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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10976
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I live in an apartment block where each resident has a designated

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I live in an apartment block where each resident has a designated parking bay and has a permit for placing on the inside of the windscreen and which must be displayed. In July this year, I unfortunately wrote my car off, but not myself, and my daughter kindly lent me her car, specially insured, until I could purchase a replacement. My own car had been immediately towed away and removed to a breaker's garage a hundred miles away and it necessarily took a week or more to arrange for its contents, including windscreen stickers, to be collected and returned to me. In the meantime, I parked my daughter's car in my designated (underground) parking space with a clear explanation of the circumstances on a sheet of A4 paper placed under the windscreen wipers. The very next morning, a PCM (UK) Ltd operative placed a parking fine notice on the car, clearly disregarding the explanation other than to encourage him to return the very next day to plant another one! This time the written explanation was even more clearly displayed face up on the interior dashboard (photo evidence available) but was again ignored. This is not by any stretch of the imagination parking control procedure; but a vicious, vindictive, cowardly and bullying action presumably designed to earn the operative some brownie points towards the end of year wellington boot prize, or whatever other incentive is considered by the management of PCM to be appropriate. In my opinion, this is almost as bad as hitting an old lady over the head and stealing her purse - and I am an old man! I fully believe that, contrary to having the effect of avoiding a parking charge, my clearly written note actually ENCOURAGED the operative to levy the fines and what an indictment of the man's moral character that is! PCM did give me a temporary licence by word of mouth and followed that up with a new paper one, so they were aware of the circumstances but refused point blank to cancel either of the two levied fines. Technically, I suppose, they are correct, but what an awful way to operate! Believing that such fines are not legally enforceable, or that PCM would have some honour and not proceed, I have to admit that I took no further action, but it so happens that they have apparently ignored me altogether and gone for the perceived soft touch by hounding my daughter with letters, threats and now a debt collection agency who have served her with Notices of Intended Court Action which, as a college tutor, she cannot afford to risk. She has complained, but has been told that PCM cannot change their procedures and have no intention whatsoever of reverting to me and, now that the matter is in the hands of Debt Recovery Plus Ltd, she has to pay by tomorrow 11th November or be prosecuted. Now, the British Parking Association website does say that such fines are legally enforceable in line with the terms of a displayed contract which, in this case, clearly states such contract to be between PCM and the DRIVER of the vehicle. My daughter was clearly NOT the driver, so do we have any options in this mess? She is very distressed and I am exceedingly angry, so we would both appreciate some urgent guidance in this matter. Many thanks.
Ken Maslin.
1. Dear *****, the first thing you should realise here, is just because someone is behaving badly, this does not mean that you should throw in the towel. My best advice to you here, is to stand your ground. Don't let someone attempt to bully you. Once you stop attempting to cave in to the pressure of whatever self-important ticket issuer gave this ticket, you will find that PCM will see sense. Accordingly, I would simply advise you to let a prosecution go ahead. Then simply defend it.
2. The legal position is that any contract was between yourself, as driver, and the management company or parking company. Once you were driving the car, you were entitled to park your car there once it was made clear, as you did by your note on the windscreen, that you were the driver. So there was no grounds for issuing you with a ticket.
3. I would tell your daughter to avoid the hysteria. Getting prosecuted for a parking ticket is not a serious criminal offence. There are people who accumulate them like flies on the windscreen!! Let the prosecution go ahead and simply go along to the court with your daughter. Explain the situation and any magistrate worth his salt will tell PCM where to get off.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Buachaill.
I was always somewhat inclined to do exactly as you have recommended, but my daughter was naturally getting agitated about having a black mark placed on her credit rating through no fault of her own.. Your advice has put her mind at rest to a great degree, but neither of us really wants to go to court unless we absolutely have to. Thus, unless you vehemently advise against it, I am proposing to telephone PCM tomorrow morning and relay to them the bones of what you have said. Hopefully, they will see sense and drop the whole thing.
I am delighted with the service that I have received and consider it £56 very well spent.
Thank you.
Ken Maslin.