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Parking notice for parking in private office car park, Still confused: is it legally enforceable?
happydriving
post Tue, 5 Feb 2013 - 23:32
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I parked in the car park of an office block where I used to work many years ago. I have been parking there on and off on weekends as no-one uses the car park on weekends. The owners of the office block recently hired a private parking company to monitor the car park. I have to admit the signs were visible but I ignored it thinking that they won't be enforced on a weekend as previous old signs were never enforced on weekends. To my dismay the restrictions were enforced and a notice was placed on my windscreen. I appealed on the grounds that it was an unfair amount and the appeal has been unsuccessful. Technically this parking charge is valid (because there were clear signs that a parking permit must be displayed). I am confused by all the posts on the internet about contract law etc. If I do not pay this charge will it be enforceable if the parking company decides to pursue it?
The spiel at the back of the notice had said that if appealed within 14 days they will put charge on hold and the lower £50 charge will be payable if appeal is unsuccesful. However the letter that has informed me that the appeal has been unsuccessful has demanded the highre charge of £90 even though I had appealed within 14 days (I have evidence of this)
The appeal was denied on the grounds that the appeal of an unfair charge only applies where there is a parking tarrif, eg pay and display car parks. They have said that I was trespassing on private land and that the parking charge reflects the cost of enforcing the terms and conditions of the parking agreement and that under the British Parking Association code of practice anything under £100 is considered reasonable.
I look forward to your views
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post Tue, 5 Feb 2013 - 23:32
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southpaw82
post Tue, 5 Feb 2013 - 23:38
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When dealing with "tickets" from private parking companies (PPCs) Ignore the simplest advice is to ignore them. For more information about this recommendation and private parking companies, and other actions you might wish to consider, click this link.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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Gan
post Tue, 5 Feb 2013 - 23:55
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Which company was this ?

If they say you were trespassing, by definition, you didn't agree to their terms and conditions.
The parking company cannot bring a claim for trespass because it isn't their land. You therefore owe them nothing

Did they provide you with a validation code to take the matter to POPLA and cost themselves £27 in the process ?

For your information, the code of practice doesn't say that less than £100 is considered reasonable. It says that it must be a genuine pre-estimate of the loss and they wouldn't expect it to be more than this.

The Department for Transport Guidance is rather less generous to the PPC than its trade association

If they didn't provide the POPLA code, demand it, no discussion or explanation necessary

If they contact you for any other reason, ignore them

Suggest that you don't park there again.

If there's a barrier they can shut it.
There's also the very slight risk that, if you continue to go back after your warning, a judge might decide that by your conducted you've accepted their terms
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happydriving
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 00:09
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Hi, thank you so much for your responses.
The company is UKPC.
They did not send me any details re POPLA with their letter rejecting my appeal.
I have stopped parking there now. I wasn't causing any inconvenience to anyone as the car park wasn't used on weekends. I would never park on a weekday because then I would definitely have caused a lot of inconvenience.
I will ignore the letters. But I have to admit I am nervous!
I will keep you posted of what happens.
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«THÖMÅS®©™»
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 02:34
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UKPC are very well known for their fake "penalty charge notices". As "southpaw82" has suggested, ignore them. They have no more right to demand money from you than I or any other member of this board. They have no authority although they love to imply that they do.

The best advice is to completely ignore them, use their letters demanding money as spare toilet paper as that is only what is good for. LOL!
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TRX75
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 03:53
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QUOTE (happydriving @ Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 00:09) *
I will ignore the letters. But I have to admit I am nervous!


Maybe it would help to calm your nerves if you checked the letters you receive with those everyone else is getting.
Play threatogram snap in the UKPC letter chain thread by clicking here.

This post has been edited by TRX75: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 03:53
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ItchyCrakus
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 04:05
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Would be nice to see the signs and letters suitably redacted

If they have rejected your appeal and not provided you with a POPLA code, they are not following the BPA CoP. You are, as TRX points out, going to end up in the "Threatening Letter" mill.


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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:10
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I see a common theme here, if you appeal the ticket on the car they don't need to go after the RK as they know the driver, so no need to comply with the 'Prevention of Freedoms Act' by offering POPLA appeals....

However the BPA CoP says they must, so I'd report to BPA and (more importantly) DVLA as well as POPLA themselves, DVLA will be suspending them soon if they get enough complaints about lack of POPLA numbers.


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Atilla
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:25
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:10) *
I see a common theme here, if you appeal the ticket on the car they don't need to go after the RK as they know the driver, so no need to comply with the 'Prevention of Freedoms Act' by offering POPLA appeals....

However the BPA CoP says they must, so I'd report to BPA and (more importantly) DVLA as well as POPLA themselves, DVLA will be suspending them soon if they get enough complaints about lack of POPLA numbers.

