If you have bought or sold a property recently, you may be wondering why there is a question in the Property Information Form completed by sellers whether there is Japanese Knotweed on the property.

The reason is that Japanese Knotweed is a notifiable substance and it is against the law to allow it to be propagated in the wild.  The Local Authority can issue remediation notices under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as well as community protection notices on property owners who fail to control Japanese Knotweed under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 1984.

If you are selling a property, and you know that your property has Japanese Knotweed growing on it, you should not hide this fact.  If you answer “no” or “I don’t know” on the form when you know the answer should be “yes”, this is what is known as a statement of fact and may be actionable by the Buyer.  If Japanese Knotweed is in the neighbourhood, the property in question may still be affected by it.  If you do not know whether you have Japanese Knotweed on the property, you should make it clear that you have not attempted to find out, if that is the case.

If you are buying a property, any Japanese Knotweed on the property should be picked up by your surveyor.