Japanese knotweed is a highly-invasive plant species that has the potential to wreak havoc on properties and land. It can be harmful to ecosystems, damage infrastructure, and affect property value when left untreated. It can also lead to nuisance claims against landowners who allow knotweed to spread onto adjacent properties or into the wild.

When a positive identification of Japanese knotweed is made, most people are unsure what to do next.  

Do I Have to Report Japanese Knotweed?

No, you don’t have to report Japanese knotweed if it’s discovered on your land or in your garden, and you are not legally required to declare the presence of knotweed to your neighbours or local authorities.  

However, you could be fined up to £5,000 or face two years’ imprisonment for causing knotweed to spread into neighbouring land, whether privately or publicly owned or into the wild where it could cause untold environmental damage.  

If you suspect you have Japanese knotweed on your land and it’s been positively identified by a specialist, it’s important to notify all other relevant parties about the problem so they have the opportunity to respond. The reason for this is that all parties must be made aware of an infestation in the case of knotweed compensation claims, and without it, legal action can’t be pursued.

Is Japanese Knotweed Notifiable?

Unlike some invasive species that require the landlord or property owner to take immediate action, Japanese knotweed is not a notifiable plant. Therefore, there is no legal requirement to inform the government, local authorities, or neighbours, about an infestation. Additionally, you don’t have to report knotweed on someone else’s land either, but you may decide to do so if you fear it could encroach onto your own land or harm or damage the environment.  

When Should I Report Japanese Knotweed?

Although you are not legally required to do so, you may want to report the presence of Japanese knotweed to the relevant authorities if it’s damaging the environment or at risk of encroaching onto your property. Doing this will help the government monitor the spread of the invasive plant which has the ability to grow 10cm a day and can quickly overwhelm other plant species and threaten ecosystems.

Should I Report Japanese Knotweed When Selling My Home?

If you’re selling a property with Japanese knotweed, you must be upfront and honest with the estate agent. During the sales process you’ll be required to fill in a TA6 Property Information Form which records all the facts about the property and land up for sale. At this stage, you must answer all questions truthfully, including those relating to the presence of invasive plants like Japanese knotweed on your land. If you don’t answer truthfully, it could lead to a misrepresentation claim against you which could delay or even prevent the sale of the property.  

Meanwhile, potential property buyers concerned about potential risks from Japanese knotweed can take out Japanese knotweed indemnity insurance. This policy would cover the cost of a full knotweed survey, the plant’s treatment or removal, the cost of property damage and subsequent restoration, plus legal expenses for a claim made against you.

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed on a Neighbouring Property?

When Japanese knotweed is identified on a neighbouring property and it hasn’t been reported to local authorities, you should formally notify the owners with a solicitor’s letter, so they have ample opportunity to take action by planning for its removal or treatment. If they choose to ignore the letter, it could be used as evidence when applying for a Community Protection Notice (CPN) which deals with unreasonable, nuisance problems by targeting the individual responsible. To attain a CPN you must prove the property or landowner has made no attempt to remove, treat, or even deal with the knotweed despite your best efforts.

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed to my Landlord?

Notifying your landlord about the presence of Japanese knotweed on their land or property is best done in writing. Ensure you provide full details including the location and approximate size of the infestation supported by photo evidence. Early notice will also limit the possibility of potential damage to a building or land and the likelihood of additional costs. The responsibility for treatment or removal of the knotweed depends on the tenancy agreement you signed.

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed to My Local Council?

All councils in England and Wales have a website and publish details for reporting Japanese knotweed. If, however, knotweed has spread onto your property or land from a council-owned property or land, you may be able to claim compensation to cover removal or treatment costs. In such cases, it’s advisable to take pictures of the knotweed encroaching on the property or land to support any claim you make.

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed on Public Land?

Again, you’ll need to notify your local authority to make them aware of any knotweed found on public land. The invasive species is known to grow on road verges, grassed areas, and in public parks. Notifying the relevant local authority will help it monitor the knotweed and prevent any further and potentially damaging growth to buildings and the wider environment.  

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed Fly-Tipping?

If you suspect the act of fly-tipping of Japanese knotweed you should immediately contact the Environmental Agency by email (enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk) or via their 24-hour freephone number (0800 80 70 60). It is a criminal offence to fly tip any material containing Japanese knotweed, and doing so is punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.  

The fly-tipping of Japanese knotweed can occur when commercial site owners are unwilling to pay for the treatment of knotweed on their land. As a result, they excavate and fly tip the contaminated area, and in doing so they promote the spread of knotweed root fragments and rhizomes which regrow after lying dormant for 20 years.  

How do I Report Japanese Knotweed to Network Rail?

You can report the presence of Japanese knotweed to Network Rail via their helpline (0345 711 4141). Perhaps your property backs onto a railway line and you fear knotweed is present? Maybe you’re a keen conservationist determined to prevent its spread along exposed railway verges? If you’ve issued a request to Network Rail and have not received a response, you may be entitled to compensation, especially if your property or land is affected.

How to Report Japanese Knotweed and Get a Survey

If you suspect Japanese knotweed is present on your property or land, you’ll need a survey to identify it before planning for its treatment or eradication. Japanese Knotweed Specialists are PCA-qualified specialists with extensive experience in knotweed solutions for both public and private land and property owners. Book your Japanese knotweed survey today.

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