— THE LAW IN ENGLAND AND WALES
SCHEDULE 9 WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT OF 1981
- It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow schedule 9 species (Japanese Knotweed is classed as a schedule 9 species) in the wild, punishable by fines or imprisonment
- If it can be shown that a schedule 9 plant has spread from a landowners property onto another property, then the landowner could be considered responsible for any damage caused and the costs of control
- However, if landowners take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to avoid spreading the plant, then they will be better protected against prosecution
- In order to reduce the potential of fines/prosecution, landowners should have a management plan for schedule 9 species on their property and be able to show that they are following it.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1990
- Waste containing any part of a schedule 9 plant that could facilitate the spread of the species is classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of at a suitable waste facility, accompanied by appropriate Waste Transfer documentation!
- You cannot just dispose of Japanese Knotweed by putting it in the bin nor can you take it to the local waste management site
- All producers, carriers and waste facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the waste is handled and treated properly
- Knotweed Services (UK) Ltd can legally and correctly dispose of your Japanese Knotweed during the treatment and control process. This takes all the pressure away from the landowner.
But what if I don’t know if there is Japanese Knotweed?
Don’t worry, we can conduct a site survey to find out.
We would highly recommend that anybody buying or selling property has a Japanese Knotweed survey. It prevents later compensation or misrepresentation claims for sellers and ensures the sale goes through fairly swiftly.
Not declaring Japanese Knotweed has, in our experience, only caused problems. We have seen cases where purchases have been seriously delayed and in some cases, even cancelled.
DEAL WITH IT EARLY AND YOU WILL FAIR BETTER!
THE LAW: BUYING AND SELLING PROPERTY
The presence of Japanese Knotweed on, or in, close proximity to a property can create difficulties for those wishing to sell their property; and for buyers wishing to secure mortgage finances.
It is your legal responsibility to declare if your property is affected by Japanese Knotweed on the TA6 form. You will also be asked to enclose a copy of a management plan should you have one in place. In instances where Knotweed is not declared many lenders will still request a site survey and report.
The TA6 form should be filled in accurately as inaccurate answers can lead to the buyer seeking compensation for misrepresentation. If you are unsure if the property has Japanese Knotweed, we would always advise a Japanese Knotweed Survey is conducted.
The known presence of Japanese Knotweed should be declared on the TA6 form. Mortgage lenders require a professional management plan with an Insurance Backed Guarantee before they will lend.
If you think the seller has given inaccurate information on their TA6 we recommend seeking legal advise as you may have a claim for misrepresentation.
All home owners have a legal responsibility to stop JKW encroaching onto neighbouring property. And as such, the Local Authority have it in their power to issue a Community Protection Notice (CPN) to those home owners refusing to do anything about the JKW on their property, which ultimately threatens court proceedings if no action is taken.
If Japanese Knotweed is identified on neighbouring property, we would always advise discussing the situation in the first instance and addressing the legalities before taking action with the local authority.