Stephensons' client Judith Scott talks about her experience after finding Japanese Knotweed on land next to her home. Judith talks about the problems she faced and how Stephensons were able to help her with the removal and treatment of the weed in addition to obtaining compensation.
If you are having problems with Japanese Knotweed call the experts at Stephensons for a consultation on 0175 321 6399.
Japanese Knotweed - video transcript
Amy Johnston: Hello, I'm Amy Johnston. I'm a solicitor in the dispute resolution team at Stephensons Solicitors. I’m being contacted by more and more clients suffering with Japanese knotweed in their gardens and properties. It can cause damage to foundations, can cause damage to gardens, and also can seriously effect a person’s ability to obtain a mortgage on a property. The effects therefore can be extremely serious.
Judith Scott: Listening to the BBC News one particular morning and they were talking about this menace, this weed, Japanese Knotweed. Then I realised that's what growing behind me. This was sort of the weed from hell basically. You couldn't just say "oh well, I'll just pull it out as it comes through," because once you've pulled it out, it's classed as controlled waste, so you can't throw it anywhere, you've got to burn it. It's a menace, an absolute menace. And so that was my main concern. It was damage and of course devaluation.
I'm not getting any younger and it's taken all these years to make that a nice little sheltered garden. The money, the plants that have been put in and their mature plants now and to replace those, that would have been a costly business, and the time and the effort.
When I came to renew my mortgage, when I said there was knotweed on the land, they said "well, you've got your mortgage but were you to sell it, we wouldn't give anybody a mortgage on your property."
Living on my own, you're having to deal with these things on your own. You can talk to your friends, but they don't know any more than you do. I wrote and made phone calls, it made no difference. They ignored the letters and the phone calls. They just said "it's not our land," but eventually when court proceedings were issued, they put their hands up. They said "oh yes it is our land." Well, I would have never been able to get them to admit that. What tools do you have on your own to sort this kind of thing out? You haven't, you've got to resort to the legal people.
They took everything out of my hands. It was a weight off my shoulders. Amy got me the compensation, and they have to cover the legal cost, my legal costs so that my insurance company isn't footing the bill. An independent company who deal with this particular problem will come now for three years and treat the weed. Then after the three years, there's an insurance policy in place that covers it for ten years should there be any recurrence. That is a big relief, it's reassuring that if it happens again, I've got some protection. It's been a good result for me. But I could never have done it without Stephensons, I would be lost.