Invasive bamboo is becoming a major problem for British homeowners, Environet UK has warned.
Easy-to-grow bamboo has grown in popularity but homeowners may not realise that most species are invasive and if left unchecked they can quickly encroach onto neighbouring properties which results in costly legal bills.
There are currently no lending restrictions relating to bamboo and sellers are under no obligation to tell potential buyers if the plant has posed a problem.
Mark Montaldo, solicitor and director at CEL Solicitors which deals with legal claims relating to invasive plants, said: “Bamboo is a growing problem, as unlike Japanese knotweed it’s not officially classed as an invasive species and there are currently no restrictions on planting it.
“Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of neighbourly disputes following encroachment of bamboo across garden borders.
“I have acted for a number of clients who have taken legal action against their neighbour for nuisance caused as a result of a bamboo infestation where the offending party has had to pay significant removal costs and legal bills.
“Due to the increase in nuisance claims it is something that the mortgage companies are closely looking at and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them imposing lending restrictions on properties that suffer with bamboo infestations in the future.”
Nic Seal, managing director of Environet UK, added: “Bamboo is a vigorous and fast-growing plant that has been steadily growing in popularity in the UK over the last decade or so, but it’s very difficult to contain and virtually impossible to kill with herbicide.
“It’s commonly sold at nurseries and garden centres across the country with little or no warnings about its invasive nature or sensible advice about how to contain it.
“Estate agents and surveyors should look out for signs of the plant growing out of control and alert potential buyers to the problem, which usually requires professional excavation.”