In July, 2017, we wrote a piece about the Japanese Knotweed crisis and the serious problems which it is posing for many homeowners and residents throughout Ireland. In particular, we condemned the presence of Japanese Knotweed on City or County Council property.
Recently, the Courts in the U.K. have imposed sanctions on land owners where Japanese Knotweed, which originated on their land, has caused damage and loss to another’s land.
By way of refresher, Japanese Knotweed is a plant which can cause absolute devastation to concrete, foundations, roads, paving, retaining walls and agricultural land. Once a tiny portion of this plant infiltrates soil, it can become rampant and out of control.
In the case in the U.K. a claim was brought by a homeowner who lived next door to land owned by Network Rail. The Network Rail land was infested with Japanese Knotweed. The homeowner brought a claim against Network Rail on the basis that the Japanese Knotweed on the neighbouring land encroached onto their property causing a nuisance, and it also interfered with their quiet enjoyment of the property. In this case, the homeowner’s property had dropped in value as a result of the presence of Japanese Knotweed on neighbouring property.
The Court found that the knotweed on Network Rail’s land had caused a loss of enjoyment of the property and awarded damages in the sum of £10,500 towards the drop in value of the property, together with £5,000 towards the costs of the removing the Japanese Knotweed.
While this case is a case from the U.K., it may be of persuasive value to any case which may be taken in Ireland, whereby a homeowner’s property is de-valued as a result of the presence of Japanese knotweed on their neighbour’s property.
Jody Cantillon is an Associate Solicitor in the Litigation Department of Cantillons Solicitors, Cork. Jody advises and represents clients in relation to all aspects of litigation, including property disputes, Personal Injuries Litigation, Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Defamation Law and Data Protection.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21-4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.
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