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Japanese Knotweed on leasehold property

(8 Posts)
Caitmous Tue 14-Jul-15 09:08:14

If Japanese Knotweed is found in the communal garden of a property with leasehold flats, who is usually liable for the costs of removing it? The leaseholders or the freeholder?

LBOCS Tue 14-Jul-15 09:12:51

Leaseholders, via the mechanism under the terms of the lease which means they have to pay for the maintenance of the block. However if your property backs onto a rail track and it has come from there then it's possible that you can try and push National Rail to treat it.

ChrisQuean Tue 14-Jul-15 09:15:53

Ultimately, probably the leaseholders will pay via a service charge mechanism, but it will depends on what can be recovered under your lease and what the freeholder is required to do, do you have a Management Company who undertakes repair and maintenance? There will also be other factors as to whether the knotweed contamination migrated on to your property, so you may find an adjoining owner can be held responsible.

Caitmous Tue 14-Jul-15 09:16:20

Thanks LBOCS. It's actually coming from a neighbouring property which is a Housing Association. They have been next to useless at sorting issues in the past. We're in the process of trying to sell and I just want to cry.

Caitmous Tue 14-Jul-15 09:17:53

Thanks ChrisQueen. We are self managing. There is a house account that can cover costs but I fear it's going to be an administrative nightmare getting it sorted. At least it's not via the freeholder who are also useless.

ChrisQuean Tue 14-Jul-15 09:26:45

It will be an administrative nightmare. Can you get legal advice? It would need to be from an environmental lawyer though.

Natural England may also be able to help with advice. A landowner (and that includes long leaseholders) have a duty to control and prevent the knotweed spreading so I would tackle the neighbouring land too and threaten action.

JonathanRolande1 Tue 14-Jul-15 15:15:35

The leaseholders – and it isn’t cheap!

TremoloGreen Tue 14-Jul-15 16:38:31

Sorry, but it is going to be an administrative nightmare. Do you have legal insurance under your buildings insurance? That might be the way to go with regards to the neighbours.

That said, houses with knotweed can still sell. My friend bought one. The vendors had had the problem assessed by a specialist removal company and a plan put in place to get rid of it. This was enough for the mortgage company to lend. Obviously the costs of removing it had to come off the purchase price. Not everyone is fazed by knotweed - in the area of London I used to live, loads of people were affected by it, it was everywhere.

You will have to get the neighbours' knotweed sorted at the same time though, otherwise it will just be a waste of money. I think the general rule that lenders apply is 'within 7 metres'.

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