How to deal with Japanese knotweed

It’s no secret that Japanese Knotweed is a real nightmare for homeowners. Known as the “UK’s most aggressive and destructive plant”, Japanese knotweed can cause a multitude of issues to your home; from damaging the foundations to destroying the drains and paving. Not only that, but Japanese Knotweed can seriously damage your chances of selling or re-mortgaging your home, with the majority of mortgage lenders refusing to lend on properties with the weed present, and many buyers being put off by the stigma surrounding the plant. Furthermore, if the Japanese Knotweed spreads to your neighbours’ properties, you may be at risk of facing liability, with other homeowners attempting to claim damages from you.

Removing Japanese Knotweed

If you find evidence of Japanese knotweed anywhere on your property, it is important that you should begin treatment as soon as possible. The more aggressive the infestation, the more damage it can cause to the foundations of the and the more difficult it is to eradicate from your land.

There are many different ways to destroy or remove this destructive plant from your property, including:

  • Chemical spraying – though you will need to re-spray a number of times as it usually takes 3 years to treat Japanese knotweed until the underground rhizomes become dormant.
  • Burying the weed – though you will not normally be allowed to bury waste on land unless it’s at a landfill site that has a suitable permit.
  • Burning the weed – though you will need an environmental permit, and the knotweed’s crown and rhizome may still survive, so you must be able to dispose of any remaining material following the guidance set by your local council

As you can see; due to the damage that Japanese Knotweed can cause, and the efforts it takes to remove it completely, we would always advise getting a reputable professional to deal with the issue, as they will understand all of the requirements for eradication that have been set by the Environment Agency.

Claiming compensation for Japanese Knotweed

In some cases, Japanese Knotweed may have been present in your garden before you bought your home but was overlooked by the surveyor at the time of purchase. At CEL Solicitors, we believe that every homeowner deserves to know all of the potential problems with a property before they commit to sale. So, if you believe that your surveyor did not take their obligations seriously and Japanese knotweed was undisclosed but present when you purchased your home, you may be able to claim compensation from the seller or surveyor, in order to recover the costs that you will incur due to the issue. This compensation could also include a lump sum for the reduction or diminution in value of the property due to the Japanese Knotweed infestation.

For more information about your rights as a homeowner suffering with Japanese knotweed, that may have been undisclosed at the time of purchase, simply contact our expert team of housing solicitors today on 0151 909 8212 or email