Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Are there adequate signs in place advertising that permits must be displayed failing which tickets may be issued please?
I think there is a small sign somewhere but I would have to double check. Am currently not at the property. Also several years back when they introduced this system they sent a letter saying we have to display the permits. However, for me the issue is that I did not have a permit to display because they failed to send one in time.
Thanks. From memory do you believe the signs are sufficient in number and large enough to be likely to be brought to the average users attention on entering the car park?
certainly not...there is nothing at the entrance....the only sign I can remember is in small writing in a dark corner...
but then the only people who can enter this car park are paying users who received a letter at some point saying that they have these controls...
Thanks. Private tickets used to be unenforceable if the registered keeper refused to identify the driver but that changed last year when the Protection of Freedoms Act outlawed clamping and provided enhanced measures for parking companies to enforce private tickets. The PoFA provides that if a registered keeper refuses to identify the driver within 28 days then the registered keeper is liable for the demand. However the Act has not authorised private parking firms to issue fines. These demands are still nothing better than invoices demanding payment for breach of contract - the contract is formed by the use of signs warning to display tickets/permits or risk a ticket (invoice) at the advertised rate.
Being a contract the ordinary rules of contract apply whereby they must prove that they displayed adequate signage to enable a driver parking there to know of the requirements; evidence of loss on their part as a result of the breach of contract and evidence that they have attempted to mitigate their loss.
Well I would argue there is no loss on their part as I was not blocking a spot that they could have rented otherwise
I was actually paying for the spot...
obviously, if you have not already done so, obtaining a permit from the housing association should be a priority in order to not receive further tickets however in respect of the tickets you have already received, you may wish to consider reverting to the parking company advising that you dispute the same on the basis of their failure to display adequate signage sufficient to be brought to the average user's attention requiring display of permits, that you pay housing association for parking and as such there is no loss on their part that can be demonstrated and that the housing association altered its procedures where by previously permits were sent automatically and now they are not without any notification and as such, there is a failure on their part to mitigate losses in respect of the charges claimed
as a consequence, you may consider advising that you will not be settling any of their invoices and should be wish to pursue the matter, they can consider issuing proceedings in the County Court which will be fully defended on the above basis together with a claim for costs on your part for attending the hearing assuming your defence is sucessful
Ok....sounds like fun...
I already have appealed and they have refused...the letter now said that I can appeal to some independent claims arbiter...guess that's what I will do...
in my experience, appeals ready succeed because ultimately these are private companies who are interested in profit from the tickets they issue. I have actually never heard of a private parking ticket appeal succeeding but then it is unlikely anyone would raise such circumstances with a lawyer so I do not suggest that no appeals ever succeed. However, as my the tickets are simply invoices, they have no basis to claim monies from you without judgement in the County Court which can be defended on the above basis. If you are unsuccessful, then they can seek payment of the court fee to issuing proceedings however as this is a Small Claims Court hearing, the court fee is low and legal fees cannot be claimed and therefore there is relatively limited risk in going to court particularly when one considers the alternative is to pay everything that is demanded
is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Thanks that was very helpful
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I have two follow up question regarding the matter you answered me last week.
1. In the letter I received from CPP (the company managing the car park on behalf of the housing association) they say I can appeal against their rejection of my appeal by writing to POPLA the independent appeals service. Do you think that is the best course of action or are there other (better) ways to contest the cahrge?
2. In the same car park my car as well as other residents cars were broken into many times with an escalation in recent months. The police suggests that the best course of action would be to ensure that the gate that leads from the underground car park to the street level closes automatically. At the moment it is always open possibly because there is a mechanical defect. This has been pointed out by residents for the first time about 5 years ago and management promised to look into it.
Moreover, while there is CCTV in the car park it only covers a small area and when something happens both the housing association and the police say that they don't have the resources to look at any footage.
In total the damages for only myself from this amount to more than 1000 pounds and I really would like to something about this. There is also a safety issue if criminals are regularly operating in a dark confined underground car park. However, my licence agreement for renting the car park has the following clause:
"Notwithstanding any supervision given or approval expressed by the Licensor to be responsible for and to release and indemnity the Licensor its servants or agents from and against all liability for loss or damage to property and any other loss damage cost and expenses which may arise in connection with the Licensee's use of the Car Park howsoever such injury loss damage costs or expenses may arise whether by the negligence of the Licensor its servants or agents or otherwise."
This sounds like a pretty strong clause that would rule out any compensation by One Housing group despite their complete mis-management of the car park. I wonder however if they can write a strong clause like that in an agreement such as this, particularly as they have an arrangement with the local council (Tower Hamlets) that says that residents are not eligible to get a normal resident's parking permit to park in the street.
Thanks for your help in advance.