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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I have received a parking fine from a private firm,

Customer Question

Hi,

I have received a parking fine from a private firm, LDK security, for parking in a multi story car park. I have paid for a permit to park there, but it is in the post, and has not arrived yet. I have not contacted LDK security yet. Do I have to pay this fine, or is it not legally enforceable?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

When did you pay for the permit please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My landlord paid for the permit approx 3 weeks ago. It still hasnt arrived.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Its not that they are not legally enforceable. Its just that they are difficult to enforce. This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.

A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.

This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract.

Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.

All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.

The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.

If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that. They have no claim for that.

In terms of the permit, probably the requirement is to display rather than to be entitled to a permit. That is a fairly common term in the contract. What the fact of the permit assists with though is the issue of their loss. They will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.

They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.

Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer £5 for their loss.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C


 


So if I do nothing, there is a reasonably good chance they will not persue me for the fine, and even if they did I would only be liable for the fine plus admin costs?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, basically thats right.

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