UK Law & Japanese Knotweed

The legal side of Japanese knotweed & What the UK law says about it!

It almost seems ridiculous talking about a weed, in relation to fines and prison sentences! Yet the damage Japanese knotweed can cause, and the financial costs are so significant. That there are several pieces of legislation dedicated to this pernicious weed.

Why do we need laws for Japanese knotweed?

it’s not that Japanese knotweed is poisonous or harmful, it’s not, to humans or animals. You could even make a Japanese knotweed pie! The real danger of Japanese knotweed lies in its destruction. Japanese knotweed is in fact a first coloniser of volcanos, which explains the strengths and durability of the plant. Which can break through concrete, tarmac, almost anything that stands in its path. This destruction causes havoc and has a major effect on the value of a property and the surrounding properties. The average devaluation in the UK is currently £23,530 for a property effected by Japanese knotweed. The most that we have seen was a property that was reduced by a massive £120,000 due to Japanese knotweed growing in the garden.

What is the legislation according to UK Law?

In terms of the law, ignorance is not a defence. Japanese knotweed carries serious penalties and we all need to be more informed of the legislation.

Japanese knotweed legislation

UK Law, Japanese knotweed & selling your property.

When selling your property you will be required to fill out a TA6 form. This form will be included in the pack that your solicitor will pass over to the purchaser. Within the TA6 form there is a specific question with regards Japanese knotweed. The guidance states, “The seller should state whether the property is affected by Japanese knotweed. If you are unsure that Japanese knotweed exists above or below ground or whether it has been previously been managed on the property, please indicate ‘Not known’. If ‘No’ is chosen as an answer the seller must be certain that no rhizome (root) is present in the ground of the property, or within 3m of the property boundary even if there are no visible signs above ground.”

What this effectively means is that unless you are 100% certain you should be ticking the box ‘Not known.’ This would then leave it up to the purchaser to take a calculated risk or to purchase a report from a certified Japanese knotweed expert to ensure there was no Japanese knotweed growing on the property. With an estimated 1.25 million homes in the U.K. affected by Japanese knotweed obtaining a Japanese knotweed report would certainly be our recommendation.

As can be seen above, the ramifications of the laws regarding Japanese knotweed are far reaching. If you or anyone you know, needs any specific advise or require assistance with certification for your property, phone our team today.