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VCS - regarding a residential parking spot
OneSaidFred
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 18:26
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Dear forum users,

I thought I would share my experience so far, as well as look for some pre-emptive guidance at certain stages which I am not sure about/hesitant. I have spent a lot of time on the MSE website, taking down notes on each stage up to a request to go to court. Here are the key points so far:

1) I am a private tenant in a block of flats in which a lettings agency manages the property on behalf of the landlord.
2) I am allocated one designated parking spot as per my AST (tenancy agreement) - the AST makes no reference to me having to display a parking permit.
3) I was issued with a parking permit from the property management company (who i assume own or manage the lease) a month after moving into the property several months ago.
4) I supplied my reg number to the management company as they said they would not issue a visitors permit (for a handful of bays) without it. I provided it and they supplied it accordingly.
5) I have since been displaying a "permit" in my car for the last few months.
6) The plastic sticky wallet holding the permit to my windscreen fell off (I can only assume due to the hot weather) and landed in the footwell. As I did not attend to my car for the 2 days following this, I arrived to my horror at my car (in my designated spot) with 2 Red/Black cards attached saying "this is not a parking charge notice" from Vehicle Control Services Ltd.
7) Following advice on the MSE forums, I waited for the NTK (x2) to show up.
8) In the last few days I have submitted their appeal template via myparkingcharge website making no mention of any driver and only myself as the keeper and now await for the inevitable rejection.

My questions and concerns are as follows:

A) My tenancy agreement makes no reference to the property management company, VCS or that I have to display any kind of permit.
B) I have never seen, or been made to see, a copy of any lease that the landlord may be subject to, therefore have no knowledge of whether this lease states anything about a permit. Does this matter? Am I protected via the AST?
C) I don't really want to start harassing my Lettings Agent on the grounds that they are in charge of nearly 2 months worth of rent as a deposit, and they could easily start harassing me when I come to leave the property by making minor claims on my deposit etc... Is there any way to leave them out of this or would you say this isn't possible?
D) MSE makes the point of not appealing, when asked to, to the IPC on the grounds of it being a waste of time and a "kangaroo court" - is the court going to look unfavourably if I don't do this?
E) What am I likely to expect from this point onwards and on what timescales?
F) What am I ignoring, and what am I responding to if received? I am aware not to ignore a letter about attending court, but how is this received?

Any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated. The work you people do here, alongside other websites, makes me feel like there is hope for humanity yet...
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post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 18:26
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Albert Ross
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 18:49
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4) I supplied my reg number to the management company as they said they would not issue a visitors permit (for a handful of bays) without it. I provided it and they supplied it accordingly.

Does the permit have the registration?

Is the letting agent also the property manager


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OneSaidFred
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 18:58
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QUOTE (Albert Ross @ Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 18:49) *
4) I supplied my reg number to the management company as they said they would not issue a visitors permit (for a handful of bays) without it. I provided it and they supplied it accordingly.

Does the permit have the registration?

Is the letting agent also the property manager


- The permits (both resident and visitor) do not have registration numbers on them.
- The Letting Agent is NOT the property manager.

When I have politely asked both the letting agent and the property manager to see if they are in a position to cancel the ticket, they have both washed their hands of it.
I feel that maybe I should be issuing a formal complaint, but I don't know to who, and how it should look. The last thing I want to be doing is digging myself into a hole, especially if court proceedings are potentially going to be taking place.
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Eljayjay
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 20:00
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Residential parking cases are usually very easily defended. You do, however, need to do your homework. It does seem that you have made a good start by reading some other threads and that you have a good idea about what is involved.

You need two documents: your tenancy agreement (which, from what you have said, you do have); and your landlord's lease. If you do not want to ask the lettings agent for a copy of your landlord's lease, you can very easily obtain a copy from the Land Registry by completing form OC2 and paying a fairly small fee.

Precisely what does your tenancy agreement say about parking?

The more difficult document is the lease which you need to search for anything and everything of relevance. The easiest way to do this would be to scan the lease as a searchable pdf file - you will need something better than the basic version of Adobe for this such as Nitro Pro.

Search the lease from beginning to end for any word containing “park”, copying and pasting what it says into a separate document.

Parking companies often claim that their parking schemes have been introduced through clauses in a lease allowing for the introduction of rules and/or regulations. So, search again for any words containing “rule” or “regulation”. Again, copy and paste what it says into the new document.

Search for what the lease has to say about any amounts payable by the leaseholder. Again, copy and paste what is says. Hopefully, the only amounts due will be the usual ground rent and service charges.

