A recent news article was published on the 28th August 2016 about a Birmingham property owner whose property is swamped by Japanese Knotweed. The property owner is having problems selling or re-mortgaging their property due to a large infestation of knotweed on her neighbour’s premises. The neighbour’s property is owned by a Housing Association. The Housing Association has failed to manage the problem and seem to be ignoring request to deal with the knotweed.
The first step for the property owner is to write to the Housing Association to ask them to put in place a Knotweed Management Plan (KMP). In the circumstances the letter is best written and sent by a knotweed specialist Solicitor. The letter should state the facts and the problem and outline the solution. The Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) should include treating any Japanese Knotweed in the Housing Association property and any neighbouring properties being affected.
Before the letter goes it would be prudent to arrange a knotweed survey so that the true extent of the knotweed can be determined and any damage caused by the knotweed can be recorded. Any damage caused by knotweed on the owner’s property should be repaired by the Housing Association. Excavation of the contaminated ground as a result of encroachment should also be considered, particularly if the area is to be built on or landscaped.
If the Housing Association fails to act to the letter they can be pursued for causing a nuisance. Japanese Knotweed Limited can provide the knotweed survey/management plans and can recommend JMP solicitors to pursue the case if the need arises.
Japanese Knotweed can cause severe problems. When buying a property it is important that a Knotweed survey has been carried out in addition to the normal building survey. Early discovery of knotweed on a property is essential to a buying decision. The Law Society TA6 form has a section in which the seller must declare whether there is Japanese Knotweed.