Couple suing neighbors for £250k over garden weeds so wild it prevents them from opening back door

A COUPLE are suing their neighbors for £250,000 after they claim weeds have grown so wild in the garden they can’t open the back door.

Christopher Clarke and Louise Kaye say ‘rampant’ Japanese knotweed is wrapped around the foundations of their £1.6million home in posh Kensal Green, north London.

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A charity boss is suing his neighbors after claiming that an infestation of Japanese knotweed rampant on their land has wiped a small fortune from the value of his homeCredit: Champion News
Christopher Clarke and Louise Kaye say the problem is now so severe they can't fully open their back door

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Christopher Clarke and Louise Kaye say the problem is now so severe they can’t fully open their back doorCredit: Champion News

And they are taking Talha and Minha Abbasi to court for compensation after claiming the invasive plant first ran wild on their land.

Mr Clarke, director of cycling charity Club Peloton, claims the weeds climbed through the back door of the family home and surrounded the property.

He and wife Kaye, who bought the property in 2014 for $1.15 million.

But Mr and Mrs Abbasi say they are not responsible for the knotweed.

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They claim the plant must have been in the country when they bought it for £166,000 in 2016.

Japanese knotweed can cause severe damage to buildings and infrastructure if left unchecked.

This can make it significantly more difficult for homeowners to secure a mortgage or sell their home.

And once established, weeds are so difficult to get rid of that experts treat cuttings as legal hazardous waste.

Solicitor Andy Career, acting for Mr Clarke and Ms Kaye, said the couple are seeking damages over “nuisance caused by Japanese knotweed intrusion”.

Central London County Court heard their home was devalued by up to 15 per cent over the infestation.

They were also “unable to obtain mortgage financing” because of the knotweed, it said.

The couple had had an infestation on their own property when they moved in – but after it became known, they had it professionally eradicated in 2015, it said.

Just two years later, an expert reportedly told them that knotweed posed “an imminent threat of damage” on their neighbors’ land.

They asked the Abbasis to hire experts to dig ten feet into the land while propping up both houses to get rid of the weeds completely.

KNOBY PROBLEM

However, the couple instead employed “general contractors” who didn’t properly address the issue, it said.

A lawyer wrote to the Abbasis in 2016, notifying them of the issue and urging them to look into it.

It has been claimed that “despite various assurances” no steps have in fact been taken to address the issue.

But Tom Carter, for Mr and Mrs Abbasi, told the judge there had been a problem with knotweed since at least 2012.

“That means it intervened before the defendants bought the land,” he said.

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“The defendants allege that they cannot be responsible for any losses that the plaintiffs are able to demonstrate because those losses arose prior to any breach of duty or breach by the defendants.”

The judge is expected to rule on the case at a later date.

But their neighbors say the problem with knotweed predates the land purchase - and argue they can't be blamed for it

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But their neighbors say the problem with knotweed predates the land purchase – and argue they can’t be blamed for itCredit: Champion News
Japanese knotweed is a scourge for homeowners.  It can severely damage real estate and make it impossible to sell it or take on new debt

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Japanese knotweed is a scourge for homeowners. It can severely damage real estate and make it impossible to sell it or take on new debtPhoto credit: Getty

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