How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71145
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi There, I work in an office In ilford and our main car

Customer Question

Hi There,

I work in an office In ilford and our main car park at the back of our building is owned by parking eye and has been for a couple of years. There have been so many occassions where I have not been able to pay for my ticket due to the machines being out of order, resulting in endless demands and fines through the door. I have gone over the maximum parking *(which is 6 hours) and paid extra to account for this and again been sent fines.

It gets even more complicated as the office I work in has a private bit of land and on occassions when I am abnle to park there I have blocked in by vehicles (blocking the barrier on the road) and had to drive through Parking Eye's land to get out. This means that there cameras have clocked me coming out and they have attempted to charge me.

It has become so ridiculous I just ignore letters/debt demands and the like. I often return them to sender. But then today they turned up at the car park with community police officers and went through all of the registration numbers and started clamping cars with outstanding fines!

Can they lawfully do this and will they turn up at my home address?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

Is there a CCJ against you please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No CCJ - nothing at all. I am worried it will go to this extent and ruin my credit rating even though I know they are in the wrong.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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.

Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.

Also, 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.