Do you think you may have Japanese Knotweed on your property? or perhaps you know for a fact that one of your neighbours has had problems with the plant. This news can derail any dealings concerned with the property until the problem is addressed.
Banks will not lend, buyers will not buy, contractors will not proceed. Why all the fuss?
Regulations classify Japanese Knotweed as a controlled species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, and with good reason.
This means that although it is not illegal to have it growing on your property, there might be some serious ramifications for not attending to it immediately and with due care and attention.
The plant can regrow itself from just a tiny portion of its root system, so any soil that may have been contaminated by the plant, and the plant itself, is classified as controlled waste.
Soil that has been treated to kill the plant may also be classified as hazardous waste. There are large fines and prison sentences associated with disposing of controlled or hazardous waste improperly.
The Cost of Doing Nothing
Japanese Knotweed can grow a few centimetres in spring, and then a whopping ten metres in the summer months, with root systems that stretch for seven metres underground.
It can push through tarmac and concrete, compromising the stability of buildings and yards. The effects can be catastrophic.
The plant naturally has no respect for boundaries, and if it spreads from your property to a neighbour’s then you will be liable for the cost of clearing and repairing their property as well as your own.
Of course, if you can prove that your knotweed problem came from a neighbour then you will be able to reclaim the costs of the clear up from them.
However, delaying a clear up once you have discovered knotweed could prove disastrous if it then spreads from your property to a third party. Immediate action is absolutely key in all cases.
Fortunately, there is tax relief available to you or your business against the cost of a clear up. However, you must take action as soon as you reasonably can.
If you leave the problem, then it can escalate very quickly, because the plant grows so fast.
You can claim 100% of the costs of the clear up, plus a further 50% against extra costs incurred, perhaps due to delays in other contracts.
Professional Knotweed Survey
If you suspect your property may be in danger from knotweed, or are planning to embark on a large building project on your property, then commissioning a professional knotweed survey is essential preparation.
If Japanese knotweed is found halfway through a project, everything must be put on hold whilst the problem is cleared.
Although knotweed is becoming more and more problematic across the UK, its presence might not be detected on a standard survey. If it is, your surveyors will likely recommend a further professional survey to determine the extent of the problem.
Professional Knotweed Eradication
The same company that provides the knotweed survey will be able to provide you with a quote for how much it will cost to eradicate the problem.
Given that the knotweed itself is classed as controlled waste, as is any soil possibly contaminated with it, professional treatment and disposal is essential.
Remember too that 100% of the costs of the removal, and 50% of further costs can be used to gain tax relief only if you deal with the problem as soon as you find out about it.
Knotweed is a plant that was native to volcanic mountain slopes, and therefore it absolutely thrives even in soil that is considered poor in Europe. It grows so fast and so voraciously that a small problem can become a huge problem in a matter of just weeks.
UK regulations are designed to protect businesses and the environment from this invasive species. However, the regulations are only effective with our cooperation.
So take action! and talk to one of our removal experts today by calling 0800 389 1911 or contact us online.