Look for, copy and paste what the lease has to say about “peaceful” or “quiet” enjoyment.

Look for, copy and paste what the lease has to say about “third” party rights.

Post what you find here so that we can give our views on your research.

Generally, when it comes to an allocated parking space, the lease grants the right to use the space to a flat’s leasehold owner and his nominees, no-one else. The problem for residents is that others – sometimes the freeholders but, on other occasions, property management companies and managing agents – take it upon themselves to engage parking companies to manage sites even though they have no right to do so.

Keep all documents which you receive but do not worry about replying to anything unless it is a letter before action/letter before claim/letter of claim – they are the same thing. The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims gives you an opportunity to you to request information and documents at that stage and it is important that you take advantage of that opportunity – I can supply you with a draft.

The other thing to watch out for is a formal claim form – you should not have any difficulty recognising the form if/when it arrives. This should not be sent to you until you have received a reply to your response to the letter before action/letter before claim/letter of claim. So, that should be some time off, but the parking companies sometimes jump the gun.

If in doubt, just come back here. I or someone else will help you.

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OneSaidFred
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 21:18
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QUOTE (Eljayjay @ Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 20:00) *
Residential parking cases are usually very easily defended. You do, however, need to do your homework. It does seem that you have made a good start by reading some other threads and that you have a good idea about what is involved.

You need two documents: your tenancy agreement (which, from what you have said, you do have); and your landlord's lease. If you do not want to ask the lettings agent for a copy of your landlord's lease, you can very easily obtain a copy from the Land Registry by completing form OC2 and paying a fairly small fee.

Precisely what does your tenancy agreement say about parking?


Thanks, I will get on to gaining a copy of the lease via the Land Registry and report back.

The AST says the following only regarding parking:
"Cars and Parking:
.1. To park a private vehicle only at the Premises.
.2. To park in the car parking space, garage or driveway allocated to the Premises, if applicable.
.3. To keep any garage, driveway, or parking space free of oil and to pay for the removal and cleaning
of any spillage caused by a vehicle of the Tenant, his family, contractors or visitors.
.4. To remove all vehicles belonging to the Tenant, his family or visitors at the end of the Tenancy.
.5. Not to park any vehicle at the Premises that is not in road worthy condition and fully taxed."



QUOTE (Eljayjay @ Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 20:00) *
If in doubt, just come back here. I or someone else will help you.


Thank you so much. This means a lot to me and my partner.


One last question for tonight. Is there a way to have these 2 "incidents" combined into one? I don't like the idea of having to go to court twice over the same issue.
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Eljayjay
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 21:45
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Yes. If two claims are issued before either has been heard, you request the Court to hear them together.

If a second claim issued after the first has been heard, the principle of Res Judicata (which means “a judged matter”) applies. Put simply, if you defend the first claim successfully, the parking company cannot bring another claim. Alternatively, if the parking company wins the first claim, it will win subsequent claims too. Res Judicata is dependent on the circumstances not being subject to significant change.

Is an allocated parking space mentioned in the tenancy agreement?
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OneSaidFred
post Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 22:03
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QUOTE (Eljayjay @ Wed, 1 Aug 2018 - 21:45) *
Is an allocated parking space mentioned in the tenancy agreement?


Only the five points I have mentioned above. The last three points aren't relevant though in this case I feel.
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Eljayjay
post Thu, 2 Aug 2018 - 09:31
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As "the Premises" contains a capital P, it is likely to be a defined term in the tenancy agreement, possibly contained in a list of defined terms.

Have a look and, if it is, how are "the Premises" defined?

It would be very useful if the definition of the Premises includes the allocated parking space.
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 2 Aug 2018 - 11:57
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Indeed, almost certainly "Premises" is a defined term

Anythin gin the AST allowing the management co to make regulations you have to follow?
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OneSaidFred
post Thu, 2 Aug 2018 - 13:00
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Here's what it says:

"Premises" includes any part or parts of the building boundaries fences garden and outbuildings belonging to the Landlord unless they have been specifically excluded from the Tenancy. When the Tenancy is part of a larger building the Premises include the use of common access ways and facilities.

Also makes no reference to any kind of variation, or to the property management company, either directly or indirectly and that I have to abide to anything they do.

This post has been edited by OneSaidFred: Thu, 2 Aug 2018 - 13:02
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Eljayjay
post Thu, 2 Aug 2018 - 15:20
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OK, we just need to see what the lease says now.

