This is one of those that a court would have to decide and as it is now, it would not be enforceable in all probability. However it could be made potentially enforceable with a few changes.
If for example this was a car which had parked where it should not be and you put a notice on it which said that if the person parked there again, they would get charged £50 and provided they paid within 7 days, that is all they would pay but that if they didn’t pay within seven days, they would have to pay £80, plus the costs of enforcing the payment, you would get away with that.
The reason I suggest the amounts of money that I have is that these costs have to be reasonable and the costs in your notice are likely to be unreasonable and therefore a penalty. The general rule in English law is that penalties are not enforceable but reasonable costs are.
The situation here is slightly different of course but the same thing applies.
If your fees were
1 : £60 administration and handling fee
2: £25 in respect of dealing with any letters received by the registered keeper or telephone calls made to the registered keeper in respect of the charge
3: £25 in respect of any outgoing letters or telephone calls in respect of any parking charge notice or similar
4: £60 per hour dealing with any personal attendance at the registered keepers address
5: £25 late payment administration fee if any fee is not paid within 14 days of being demanded
6: £18 per hour (the court rate) in attending any court hearing plus out-of-pocket expenses for the day in court at cost.
Then I think you have more chance of recovering those costs if ever it went to court. At the moment, the costs are reasonable and therefore unenforceable.
However it doesn’t matter if the costs are reasonable or unreasonable, the parking company is unlikely to want to have to go to court. Therefore, even if you went to court and lost, it is going to cost them far more in time to defend the action than they would ever recover in legal costs in the Small Claims Court which are very limited to minimal solicitors costs.
I still think it’s marginal as to whether the court would enforce even these lower charges I have suggested but I think there is a slim chance that it would enforce my suggested fees and virtually no chance that it would enforce yours.
What you want to do of course is avoid getting these tickets in the first place and hence, even if you don’t go to court, the figures on your notice may be more of a deterrent.
There is something else you can do. If you continually get these tickets for parking where you are allowed to do and you then have to deal with them ( because these tickets are now enforceable against the registered keeper under the Protection of Freedoms Act), is apply to court for an injunction to stop them putting tickets on your car on the grounds that this is private nuisance. A breach of the injunction is a serious matter and it can ultimately lead to whoever breaches the injunction getting arrested. You could also get compensation in respect of all the time you’ve had to spend dealing with this. There is no harm in writing to the parking company advising them that if they place any more tickets on your car when it is correctly parked, you will take them to court for an injunction to stop them putting tickets on your car and make an application not only for compensation for the nuisance but also for the costs of the application.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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