BPA will just totally ignore any complaints and the DVLA will do what the BPA advise them to do.
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«THÖMÅS®©™»
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:33
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QUOTE (Atilla @ Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:25) *
BPA will just totally ignore any complaints and the DVLA will do what the BPA advise them to do.


Which is a good enough reason for the Government to completely ban these cowboys running the parking scam of the millennia!
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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 14:56
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Sorry but to be fair to DVLA they have suspended access for a number of the parasites, so they clearly aren't doing what the BPA tell them to do...some credit where it is due.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 10-0 PPC's
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ManxRed
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 15:05
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Although its strange that similar 'offences' to the original six that were banned have been committed since (APCOA's RK is liable letters springs to mind, and have a read of the TCP Naughties thread too) and nothing apart from a couple of days ban for TCP while they (didn't) correct their signage.

I suspect someone on high has since reminded the DVLA of their obligations towards their revenue streams BPA members.


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Lynnzer
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 17:19
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 08:10) *
I see a common theme here, if you appeal the ticket on the car they don't need to go after the RK as they know the driver,

Not quite. My son got a ticket yesterday. There are several useful points of appeal however I don't really do appeals as such.
I sent an email which doesn't accept him to be the driver or registered keeper. It leaves them with having to go to the DVLA to get the correct info.
Letter as follows:I refer to Parking charge notice number ***********

Please be advised that I ask that you consider the points below, as well as sending me proof of your right to make a charge in the first place.

I am not giving you any notification in this email as to the identity of the driver or who the registered keeper of the vehicle is, and if you fail to cancel this ticket I will make it known to the DVLA that you are not fulfilling your obligation to conform to the BPA code of practice and have them deny access to their database for release of the RK identity. They may also see fit to withdraw access for a period of time afterwards based upon this failure.
Firstly, the alleged contravention is supposedly for not parking within the marked bays.
The vehicle may not have been in a marked bay, however I know that there is no sign located in a situation which gave reasonable notification of this alleged contravention.

You will be aware the BPA Code of Practice requires, and I quote: Entrance signs, located at the entrance to the car park, must tell drivers that the car park is managed and that there are terms and conditions which they must be aware of.

There is no sign at the entrance. This is a Mandatory requirement. Indeed the only signs in the car park are beyond the point at which the car was parked so would not have been apparent to the driver who would not necessarily pass either of the small signs which have now been discovered placed high up within the car park area. I believe these do not meet with minimum sign requirements either. One of these requirements, beyond the most important aspect of the failure to place a sign at the entrance, is that the sign must be placed so that it can be read from an angle no greater than 10 degrees from the immediate road ahead. Since there isn't one facing the road from which the car park is accessed in the first place you cannot possibly claim you meet that mandatory test.

Since it is a Mandatory requirement to place an entrance sign to the car park you do not meet the minimum basis of compliance to this so cannot enforce the PCN.

You will no doubt be aware of the amount of illegal activity in relation to the charging of car park customers, and I refer you to the recent case in Newcastle upon Tyne where a gang issuing fake tickets which resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds being paid to them, were ordered to pay back substantial sums of money and were also jailed for their activity. This action can be seen from the website address here. http://tyneandwear.sky.com/news/article/54078

Due to my innate caution in such matters I now ask you to prove your right to make such charges by sending me a copy of your right of possession or occupation of the car park as you would need some such possession or occupational rights to even form a contract with a driver to use the facility in the first place. If I am satisfied with the evidence you provide I will consider passing it to whoever it may have been driving.

I take note that the regulations for such parking fines states that the charge imposed must only be to compensate the actual company who owns the land for the financial loss suffered as a result of any alleged breach. I will also need a breakdown of what losses the landowner suffered in respect of the amount you claim. This does not extend to what your losses may be, unless of course you are the actual landowner by virtue of occupational or possession rights afforded to you.

If I do not receive such information then there will be no respons to any further correspondence from yourselves. Your attempt to extract money will be considered as no less than on a par with an internet scam from a Nigerian Secretary of State requesting an upfront payment to release funds into a personal bank account.

Your charge appears to be nothing more than a penalty as there is no parking fee for use of this area. Parking is free for 180 minutes in this area and the driver didn't exceed this time.

I do not believe that the payment of the Parking Charge meets with a contractual agreement since if it did, it would be necessary for you to prove that by anyone making an upfront payment of the £60 entitled them to park outside of the marked bays. I do not believe this is what the payment reflects. It is made for an action of not complying with a requirement you place on a driver to conform to a condition of use, thus is a penalty which is cannot be justified in a civil court action.

A further point of consideration is that the landowner of Castledene Shopping Centre more than likely enjoys a nil business rating of the car parks for the specific reason of them being free for use.