If you can, post the whole lease suitably redacted.
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OneSaidFred
post Wed, 24 Oct 2018 - 19:01
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Hello again,

I have now had a Letter Before Claim from the 'Litigation department' of the PPC. I have attached all 8 pages of the letter here ( https://imgur.com/a/vpKd5Mc )(appropriate content redacted). I am a bit unsure about what to do next? I don't know whether others agree, but they seem to be rather sophisticated in what they are providing these days?

1) I am aware that I should be responding but not sure what I should be saying?
2) Do I complete the reply form? If, so what am I putting in? It wasn't something I was expecting when reading about other cases. Your input on this would be helpful.
3) This financial statement, am I supposed to be handing this over to them?

https://imgur.com/a/vpKd5Mc

Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated.

(p.s. With regards the lease, this is still on my to-do-list, I know it's important. When I tried to call land registry a few weeks ago, I was on hold for longer than I was expecting and so had to hang up as was at work, plus have been too busy in the days recently)
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The Rookie
post Thu, 25 Oct 2018 - 04:48
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Do you have the lease yet?

1/ You state your points of defence at a high level, tenant and the landholder of the space in question, that they don't have the authority of the landholder (you) as required by both common law and their Code of Practice to operate, as such that they have no case.

2/ No need to complete the form, but you can if you want (I can't see your paperwork through the co. firewall)

3/ There is certainly no need to be giving them your financial situation at all, its nothing to do with them, sounds like a scam to make it look 'more official' as you have to complete a financial means form when responding to a criminal court summons. (again I can't see it)


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Redivi
post Thu, 25 Oct 2018 - 10:28
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Looks like the standard reply form in accordance with the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims
I would use it

Tick Box D that you dispute the entire claim and Box I that you want further information

Further information includes the contract with whoever employed VCS and, in particular, the steps it took to ensure that the landlord/management agent obtained the consent of at least 75% of the residents in accordance with the Landlord and Tenants Acts

Can't remember if the financial information is part of the pack but I wouldn't complete it
It only has a purpose if you admit the alleged debt but want time to pay

Any members with a counter-claim against VCS may find that bank information useful in the future

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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 25 Oct 2018 - 13:33
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Indeed, if it has bank info please post it here. It isnt personal data.

You should have expected the LBA - its standard form for VCS

Why call them? DOwnload form OC2, pay the fee and send it in. Done.
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OneSaidFred
post Thu, 25 Oct 2018 - 17:08
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Thanks all for the responses - Been on the land registry site now - for my address, 3 options become available:

1) Tenure: Freehold - Price Paid/Value Stated Data: Yes
2) Tenure: Leasehold - Price Paid/Value Stated Data: Yes (I am guessing this is the one I want?)
3) Tenure: Leasehold - Price Paid/Value Stated Data: No

Then I have 3 options under each:

1) Title register £3.00
2) Title plan £3.00
3) Flood Risk Indicator result £9.00 (obviously not this option)

Can anyone advise which one I am going for?
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whjohnson
post Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - 00:12
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I'd get both - the register may refer to the plan to highlight 'parking areas and ownership.
Registers or deeds are ok, but if it goes to court, the ability to show on the plan exactly what the deed refers to is always good for a Judge to see.
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Eljayjay
post Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - 08:48
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If it is the lease which you seek, it is none of the documents available online.

You have to submit a completed form OC2 to the Land Registry with the appropriate fee to obtain the lease (as mentioned in post #4 dated 1 August 2018).


This post has been edited by Eljayjay: Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - 08:50
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - 09:57
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And as mentioned above by me
Form OC2
Fill out, send off with payment. Theyre reaosnably quick at getting back.
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OneSaidFred
post Fri, 26 Oct 2018 - 19:17
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I have followed the steps on the below link (apologies if I maybe over complicating it for myself but this is the first time I've ever done this as I've never owned my own place)

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-pr...copies-of-deeds

Step 1 - I have found out that it is registered and that is where i got to with post #16
Step 2 - It seems I need to download the title register (but not the plan) to get the title number - this is where I am uncertain about which option to pick (see post #16)
Step 3 - once I have the answer for step 2 confirmed, I will fill out the OC2 form (as this needs the title number from step 2) and then post this to land registry with £7 fee (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-information-services-fees) - it seems to suggest you can do it through an online portal, but there is no indication of where this online portal is so not sure if I go into this method for risk of error.

Also - do I request paper copies or will electronic copies from Land Registry suffice?

Thanks again
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