The headline in the Bristol Post on the 7th December 2018 must surely have put the fear of huge fines becoming the norm at the front of rogue landlords’ minds. It may also open the door for prosecution for indiviudal homeowners.
The irony in this case is that the Landlord in question is actually a Property Firm, who apparently didnt tun up at the hearing at the Magistrates Court. The plant had been growing and causing a nusiance to the neighbouring properties for over 10 years, and finally Bristol City Council had had enough.
MB Estate Limited was served with a community protection notice in May 2017 but, after failing to comply, were prosecuted using the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Great news, and it will make such a difference to the poor homeowners living nearby. BUT, and it’s a huge BUT I was horrified to read in the article that the Japanese knotweed has now been “cut back”. As if this will solve the problem! If you are reading this post you will know by now that cutting the plant back may take away the green forest that is visable but with the rhizome still in the ground, and dormant over winter, all that will happen is that come spring it will all grow right back again.
Looking at the images in the article it may have been just possible to gain access and remove the Japanese kotweed over the winter months with a Dig Out and Soil Screening methadology. The only other alternative is a Knotweed Management Plan to tackle the beast with Herbicide over a number of years. Meanwhile thhose living near the infestation are going to struggle to sell those properties.
Call in experts. Always.
Oh, and a Happy Christmas to you all!