If any charge is made for that use, regardless of what it is, this would potentially remove such a rating assessment and he would become responsible for paying separate business rates for the car park. Of course, if he claimed that it was yourselves who benefit from the charging structure, then payment of those rates would more than likely fall upon your shoulders as being a beneficial occupier of the car parking facilities. This point is well explained within the rating manual for car parks from the VOA website: www.voa.gov.uk I'm sure that isn't a matter you would like assessed by the Valuations Office Agency.

Even allowing free use for 180 minutes then charging for continued use would in effect be considered as removing the “free for use” condition for a nil rating assessment. And I would be keen to bring this to the attention of the Valuations Office Agency.


So no driver or RK details confirmed.


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The Asda shopping trolley parking ticket enthusiast
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happydriving
post Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 23:02
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Thank you everyone for your advice. I haven't had a chance to post the ticket and the letter onto the site. I need to read up how this can be done as it looks like I can't load them up like you would attachments to an email.

I think the car park was adequately sign posted, though I am not sure what part of the car park can be said to be the entrance. I am therefore not sure what line of defence I could use except for the unfairness of the amount they are charging. I will try and load up a picture of the charge notice and the response letter tomorrow.
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StuartBu
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 00:11
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QUOTE (happydriving @ Wed, 6 Feb 2013 - 23:02) *
Thank you everyone for your advice. I haven't had a chance to post the ticket and the letter onto the site. I need to read up how this can be done as it looks like I can't load them up like you would attachments to an email.

I think the car park was adequately sign posted, though I am not sure what part of the car park can be said to be the entrance. I am therefore not sure what line of defence I could use except for the unfairness of the amount they are charging. I will try and load up a picture of the charge notice and the response letter tomorrow.


There is a "sticky" on the main Index page explaining but basically you upload pics to Photobucket or Tinypic or Imageshack and copy and paste the links provided by these sites ...the ones starting /ending with [IMG] and the pics will magically appear .
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bama
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 08:06
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http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?autoco...ticle&id=16


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Which facts in any situation or problem are “essential” and what makes them “essential”? If the “essential” facts are said to depend on the principles involved, then the whole business, all too obviously, goes right around in a circle. In the light of one principle or set of principles, one bunch of facts will be the “essential” ones; in the light of another principle or set of principles, a different bunch of facts will be “essential.” In order to settle on the right facts you first have to pick your principles, although the whole point of finding the facts was to indicate which principles apply.

Note that I am not legally qualified and any and all statements made are "Reserved". Liability for application lies with the reader.
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happydriving
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 21:19
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Thank you for the link to show how to upload pictures of the ticket. While I wait for my little nokia phone battery to charge up so that I can take a picture of the charge notice, here is the wording of the letter I received in response to my appeal on the grounds of the charge being an unfair amount:

"All vehicles parked must display a valid permit to park within this area. Unfortunately when your vehicle was photographed no valid permit was being displayed. Your vehicle was left unattended on Private Property, therefore giving you no authorisation to park. There are sufficient signs warning vehicle drivers that should they park their vehicles without displahying a valid permit this will result in a Parking Charge being issued to the vehicle. Please can you send a copy of the valid permit to our appeals department so that we may review this case. Breach of ther terms and conditions of the contract entered into by the driver of the vehicle will impose a legally enforceable parking charge as indicated in the notices stating those terms and conditions. The parking charge should not be confused with the parking tariff oten imposed at 'pay and display' car parks. The parking tariff is a sum charged for the privilege of parking at the site, usually arranged on an increasing scale depending on the time for which the vehicle is parked. Some sites include a period of free parking but impose an obligation on the driver to display a ticket for the relevant period. The parking charge is a completely separate charge and is formulated in such a way that it will reflect the cost of enforcing the terms and conditions of the parking agreement including cost of time and overheads associated with the landlord and his agents management duties. The parking charge in only imposed where the driver breaches the contractual terms or acts as a trespasser and it must be 'reasonable' under the codes of practice of the British Parkling Association. Such a charge will normally be considered reasonable if it does not exceed £100. Where a driver incurs a parking charge but fails to pay within 28 days the debt may be enforced through debt recovery procedures. The driver will be liable for the cost of this and it will be in addition to the parking charge.

The parking charge has been on hold whilst on appeal and may be settled in full at the rate of £90 provided payment is received at the below address within 35 days of the date of this letter."
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happydriving
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 22:10
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Jlc
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 22:11
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The usual mix of random stuff.

Trespass - as already stated only the landowner can progress this and the 'damages' are tending towards zero.

And then the contract. Breach and contractual charge - doesn't compute. They talk about the costs of enforcing and not losses due to breach. Bear in mind all (or the majority) of the cash will be going to the PPC so they would have to justify their losses and not running costs.


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information, SAR=Subject Access Request

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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happydriving
post Thu, 7 Feb 2013 - 22:12
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I have posted pictures of the ticket. I am afraid I couldn't take a clear photo of the back of the ticket. I have taken two separate photos, one of the top part and one of the bottom, but they aren't very clear.
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