Landlords are being advised to familiarise themselves with the perils of the troublesome Japanese Knotweed, after a couple spoke of their problems with the plant.
Christopher and Marie Moore from Birmingham have said the plant has overcome their 70ft garden, with the local council now refusing to remove it.
Japanese Knotweed, otherwise known as Fallopia japonica, is estimated to be responsible for £170m worth of property repairs every year.
The plant is that harmful it can cause damage to concrete, tarmac and even river banks. Its roots can grow up to three metres in depth and by seven metres in direction.
For property owners, the plant can cause substantial structural damage. In fact, the World Conservation Union has listed Japanese Knotweed as one of the globe’s worst invasive species, due to its destructible capability.
Mr and Mrs Moore said that the plant first appeared outside their property in 2012. After several failed attempts to stop it growing, their garden has now become unusable.
Mr Moore observed: ‘Initially, I thought it was a normal weed but as soon as I realised it was Knotweed, I called the council.
‘They sent someone out to take pictures and told me they would be carrying out the work to remove it, but then they changed their minds.
‘I have a 70-foot garden and, at the moment, it is totally unusable. The leaves are coming through the back door.’
Continuing, Mr Moore said: ‘I’m concerned they could evict me if break the terms of my tenancy but they are refusing to do anything.’’I feel like I don’t want to live here anymore.’
Spotting the Weed
Initial signs that Japanese Knotweed could be present in your garden will take the form of red and purple shoots, often shooting up in the spring. These are accompanied by rolled back leaves, which often spread and grow at a quick pace.
In order to tackle the problem, you should be sure to use a professional as a first port of call. Should you wish to tackle the problem yourself, a preferred method of getting rid of the plant is by using glyphosate-based stump and weedkillers.
Landlords can find out more useful information on Japanese Knotweed in this brilliant guide.
For Mr and Mrs Moore, the future is looking bright, with a spokesperson for Birmingham City Council stating: ‘Mr Moore was visited by housing officers in August last year and was correctly advised at the time that it was his responsibility as a tenant to deal with the treatment and removal of the Japanese Knotweed, as well as being provided with further advice and guidance on how to do so.’
‘However, it was agreed last month that Japanese Knotweed in council tenants’ gardens will now be dealt with by the council to ensure a consistent approach in tackling the issue across the city. We will be in contact with Mr Moore to arrange an appointment.’