A Court of Appeal decision in the UK could reportedly lead to an increase in claims over property value diminution brought about by the stigma surrounding Japanese knotweed.
Appellant Marc Christopher Davies won against the Bridgend County Borough Council, whose adjoining land had knotweed that encroached into Davies’ property. Davies, even with the knotweed treated, was awarded £4,900 for residual diminution in value.
“It’s talking about what happens after the knotweed has been treated,” a report by The Guardian quoted Hodge Jones & Allen partner Chun Wong as saying. “So, it’s been found in the garden, hasn’t caused physical damage per se, but just having its presence because of the stigma attached… means somebody is going to pay less for this house than if the house had no knotweed at all.
“Whether this will open floodgates, I think time will tell. I suppose it just makes it easier for homeowners who have the presence of knotweed without actual physical damage to think: ‘Maybe I should make a claim’.”
Meanwhile, Tom Carter, who represented Davies, said the case confirmed, beyond doubt, that the house value diminution can be recovered.
“I can see defendants probably fighting more in that they no longer argue about claimants being unable to recover for diminution [of property price], so the value of the claims are higher,” the publication cited him as commenting