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MET Parking Services - Southgate Park Car Park - Notice To Hirer, Fine Received
FlyingSquad
post Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - 15:48
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Hi all


Summary of case below:

- The vehicle in concern is a lease car, currently on a 2 year PCH lease.

- This notice to hirer letter was sent directly to the hirer.

- The driver entered the Southgate Park Car Park near Stansted airport to go to the McDonald's on the site. There is also a Starbucks and another kebab type food outlet on the site, all within the same car park.

- There were no available car parking bays immediately outside the McDonald's premises. The car was eventually parked in the next available bay, which happened to be closer to the Starbucks than the McDonald's. That said, the McDonald's was a mere 6 meters
(footsteps) away.

- It was not obvious that the car park was split, between McDonald's and Starbucks. One would and it's fair to assume that the site fascilitated parking for all customers for either chain. There were no obvious signs the hirer could see to suggest otherwise.

- There is a 1 hour free time limit for parking and the stay in concern, did not exceed this.

- The driver did not leave the Southgate Park Premises, as this letter suggests in the alleged contravention. They remained within the grounds of the site and where the car was parked.

- The letter was received on Sat 15th September. This is 33 days from the date of issue (17th August 2018) and 66 days since the alleged contravention date (13th July 2018). Are there any grounds to challenge due to the time elapsed?

- The letter confusingly states "This charge relates to the period pf parking immediately prior to 11:07 on 13th July." This seems a rather odd and woolly way of stating the time of the alleged offense! If it's "immediately prior to 11:07", why not just state the actual time!?


A google search shows an abundance of complaints and similar cases regarding this company.

Apologies in advance if this has already been covered numerous times before, in which case, any pointers would be really appreciated. wink.gif


Many thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some assistance.

Kindest regards.



This post has been edited by FlyingSquad: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 08:29
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post Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - 15:48
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ostell
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 12:24
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The failure to deliver within 14 days is nor applicable for a hire car. If you add up the times involved it's something like 63 days. And as the hirer/keeper it's para 14.

Howabout:

Sirs

Ref PCN xxxxx VRM yyyyyy

I am the hirer/keeper of the above vehicle and am in receipt of the PCN you issued. I have no liability on this matter as you have failed to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 namely, but not limited to, failing to supply the additional documents mandated by section 14 (2) (a) of the Act. You cannot therefore transfer liability from the driver at the time to me, the hirer keeper..

There is no legal requirement to identify the driver at the time and I will not be doing so.

Any further communication with me on this matter, apart from confirmation of no further action and my details being removed from your records, will be considered vexatious and harassment. This includes communication from any Debt Collection companies you care to instruct.

Yours etc.


Send it so that it arrives about day 19 after the date on their letter so that they do not have time to reissue a compliant version

If not cancelled then POPLA code and then throw in all the POFA failures

This post has been edited by ostell: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 12:36
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Sheffield Dave
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 12:29
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QUOTE (FlyingSquad @ Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 13:04) *
Does seem like a long time has elapsed since the alleged contravention and the date the PCN was received. Is there any other legal clause I can bounce back to them and add here instead regarding the 14 days?

MET had 14 days to get a Notice to Keeper to the leasing company. Once that company informed MET who the hirer was, MET had a further 21 days to send you a Notice to Hirer.
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FlyingSquad
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 13:16
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Thanks for clarifying SheffieldDave, I therefore accept the 14 days punch doesn't count sadly.

Ostell, thanks for your valued input too. Based on your advice and to give the counter response and argument some additional weight, how about the following:



To whom it may concern

Parking Charge Notice [xxxx]: Vehicle Registration [yyyy]

I refer to the above-detailed Parking Charge (xxxx) issued to me by MET Parking Services as a Notice to Hirer. I have no liability on this matter as you have failed to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA") namely, but not limited to, failing to supply the additional documents mandated by section 14 (2) (a) of the Act. You cannot therefore transfer liability from the driver at the time to me, the hirer keeper. There is no legal requirement to identify the driver at the time and I will not be doing so.

In addition to this and in summary:

- 1) MET Parking Services has failed to provide the hirer a copy of the hire agreement as required under PoFA schedule, 4 para 13(2).

- 2) There was no Windscreen ticket issued in accordance with the conditions as per POFA so there can be no keeper liability.

- 3) Non-compliance with requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012 3). The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge.
You will no doubt be familiar with the strict requirements of Schedule 4 of POFA to be followed in order for a parking operator to be able to invoke keeper liability for a Parking Charge. There are a number of reasons why MET Parking Services Notice to Hirer did not comply with POFA; in order that you may understand why, I suggest that you carefully study the details of Paragraphs 13 and 14 of Schedule 4 in particular.

- 4) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.

- 5) No evidence of Landowner Authority – which should fully comply with the BPA Code of Practice. As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land, they will be asked to produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner, should this be escalated to POPLA.



Taking into account all of the above and given that MET Parking Services has forfeited its right to keeper liability, please confirm that you shall now cancel this charge.

