Awareness of Japanese knotweed is growing and so are disputes with neighbours when this invasive plant spreads across boundaries. It isn’t illegal to have Japanese knotweed growing on your land, but if you allow it to encroach onto a neighbouring property then you could be sued for the cost of treatment and, more importantly, diminution which could represent, on average 10% of the property’s value.
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Residential surveyors have a duty of care to both the homebuyer and the mortgage lender to identify Japanese knotweed during a survey, even if the seller has attempted to hide it. While they aren’t expected to dig up the ground, vigilance is required, along with a good awareness of the various methods of concealment to ensure they don’t find themselves being sued for negligence further down the line.