The Practical Lawyer

Home
About
CPD
Subscribe
Contact

Japanese knotweed – beware

We reported in our March 2019 edition (p10) on the recent cases involving liability for Japanese knotweed growing on or adjacent to properties. Conveyancers acting for the S will send their client the Property Information Form (TA6) which ask S to indicate whether the property is affected by Japanese knotweed at question 7.8. S’s conveyancer should remind their client that an incorrect reply could leave the seller open to a claim in misrepresentation from a disgruntled buyer.
 
A company which treats Japanese knotweed has pointed out the additional risk in that Japanese knotweed dies back substantially in the winter months to the extent that it might look dead or non-existent. This is a further concern for B’s conveyancer – so what steps might be prudent?
  • Identify whether there is knotweed on the property or an adjoining property – having a specialist survey done would be best advice.
  • The conveyancer must advise B that B will be liable as the owner of the property if knotweed is present and encroaches onto neighbouring properties.
  • B should be reminded that the presence of knotweed might mean that the property does not represent good security for any loan.
  • There are indemnity insurance products available which will cover the cost of treatment and reports if knotweed is subsequently discovered at a property following a ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ response from S on the PIF.
  • Consider adding a paragraph in every purchase report pointing out the risks to buyers of buying a property affected by Japanese knotweed or other invasive plant and reiterate the importance of having a specialist survey carried out.
In the light of the Protocol requirement not to raise ‘indiscriminate’ additional enquiries, B’s conveyancer must be wary – but pointing out the issue to buyers and raising appropriate enquiries must be prudent risk management.
 

Most-read articles

LPAs – gifts by attorneys
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Giving attorneys the power under an LPA to make gifts to others and themselves can invalidate it, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has ruled in a test case. The law limits the power of... Read more...
VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been... Read more...
Socialising with colleagues – a thing of the past?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 It is not the role of The Practical Lawyer to judge. But firms would be well advised to re-visit their attitude to lawyers socialising with each other following a recent high-profile case of the... Read more...
Trial bundles – careful preparation required
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Rather like buses, one waits for judicial comment on court documents and trial bundles, and then two come along at once. An article discusses a recent case in which the court was unimpressed with the... Read more...
Infant approval hearing – top tips
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the... Read more...
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act... Read more...
CVA – use to reduce rent
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 If a limited company is insolvent, it can use a CVA to pay creditors over a fixed period. If creditors agree, the limited company can continue trading. The CVA has been used by companies in the... Read more...
Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but... Read more...
Religious beliefs – not always protected
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The ET has heard an interesting case relating to a person’s religious beliefs. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced... Read more...

Resources

IAG International
In House Lawyer
MSI Global Alliance
www.totallylegal.com
Join the IBA now!