Alternatively, should you choose to reject my challenge, please provide me with details of the Independent Appeals Service (POPLA), their contact details and a unique POPLA appeal reference so that I may escalate the matter to POPLA.

Thank you for your cooperation and I look forward to receiving your response within the relevant timescales specified under the British Parking Association Ltd Code of Practice.

Yours faithfully,
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Churchmouse
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 13:20
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QUOTE (FlyingSquad @ Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 08:42) *
Ostell, will post a pic of the back of the notice to hirer later today. If I recall, it looks generic and concerns the complaints procedure/challenging the fine.

PPCs often get the "generic" parts wrong, too; that's why we ask!

--Churchmouse
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ostell
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 15:52
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Why are you talking about paragraph 13 and windscreen tickets? Your paragraph 2 makes no sense, there is no requirement for a windscreen ticket. 13 (2) just defines the documents that the hire company have to provide, 14 (2) (a) is the condition they haven't met. Indeed 14 is the relevant paragraph for the hirer/keeper and 13 defines the requirements for the hire company.

The back of PE PCN's contain the POFA bits with nothing on the front and so as the MET PCN didn't show them on the front are they on the back?
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FlyingSquad
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 17:42
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Back of the PCN now posted.

I've now removed reference to paragraph 13 regarding windscreen tickets, as suggested. See below:

To whom it may concern

Parking Charge Notice [xxxx]: Vehicle Registration [yyyy]

I refer to the above-detailed Parking Charge (xxxx) issued to me by MET Parking Services as a Notice to Hirer. I confirm that as the hirer of this vehicle, I am its keeper for the purpose of the corresponding definition under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA") and I write to formally challenge the validity of this PCN on the following grounds:

- 1) First and foremost, MET Parking Services has failed to provide the hirer a copy of the hire agreement as defined under PoFA schedule, 4 para 13(2) and condition 4 (2) (a).

- 2) Non-compliance with requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012 3). The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge. There is no legal requirement to identify the driver at the time and I will not be doing so.

You will no doubt be familiar with the strict requirements of Schedule 4 of POFA to be followed in order for a parking operator to be able to invoke keeper liability for a Parking Charge. MET Parking Services Notice to Hirer in this instance, does not comply with POFA.

Furthermore:

- 3) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.

- 4) No evidence of Landowner Authority – which should fully comply with the BPA Code of Practice. As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land, they will be asked to produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner, should this be escalated to POPLA.
Taking into account all of the above and given that MET Parking Services has forfeited its right to keeper liability, please confirm that you shall now cancel this charge.

Alternatively, should you choose to reject my challenge, please provide me with details of the Independent Appeals Service (POPLA), their contact details and a unique POPLA appeal reference so that I may escalate the matter to POPLA.

Thank you for your cooperation and I look forward to receiving your response within the relevant timescales specified under the British Parking Association Ltd Code of Practice.

Yours faithfully,
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ostell
post Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 20:37
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-1 you are still referencing 13 and what has 4 (2) (a) got to do with it? I believe they have complied with that

-2 have you proof read? What is that 3 after 2012? There is no requirement to show that the person being pursued is the driver, that's the whole purpose of POFA.

Why don't you just use the letter I suggested? It has worked several times.

The back has no POFA statements so no problems there. If they don't cancel then additional POFA fails can be used

This post has been edited by ostell: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 - 20:43
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cabbyman
post Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 05:50
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Sorry. Para 13 was my fault. It's para 14 that needs reading with regard to the lack of hire agreement.


--------------------
Cabbyman 10 PPCs 0
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FlyingSquad
post Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 08:23
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Thanks ostell will use your template as suggested previously.

I will also aim to send the letter so that it arrives about day 19 after the date on their letter as suggested. Just to confirm, their letter is dated 12th September, so I make that 1st October, or should I be excluding weekends?

I'll report back on here once regarding their response.

Thanks for all your time and patience in assisting.

This post has been edited by FlyingSquad: Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 08:44
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 09:00
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Nobody said to exclude weekends! If we meant working days we would say it.
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ostell
post Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 09:40
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They sometimes accept the appeal, at other times the refuse but you get a POPLA code and the POPLA appeal will win.
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FlyingSquad
post Wed, 19 Sep 2018 - 12:36
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Thanks ostell, watch this space...
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FlyingSquad
post Mon, 5 Nov 2018 - 14:04
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Hello again all,

So MET Parking have rejected the initial challenge that was sent. Attached is their response.




Any advice on next steps regarding the POPLA route would be much appreciated.

Thanks as ever for your help.

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ostell
post Mon, 5 Nov 2018 - 15:50
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Yes, appeal to POPLA and add in the other POFA fails in their letter.
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nosferatu1001
post Mon, 5 Nov 2018 - 18:16
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Rejection was expect3d, so what research have you performed on popla appeals? You should have a fair idea of your lengthy appeal by now.
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FlyingSquad
post Mon, 5 Nov 2018 - 18:21
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Does this work taking into account the POFA points? Appreciate any guidance...


