Japanese Knotweed: A Simple Yes/No?
Posted on 21st August 2018 at 14:34
At MG Legal, your property solicitors Preston, we understand that the term ‘Japanese Knotweed’ would be the last thing on your mind when moving home. To your conveyancing solicitor Preston, however, this is a term of high importance within the conveyancing process.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Originating in Japan, Japanese Knotweed is a form of plant which can be extremely dangerous if left to its own devices. The weed can cause serious damage to buildings with its notoriously rapid growth and roots that can extend up to three metres long. These factors not only make it a natural hazard, but also make attempts to eradicate it very expensive. Based on efforts to eliminate the plant, as well as the effects on the value of properties affected, it is estimated that the damage caused by the weed amounts to approximately £166 million every year!
Why is it important?
A recent case highlighted the need for extra care to be taken in this respect and for more attention to be paid to the potential effects of the weed. Neighbours of adjoining property brought about a nuisance claim against Network Rail for growth of the knotweed on their land which encroached upon the homeowner’s properties.
Network rail were found to have caused continuing nuisance and damage which, when taken to the Court of Appeal, was upheld. This ruling was due to the fact that the growth of the weed was detrimental to the use and enjoyment of the land.
What does it mean for me?
Whilst packing your belongings and organising the big move, this point should not be overlooked and should be approached with caution. The seller is required to complete a Property Information Form, a standard form prescribed by the Law Society, which specifically asks about this issue and whether the property is affected. The seller can respond yes, no or not known.
If the property is affected, its value may be decreased significantly, and may be a deciding factor in whether a potential buyer proceeds with purchasing, however, the response on the Property Information Form should always be answered truthfully. If this point is found to be answered dishonestly, it is possible that the buyer may rescind the Contract and/or recover damages from the seller. If this is something you are unsure of, you should seek the advice of your Preston solicitor.
Your conveyancing solicitors Garstang understand the utmost importance of this and are always on hand to provide any advice required, not only in this respect, but on any conveyancing query you may have. Contact our specialist team today on 01995 602 129.
MG Legal - Your Conveyancing Solicitors
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