Laurence Lacey, Partner in our Commercial Property team, was on BBC One Wednesday morning in three separate interviews with John Maguire.
The feature dealt with the invasive species, Japanese Knotweed, which can cause extensive damage to property and is extremely difficult to eradicate and control. The features considered the plant’s impact on property transactions and new sanctions which will enable Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) to be issued for failing to clear it when it is causing a detrimental effect on surrounding property. This is alongside the existing criminal liability and penalties that can be imposed and civil liability for allowing its escape.
It is essential in any property transaction, particularly those relating to the acquisition of development sites, that appropriate enquiries and investigations are made in relation to the existence of Knotweed on the property. Discovery of this early in the process will enable an informed decision to be made about whether further specialist advice should be sought and, potentially, removal by a specialist contractor who can offer an appropriate warranty with insurance backing.
Japanese Knotweed can severely impact on the value of land, and render it unsellable on the basis that mortgage lenders are unlikely to lend on a property affected by untreated Knotweed.