What to do and not do if you have Japanese Knotweed on your property
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an incredibly invasive plant species that can cause serious damage and devaluation to the properties it infests. If you find this destructive weed growing on your land, it’s vitally important to take quick and proper action to deal with it responsibly and legally as a landowner. This guide runs through the key steps you should and shouldn’t take when tackling a Japanese knotweed infestation on your property.
Green Leaf Remediation is a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) through the Property Care Association and we specialise in the removal, treatment and management of Japanese Knotweed. Contact us today at 0117 321 7799 or complete our contact us form if you need any help or advice.
How to identify Japanese Knotweed on your Property
Japanese knotweed is characterised by its tall, dense clusters of bamboo-like stems and distinct shovel-shaped leaves. It sprouts visibly and spreads rapidly during the spring and summer. Regularly check your property boundaries, gardens, and any areas vulnerable to spread from neighbouring and adjacent properties for signs of Japanese knotweed.
If you do spot Japanese knotweed on your land, thoroughly document its location and extent with photographs and written records. This creates important evidence of the presence and scale of the infestation.
You should seek the advice of experts if you think you may have Knotweed present as they will have extensive experience and the knowledge to quickly identify it and help you with the treatment, management and control.
Reporting Japanese Knotweed: The Requirements:
If you discover Japanese knotweed growing on your property, you are not legally required under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to report it to your local council or declare it to your neighbours. However, it is illegal to allow Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild or outside of your property boundaries. If you are selling your property and there is or has been knotweed present then you legally have to declare it to any potential buyers of your property.
If you have knotweed growing onto your property from a neighbouring property then you can and should report it to your local council and ask them for their advice as this is illegal. This helps them determine appropriate solutions and enables them to exercise powers like issuing a Community Protection Notice to enforce responsible treatment, management and removal. Work collectively with your local community to identify, report, and deal with any cross-boundary spread of Japanese knotweed.
Treating Japanese Knotweed at your Property:
Don’t attempt to dig up, cut back, or remove Japanese knotweed yourself by any means. This almost always exacerbates the infestation by spreading the tiny rhizomes which will plant fragments and rapidly grow in other areas. The key is to prevent ongoing spread while controlling and reducing the existing Japanese knotweed in your garden or on your land over time.
You should hire a professional contractor to carry out a Japanese Knotweed survey and assist you to put a Japanese knotweed treatment plan, otherwise known as a JKMP in place. A JKMP is a legal treatment plan using a qualified herbicide application which treats the deep roots and external foliage. After a professional survey, they will know how to treat infestations safely and effectively and will always use the most appropriate method of treatment, control or removal for your property.
A certified Japanese knotweed removal firm will advise you on the best course of action including; the cost of removal and the cost of treatment.
Always follow guidance from your local council and the Environment Agency on appropriate treatment and disposal methods for Japanese knotweed. Any Japanese knotweed waste must be disposed of at a licensed landfill site according to controlled waste regulations. Never dump Japanese knotweed where it could grow in the wild or burn it as this will mean it will spread and you will be liable and likely prosecuted for it.
Selling a Property with Japanese Knotweed:
On the TA6 Property Information Form, you must legally disclose to any potential buyers if Japanese knotweed has affected your property. Not disclosing a Japanese knotweed infestation or a previous one constitutes misrepresentation and leaves you open to legal action from buyers. For properties with knotweed, you will need a professional and certified Japanese knotweed management plan and insurance in place before selling. Be prepared to have in-depth discussions with buyers about the knotweed issue, and they may request that you treat or remove the Japanese knotweed before they complete the purchase.
Knotweed Spreading Prevention Tips
Don’t attempt to dig up or disturb Japanese knotweed yourself, as this risks spreading it to other areas of your property or onto public land where it may establish wild infestations. Always use qualified professionals to remove Japanese knotweed as they will provide you with a certified and professional treatment plan. Monitor your land carefully to detect and prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading from neighbouring properties where it is present. Cut back any overhanging vegetation, fences, or other structures that connect your land to infested areas. Isolating your property boundaries helps stop the spread of Japanese knotweeds rhizomes as it can cause structural damage and damage to properties if there are any weaknesses at all.
