Japanese Knotweed on neighbour’s property

On discovering that the numerous, over powering weeds growing between my brick wall (built at the same time as my house in 1930's) and my neighbour's wooden fence are Japanese knotweed that could damage foundation etc and devalue my property, there is also one of them growing in my garden. I sent a letter to the housing association who are the registered owners of this 'council' property (though I have no idea of the correlation of the council/government regarding this property to the housing association) as advised by www.environetuk.com:

'I am requesting that you take appropriate action to eradicate the Japanese Knotweed on your property and on mine. If you do not then I will be left with no option but to refer this matter to my solicitor to bring a claim in private nuisance against you.'

The reply from the association claimed that the strip of land in question was part of my property. www.environetuk.com referred me to www.japaneseknotweedclaims.com (who state there is a no win no fee policy) who in turn referred me to their legal people: www.excellolaw.co.uk, who after reviewing all info suggested I have a free survey carried out by www.knotweed.co.uk. The report stated that the offending weed is certainly on the neighbours/housing association property. The solicitor at www.excellolaw.co.uk wrote up 'onboarding' documentation which I was to sign, but on reading that despite a 'no win no fee' offer, I will be responsible to pay all disbursements that would be required to bring this case to court, which would amount to at least £900, therefor I am unable to take this case any further due to lack of funds.

Are there any suggestions on how I might be able to proceed?

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Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 11,222

    Getting involved in legal battles over land and associated responsibilities is a recipe for disaster. The only people who come out of it smiling and rubbing their hands with glee are the lawyers. Get access to the affected land (shouldn't be a problem since it has been deemed to be yours) , lay your hands on chemicals to kill the knotweed and do that. Kill it and save yourself a load of dosh and angst.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • cc120cc120 Posts: 29

    Hi pansyface, thank you. If it really was a no fee no win offer, would have been worth going ahead as there is no real question that it is their land though.

    If I were to treat the jk myself (what should I use for this) I wouldn't have a 10 year guarantee to offer potential buyers of my house. Or would I simply deny any knotweed have ever existed on or near my property, though I'm guessing that any potential buyer's surveyor would be able to spot a small sprouting of the stuff?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,627

    Spray it with glyphosate. Let it go brown, cut out stems and burn on site in an incinerator. It will probably regrow in which case repeat every time it pops up..

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • cc120cc120 Posts: 29

    PS also to get to the weeds I would have to take down their high wooden fence.

  • cc120cc120 Posts: 29

    Hi fidgetbones, the house would still be devalued even if I took that approach? I would have to remove their wooden fence to cut out the stems, if you mean from the ground? And I didn't know it was legal to treat myself without informing the council, and also not legal to incinerate jk myself?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 11,222

    I can't help you with the finer points of lawyers' offers. I have learned to keep as far away from them as possible. It makes for a simpler and happier life.

    Japanese knotweed can be killed. Any garden centre worth its salt will be able to advise you. The stems need to be cut and the poison poured into them (they are hollow) for best results.

    Under no circumstances deny that you know/knew about its existence. You could end up accused of making a fraudulent statement if you came to sell your house and didn't mention it. It's on record that you have approached the housing association about it.(Those lawyers again would never let you alone.)

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,627

    A long lance to wave over the fence would be useful, but as it goes down into the roots, concentrate on stopping it spreading. Anyway, haven't they already said that land is yours, then so is the fence. Ask the tenants if you can go round to spray it.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,627

    So long as it is eradicated, I don't see what the problem is. Just cutting it down and selling the house in winter, so the new owners have a nasty surprise in Spring, would be a problem if you don't tell them. 

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,627

    You must incinerate on site. It is illegal to transport jk to the tip, as it just spreads it.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • cc120cc120 Posts: 29

    Hi pansyface, I doubt that it's on any record that I approached the housing association about it. Doubt that they informed any one else, will be in a file of theirs or in the bin.

    Currently about 11 feet high. Would it suffice to cut it off above my brick wall which is about 4 feet high and pour poison down the stems at that height?

    Hi fidgetbones, I think the idea is that the land up to and consisting of the jk is mine, but the fence is theirs : )

    I thought it was against the law to cut it down without professional and council knowledge. I certainly don't mind burning it in my garden.

     

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