To whom it may concern

Parking Charge Notice [XXXX]: Vehicle Registration [XXXX]

I refer to the above-detailed Parking Charge (xxxx) issued to me by MET Parking Services as a Notice to Hirer. I confirm that as the hirer of this vehicle, I am its keeper for the purpose of the corresponding definition under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA") and I write to formally challenge the validity of this PCN on the following grounds:


- 1) Non-compliance with requirements set out in Schedule 4 of POFA 2012 3). The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact the driver who was liable for the charge. There is no legal requirement to identify the driver at the time and I will not be doing so.

You will no doubt be familiar with the strict requirements of Schedule 4 of POFA to be followed in order for a parking operator to be able to invoke keeper liability for a Parking Charge. MET Parking Services Notice to Hirer in this instance, does not comply with POFA.

Furthermore:

- 2) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself.

- 3) No evidence of Landowner Authority – which should fully comply with the BPA Code of Practice. As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land, they should be asked to produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner, now that this has been escalated to POPLA.

Taking into account all of the above and given that MET Parking Services has forfeited its right to keeper liability, please confirm that you will uphold this challenge.

Kind regards

xxxxx


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FlyingSquad
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 08:14
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Any advice re above? Or have I actually got it right first time round!?
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ostell
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 08:35
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For POPLA you need to define EXACTLY which bits of POFA they didn't comply with, such as 14 (2) (a) by not providing the required documents.

Examine the PCN, compare with POFA and document any other omissions.

Treat POLA as 5 year olds who must have everything explained to them simply.
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FlyingSquad
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 13:14
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After some research on similar cases on the forums:

To whom it may concern

Parking Charge Notice [XXXX]: Vehicle Registration [XXXX]

I refer to the above-detailed Parking Charge (xxxx) issued to me by MET Parking Services as a Notice to Hirer. I have confirmed to MET Parking that as the hirer of this vehicle, I am its keeper for the purpose of the corresponding definition under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA") and would be grateful if you would please consider my appeal for the following reasons.

1) The Operator failed to deliver a Notice to Hirer that was fully compliant with the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (“POFA”)
2) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice
3) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces



1) The Operator failed to deliver a Notice to Hirer that was fully compliant with the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (“POFA”)
For MET parking services to invoke keeper liability for a parking charge they must fulfil all the requirements of schedule four of the POFA. I do not believe MET Parking have done this so they have forfeited the right to invoke keeper liability.


The relevant provisions concerning hire vehicles are set out in Paragraphs 13 and 14 of Schedule 4 of POFA with the conditions that the Creditor must meet in order to be able to hold the hirer liable for the charge being set out in Paragraph 14.

Paragraph 14(2) (a) specifies that in addition to delivering a Notice to Hirer within the relevant period, the Creditor must also provide the Hirer with a copy of the documents mentioned in Paragraph 13(2):

(a) a statement signed by or on behalf of the vehicle-hire firm to the effect that at the material time the vehicle was hired to a named person under a hire agreement;
(b) a copy of the hire agreement; and
© a copy of a statement of liability signed by the hirer under that hire agreement), together with a copy of the Notice to Keeper (i.e. the notice that had originally been sent to the lease company (as Registered Keeper)).

The Operator did not provide me with copies of any of these documents before or after my initial appeal.



2) No evidence of Landowner Authority

As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land, I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner.

The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details including exemptions - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do and any circumstances where the landowner/firms on site in fact have a right to cancellation of a charge. It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put some signs up and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is also authorised to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only).

Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.
7.3 The written authorisation must also set out: a the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined b any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation c any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement

3) The signs in this car park were not prominent, clear or legible at the time of the alleged contravention. (I understand signage may have since been updated post the alleged contravention date).

The area around the Starbucks and McDonalds is clearly one location with two businesses, there is one vehicular entrance and MET parking operate the parking for both McDonalds and Starbucks.

The PCN has been issued due to allegedly 'leaving the site'. I would contest that I did not leave the site. The PCN shows still photos of me parking, and walking over to McDonalds. From the images, there is not one sign that warns; by walking over to McDonalds I will be breaking the so called contract I had agreed to.

There is only one sign that says parking is for Starbucks Customers only and this is on a high sign on the far left of the road as you enter the carpark.
Given at this point your attention is taken to minding pedestrians and locating a place to park it is not at all clear. I would have thought a sign at eye level facing towards the boundary of the carpark would be prudent.

Even if a sign says a charge can be issued for 'leaving the site' this means nothing if 'the site' is not defined. This could include any number of shops, a cash point, toilets, cafe, drop-off areas, delivery areas, the car park itself, rest area/benches and any other section of a retail park.

Furthermore, the signs that MET are relying on to enforce the contract, are high up on lamp posts and in small font and barely legible. One could therefore argue these are deliberately placed to be easily missed and difficult to interpret.

Given my points above I respectfully request that POPLA allow my appeal and cancel the PCN, I await your decision.

Kind regards


xxxxx
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FlyingSquad
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 12:26
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Can anyone advise if it's best to send the appeal online via POPLA website, or is it best to send a letter the good old fashioned way?

Thanks
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