Litigation surrounding Japanese Knotweed


Litigation surrounding Japanese Knotweed in London

The defendant was declared liable to pay court bill, £32,000 as damages to pursuer, lawyers bills of up to £95,000 etc

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A furniture designer, Jonathan Downing after purchasing his dream home which he had purchased against £700k, sued the seller and left him facing £200,000 court bill. The seller had denied Japanese Knotweed was growing in garden but court believed that it was not the case.

Jonathan Downing had bought a house in a posh locality, Prince George’s Avenue, Raynes Park, south-west London, from chartered accountant Jeremy Henderson in way back 2018.

After moving into the house he discovered Japanese Knotweed canes which was growing in the garden.

This is believed that the Japanese Knotweed when spreads damages building structures and it is not easy to remove it completely.

After finding this phenomenon Downing sued the former owner and demanded damages for not letting him know about the presence of Japanese Knotweed when the purchase deal was being made.

The seller, Henderson was of the opinion that he could not see the Japanese Knotweed on account of a large bush which grown in front of the weed in question.

He maintained that the Knotweed had grown when the shrub was cut back when Downing moved in to the house.

However, Judge Jan Luba KC, as is reported by a media outlet, did not accept his defence and ordered him to pay costs and damages bill of £200,000 after hearing arguments from both sides.

Henderson had himself moved into this house, way back in 2015. He sold it Downing in 2018 and he clearly had stated the in sales forms that there was no knotweed in the premises of the house.

Downing had sued for £32,000 to cover the costs of investigating and excavating the plant, besides diminution in value of his home caused by the knotweed infiltration.

The judge said his confidence in defendant’s point of view damaged when an expert suggested that the Knotweed canes had possibly stood two metres tall and it was treated herbicide. The judge maintained that the weed would have been noticeable, contrary to the claims of the defendant.

The defendant was declared liable to pay the following damages.

Henderson was ordered to pay £32,000 damages and Downing’s lawyers bills of up to £95,000, as well as his own costs, estimated at almost £100,000.

He was also ordered to pay the damages and £65,000 costs within 21 days.


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