Dealing with Japanese knotweed requires great care, vigilance, and expert help. But by reporting sightings, following official guidance, and using professional contractors for treatment and removal, you can control this destructive invasive plant and avoid exacerbating the infestation. With persistence and the right approach, Japanese knotweed can be reduced and ultimately brought under control.
I have discovered Japanese knotweed on my land, what should I do?
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that is legal to have on your land as long as you don’t allow it to spread outside of your property boundaries. Without treatment and control by a specialist the underground rhizome/underground roots will spread very quickly and easily and could cause damage to properties or structures around it if there are any weaknesses. You should contact your local authorities for advice on how to identify, control, and dispose of Japanese knotweed waste from your land in a safe manner to prevent it from spreading into the wild. Failure to control Japanese knotweed on your land could lead to legal action.
What are the laws around Japanese knotweed?
Japanese knotweed is listed as controlled waste under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to allow Japanese knotweed to spread from your property onto public land or neighbouring properties. Property owners have a duty of care to deal with any knotweed infestation on their property and prevent its ongoing spread. Local authorities and Network Rail can take legal action against property owners who fail to control Japanese knotweed that is causing issues.
I think my neighbour has Japanese knotweed, can I make them remove it?
If you discover that a neighbour’s property is affected by Japanese knotweed and it is spreading to your property and over your boundary wall, garden walls or boundary line you should contact them in the first instance and explain your concerns. They may not be aware of the knotweed issue. If they are unable or unwilling to control the knotweed, you should contact your local authority and ask for advice or seek legal advice with any disputes with neighbours. You may be able to claim damages from your neighbour if you can prove the Knotweed is causing harm to your property. The complete removal or removal plan and treatment for Japanese knotweed must be done by a Knotweed professional with competence in herbicide use to prevent the ongoing spread.
How do I sell my property if it has Japanese knotweed?
If Japanese knotweed is present on your property, you must disclose this on the residential property information form (TA6) when selling even if it doesn’t come up on the building survey as it is a highly invasive species. Most estate agents will advise you about this if you let them know. You should remove or treat the knotweed before putting the property on the market, otherwise, it could impact the sale price. Get multiple quotes from specialist knotweed treatment companies and show prospective buyers evidence that much of your property has been cleared and the knotweed issue is under control. You will also need a certified Japanese Knotweed Management Plan in place with a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee. This will give buyers confidence that the knotweed infestation has been properly dealt with.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of buyers who will not progress their purchase where there is or has been Knotweed present and it is often a deal breaker when it comes to selling.
How do I buy a property where there is or has been Japanese knotweed present?
A mortgage lender will unlikely lend on a property with Knotweed unless there is a certified management plan in place and some mortgage providers won’t lend at all. If you are buying a property with Knotweed present you have to disclose this on your mortgage application.
Some cash buyers won’t ask the question but most conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors will advise any buyer to complete a Property Information Form (TA6) or if buying to request one. It is well known that if there isn’t a completed TA6 then it should be seen as a warning for potential buyers, even if there is nothing wrong with the property.
About Green Leaf Remediation Knotweed
We are a family-run business invasive weed management company and have been in operation for over 10 years.
We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) through the Property Care Association & NPTC qualified Chainsaw Operator.
We specialise in the treatment and control of Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica)(Bamboo), and other invasive species and nuisance weeds found in the UK. We treat and remove Japanese Knotweed for residential properties, commercial properties, businesses and development sites to ensure development can start as quickly as possible. We provide a 10-year insurance-backed guarantee with every Japanese Knotweed Management plan and will advise you on the best course of treatment for your property and the land around it.
We cover the whole of the South West (including Bristol, Taunton and Bath) and Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Cheltenham, Forest of Dean) up into Worcestershire.
If you are concerned you have Japanese Knotweed at your property or on your land, contact us today at 0117 321 7799 or complete our contact us form and we will arrange a free and no-obligation site survey for you.