Japanese Knotweed: Man successfully sues previous homeowner for £200,000 after finding plant in garden
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A furniture designer has successfully sued the former owner of his house after discovering a large amount of the invasive Japanese knotweed in his London garden. The previous owner of the property was ordered to pay £200,000 in court.
The weed was discovered in large quantities on the South West London premises.. Making a seller aware of the presence of Japanese Knotweed has been a legal requirement since 2013.
One of the main reasons Japanese knotweed is such an issue is its growth rate. It can grow up to 10cm a day, which leads to the weed causing damage to buildings, other structures and other types of plant life.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the seller is required to state whether Japanese knotweed is present on their property through a TA6 form - the property information form used for conveyancing. Your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to provide full legal advice, however, here is a summary:
The RHS say it is the sellers responsibility to check the garden for Japanese knotweed (bearing in mind that it can die back in winter). The TA6 form asks you to confirm whether your property is affected by Japanese knotweed and, where it is, to provide a management plan for its eradication from a professional company (see Seeking help from the professionals below).
Japanese Knotweed hotspots
Japanese knotweed is an issue which has focussed hotspots around the country. Environet, a site which is dedicated to invasive plant species, has a heatmap tool which allows you to view the hotspots near you.