Japanese Knotweed growing on a property based in Bristol has been the cause of a property firm being indicted with a hefty fine. The Japanese Knotweed affected 7 properties and Bristol City Council prosecuted MB Estate Limited which owned the offending property.
The presence of the Japanese Knotweed was not highlighted in house surveys undertaken by the owners of the affected properties, even though the plant was thought to be reaching 8 foot. Unfortunately for the buyers, they were unaware of the adverse effects Japanese Knotweed could cause on their properties and it was only when one homeowner Googled the plant that the severity of the situation became clear.
When the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into effect, it was only then the local council were able to take action against the property management firm. The firm had various opportunities to take steps to remediate the invasive weed and unfortunately did not take adequate steps to prevent the legal action to be taken against them.
With cases such as Waistell v Network Rail making headlines recently, it has set a precedent for other homeowners who are affected by the troublesome weed that there are cautions in place to ensure encroachment does not occur, and where it does, redress through legal channels is now available.