Japanese knotweed can cross boundaries and cause legal disputes between property owners scaled

If my neighbour has Japanese knotweed on their land it is a serious threat if it adjoins your property. This is because you do not have control over how they will choose to handle the issue.

Proper treatments must be used at the right time to ensure that the weed is eradicated as early as possible to prevent its spread to your property. So, what action should you take when your neighbour has Japanese knotweed? 

Japanese infestation, whether at your property or your neighbours should be taken seriously. We have no laws in the UK that require you to notify the authorities of Japanese knotweed infestation. The law requires individuals to take control of the situation appropriately as soon as possible.

Neighbour has Japanese knotweed and spreading into the adjoining properties

Can Japanese knotweed damage my property?

This weed can cause mass destruction to properties, thus lowering their sale value. The plant grows in joints, drainage pipes, lawn, and any area with enough light in your property. The plant only causes more damage to your homestead when ignored.

This is the main reason why you should talk to your neighbour about the Japanese knotweed growing on their property. If the neighbour has Japanese knotweed within close proximity to your property, they have a legal obligation.

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Japanese knotweed can easily creep onto your property from adjoining land and cause no end of damage to paths and drives.

 Does Japanese knotweed in my neighbour’s garden affect my home’s value?

Infestation on your neighbour’s land can have a negative effect on your property value. In most cases, property evaluators can underestimate the cost of your property when you have Japanese knotweed.

Do I have a legal obligation to get rid of Japanese knotweed?

 It is not against the law to have Japanese knotweed growing on your land in the UK. However, it is against UK law to plant it or allow it to spread until it invades the neighbouring property. That is the declaration under the wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is best to take action as early as possible to ensure that the Japanese knotweed is eradicated. Encroachment to the neighbouring property can only lead to disputes that will, in the end, break neighbourhood ties.

Japanese knotweed can cross boundaries and cause legal disputes between property owners
Japanese knotweed can cross boundaries and cause legal disputes between property owners

 Is it my neighbour’s responsibility to remove Japanese knotweed?

It is a land owner’s responsibility to keep their land free of invasive plants.  If the Japanese knotweed originated from your neighbour’s property, automatically becomes their responsibility to eradicate the weed.

How can I solve a Japanese knotweed dispute with my neighbour?

There is a chance that your neighbour has not identified the Japanese knotweed growing on their land. This means that they are not aware of the issues that can result from the plant’s growth.  If you find knotweed on your adjoining property, it is noble to talk to your neighbour.

If the neighbour has Japanese knotweed on the property, they have a legal obligation to stop it from spreading to yours
If the neighbour has Japanese knotweed on the property, they have a legal obligation to stop it from spreading to yours

Please do not take any legal action against your neighbour immediately when you find the Japanese knotweed on their land. If possible, explain the potential damages in writing and state the steps that they should take without forgetting to mention deadlines.

You may also recommend a survey by an expert for accurate identification. Your letter should be void of threats, try to encourage them to take proper action as soon as possible.

Can you sue your neighbour for not controlling their Japanese knotweed?

If your neighbour has played a role in the Japanese knotweed spreading to your land, the first step should be to inform them about it. If they are reluctant to seek treatment services, you have a right to report to the local council.

In most cases, you will obtain a court order for them to seek knotweed removal services if you bring a nuisance claim.  You also have a right to ask for compensation for any damages caused by the knotweed.

In circumstances where damage has already occurred, your insurance company should help you get the legal attention you need. An insurance company seeks to recover money from your neighbour when it is proven that the knotweed originated from their land. 

In the absence of your property insurance company, you may seek services from a weed specialist near you. You will be able to get the legal advice you need to move ahead to court to seek compensation.

To file for compensation, you need evidence to show that the Japanese originated from their land and spread to your property. Additionally, you will attest to the court that your neighbour was aware of the weed’s potential damages. The court will also demand that you show evidence that your neighbours failed to take proper actions to eliminate the plant.

Railway embankments overgrown with Japanese knotweed
Railway embankments are overgrown with Japanese knotweed

What if the weed is growing on public land?

If the neighbouring land is publicly owned, it becomes your responsibility to notify the authorities in your area as early as possible. You should also be able to file a claim if the knotweed has caused damage to your property.

You only have to prove that it originated from the said public land to be compensated by those that allowed the plant to invade your territory.

Can Japanese knotweed grow back?

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant. It takes a substantial time to get rid of it completely. This means that there is always a possibility of the plant growing back. 

Ideal herbicides should be used at the right time, ensure that you get a certified weed specialist to undertake the exercise.  Japanese knotweed removal can be challenging, but with combined efforts, it is doable.


What to Do If My Neighbour Has Japanese Knotweed?

It is necessary by all means to seek legal advice about how to handle the issue at hand.  However, by all means, you should try compelling your neighbour to take the necessary steps to control the weed to ensure that the situation does not worsen.

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Want to know more?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email – hello@knotweedremoval.tips

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

Knotweed Removal, UK