FAQs

Popular questions about cavity wall insulation and Japanese Knotweed claims. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Cavity wall insulation is the insulation between the outer brick wall and the wall in inside your house. This could have been placed there when the house was built, or injected at a later date. Most houses that were made before the 1980s were not built with insulation.

There are a number of indications that your cavity wall insulation is faulty. The main ones are damp (or the smell of damp) mould, condensation, and cold spots. These issues could be a result of a lack of ventilation in your home, however if you try to keep your windows open and the issue is still there, it is highly likely there is an issue with your CWI. 

By filling out our claims form we will analyse the information you have provided and if it is likely you have a faulty CWI, we will book you in for a FREE survey to make 100% sure there is an issue.

Most of the cavity wall insulation firms had to register with CIGA – Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency

CIGA offered a 25 year guarantee for the insulation, either themselves or through insurance. This means that if your insulation was installed within 25 years, you are eligible to claim. 

The Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as “No Win, No Fee”) is a legal funding arrangement provided the client co-operates with their obligations to give us instructions to progress the claim. The client only pays for the legal fees if they are successful and receive compensation. This allows lawyers to act for client’s who do not have the benefit of other means of funding legal expenses. You must take advice and co-operate with your lawyer to progress your claim.

If the claim is successful, your law firm approach the Defendant for their costs. In addition to this you have an agreement with Housing Triage for 25% (Incl. VAT) to be deducted from their damages.

After the Event Insurance is purchased alongside a Conditional Fee Agreement and covers your claim in respect of any fees incurred by the Defendant If the claim is unsuccessful, the ATE Insurance will pay the Defendant’s costs. The ATE premium is self-insuring and therefore you do not pay the premium if the claim is unsuccessful. The ATE premium is payable from the damages if the client is successful.

The law firm will not take any fee, they approach the defendant for costs of pursuing the claim. You do however have an agreement with Housing Triage for which we are entitled to 25% (incl. VAT) of any damages awarded. On settlement SSB will deduct the 25% (incl. VAT) to go to Housing Triage and the After the Event Insurance Premium. The remainder goes to the client.

This depends on which ATE Provider has provided the policy. You will receive a copy of the ATE policy once you have signed the CFA and this contains all the information in respect of the ATE premium and what you will pay on settlement of the claim at each stage. You will only pay this premium when SUCCESSFUL out of the compensation you have been awarded. If unsuccessful, you do not pay this premium.

We are unable to provide a set period of time for the length of the claim. This depends on many factors including the defendant’s response and whether we issue the claim into the court process. The law firm envisage 9 to 18 months, unless the case proceeds to trial or is a high value complex claim. The law firm will, of course, keep the you informed of progress throughout, explain the reasons for any delays and advise you if any additional, unforeseen work becomes necessary. You can help progress the speed of your claim by cooperating with the law firm and returning/supplying documents to us in a timely manner.

Japanese knotweed enters several recognisable phases throughout the year, whilst treatment can take place at any time it’s typically easier to spot during the summer, as this is when the plant is most visible above ground. You’ll first spot small red-purple asparagus-like shoots growing in spring, these can grow up to 10cm a day during the summer and often grow in large patches.

The leaves are the most distinguishable feature throughout the year. These are broad and shield-shaped with a distinctive alternating stem pattern, unfortunately, there are other common plants that look like Japanese Knotweed. Both Lilac and Dogwood share similar shaped leaves. Look for small white creamy flowers and bamboo-like canes to be certain that you have a Japanese knotweed infestation, or hire a professional to survey your property.

Yes! You can eat Japanese Knotweed, it’s similar to rhubarb. 

HOWEVER, we do not recommend doing so. Once you cut the stems, the plant grows even faster than usual. You may think you’re going to save money and have a delicious treat as a bonus but this will eventually bring more stress and costs to your door. 

It is likely that the plant never actually went away. Japanese Knotweed can lay dormant for long periods of time.

Japanese knotweed is a rhizomatous plant, meaning that it has a modified stem system that grows underground (much like a tree’s roots), which can render it dormant for extended periods, making it practically invisible to the naked eye from above the system. Unlike a tree’s roots, however, each rhizome is capable of producing new nodes and sending shoots up to the surface to create a new plant.

It is certainly possible to eliminate Japanese Knotweed yourself, however it grows so fast that even leaving a fragment of root the size of a fingernail is enough for the plant to regrow. 

The recommended treatment is to inject the stems. This can be done by professionals who can access stronger herbicides and dispose of the plant correctly.

It is important that you do not dispose of Japanese Knotweed yourself. 

  • Under no circumstances can you dispose of Japanese Knotweed in your compost, recycling, or waste bins, due to its fast spreading and growing nature.
  • It is classed as ‘controlled waste’ under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and requires disposal by a licensed waste carrier, who will ensure it is disposed of at a licensed landfill site.

It is possible to control the plant yourself, but it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to ensure the plant will not grow back. A professional will survey your garden to determine the extent of the contamination and can create a management plan to ensure the effective removal and reduce the chances of regrowth.

Solutions and treatments which can be provided by a licenced Japanese Knotweed specialist are:

  • A herbicide application program.
  • Sifting and screening.
  • Root barriers.
  • Excavation (if the Knotweed needs removing immediately, usually on commercial sites).
  • Stem injections.

By attempting DIY, you cannot be sure if you are getting the entire root up or causing a bigger problem by spreading it further.

It depends where and how the weed has approached your land. It could be from a neighbour who has allowed the weed to spread. You could have purchased land/property where there has been an infestation that was not declared before your purchase. Legally, it has to be declared that there is/has been a Japanese Knotweed infestation on the property.

You could also claim if the weed has approached your land from public property.  Many successful claimants have received compensation after JKW had approached their land from a nearby railway track.

If you follow your law firm’s reasonable advice and cooperate with them and are unsuccessful, you will affectively be in the same position you are pre-claim. They will not have any compensation to put towards repairs to your property but you will not have lost anything or paid anything. The law firm will not recover any costs in this situation and the defendant’s costs are covered by the After the Event Insurance Policy. The insurance premium is also not payable.

We are unable to provide a figure, this depends again, on many factors. The surveyor will provide an estimate of the cost of any works needed to repair the damage to the property and place it back into the condition it was in prior to the CWI being installed. This will form the basis of the value of the claim.