your back garden Whether you’ll have to deal with it or not might also depend on whether the knotweed was there when you moved in, and whether the knotweed originated on your property or one of your neighbours’ – a survey may help you ascertain the source of the knotweed.
Get in touch with your landlord as soon as you discover the Japanese knotweed – knotweed can cause structural damage to properties. Even if it is your responsibility to keep the garden tidy, your landlord might be willing to help with the cost of removing the weed. This is because it can damage the structure of the building, or other nearby buildings.
Japanese knotweed is more likely to grow in certain high-risk areas including but not limited to railway lines, waterways, motorways, recently cleared land, industrial land or landfill sites. If you live near to one of these sites, or are looking at renting a property near one of these areas, then it may be worth asking your estate agent or landlord if they are willing to add in a specific clause relating to Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. This can then give you peace of mind that if the weed is found, you are clear on the responsibility and who should be covering the bill.