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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9436
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I represent Crawley United Reformed Church, in Worth Park

Customer Question

I represent Crawley United Reformed Church, in Worth Park Avenue Crawley, where we have a private car park. We have an issue with members of the public parking without reference or permission. In addition visitors to Jacobs Court, the adjacent block of flats, leave their cars, whilst visiting Jacobs Court. Jacobs Court does not allow parking for non residents. We have a list of regular commuters, who donate to church funds to use the car park and ask those parking without permission to leave a donation to church funds. We would appreciate some help, with how we may deal with those, who park without permission or refuse to move. Signs are displayed in the car park, stating that it is a private car park and the church is not responsible for any loss or damage. Many thanks. Derek Russell. Church Trustee & Elder.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Would you be willing to charge the parkers and take them to court if necessary?

Do you have the names and addresses of those who park but don’t pay?

Do your signs mentioned that they will be charged for parking?

Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I don’t know why this has opted out because I didn’t want to opt out. I will answer for you.

You can get the name of the registered keeper of each of the culprits vehicles from the DVLA.

https://www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla

if you then go into most supermarket car parks, and look at the car park signs (you will also find the wording in Google Images) you can put signs up which say that they will be charged £80 for parking.

Under the Protection of Freedoms Act, those charges are now enforceable in the county court against the registered keeper, not the person who parked. By parking, the sign tells them that they will be agreeing to pay that charge and £80 has been found to be reasonable and not a penalty. Penalties are not generally enforceable in English law.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of buying new signs, you can write to the registered keepers and tell them but send the letters by recorded delivery so that they cannot deny they got it).

You tell them that by continuing to park there, they are agreeing to pay a charge of £80 per day.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of buying new signs, put notices under the windscreen wipers of each car each day advising them of that and telling them that from (for example)next Monday they will be charged £80 per day per parking and that those charges will be enforced through the County Court. You need to make sure the notices are quite clear. Don’t use self-adhesive ones.

Finally, and more involved and more risky, you can apply to court for an injunction to simply stop them parking. You would also ask the court to award costs against them. You would have to warn them in writing of the risk.

I think the income from parking is probably going to be more attractive in the short term and certainly a deterrent.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

I can still clarify things for you.

Best wishes.

FES.