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    • Dear All,   BN - Thank you for your comments.    My wife had prepared the relevant notice to the court and rather than spending time redacting I am sending it as PM to the contributors to this thread. It covers everything we have been discussing and is in line with  your comments and our discussions.   For the benefit of readers oif CAG I will redact and post it later as we have pressing family medical matters to attend to.    Warm regards BF  
    • Maybe have a third chamber, The Peoples' House 😃
    • Thanks for the images. It's shocking. This more than ever reinforces my view that you should take this to court. The number of people they must be fobbing off with this three months story is incredible – and they need pulling into line. If you simply complain to the CEO then they may sort out your problems – but the rest of it will go on as usual. They need something very serious here. In fact, I would think about suing them for £200 because I think that once they realise about the mistake they are making, they will be extremely anxious not to go to court. On the basis of this, I'm afraid I don't think I would even alert the CEO. I would send a letter of claim which will probably simply be seen by drones – and then issue the papers. I think you have an easy win on this case. Also, once they realise that they are dealing with a court case, they will look at the whole situation more carefully and they will probably sort out all of the problems at the same time. If they don't, then these two have laid down your marker and they will know that you're not mucking around and they will take you seriously.
    • These are the two incidents from Virgin Chat where their Live chat has informed me of the 'only 3 months' decision.... 15 April was the date they acknowledged receipt of my SAR. Apparently anything from before that date can't be included!
    • You could try both routes at the same time. Send your letter of claim by email to the CEO email address. Confirmed by letter. That way you have communicated with the CEO – but given a very definite deadline and a very definite promise as to what will happen if they don't comply. Then on day 15 sent the claim. Don't make a threat of legal action if you don't intend to carry it out. Don't bluff – but it is very easy to do
  • Our picks

    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
      • 49 replies
    • Oven repair. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/427690-oven-repair/&do=findComment&comment=5073391
      • 49 replies
    • I came across this discussion recently and just wanted to give my experience of A Shade Greener that may help others regarding their boiler finance agreement.
       
      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
       
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
       
      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
       
      A month later and ASG attended to service our boiler but in the process left the boiler unusuable as it kept losing pressure not to mention they had damaged the filling loop in the process which they said was my responsibilty not theres and would charge me to repair, so generous of them! Soon after reporting the fault I got a letter stating it was time we arranged a powerflush on our heating system which they make you do after 5 years even though there's nothing in the contract that states this. Coincidence?
       
      After a few heated exchanges with ASG (pardon the pun) I decided to pull the plug and cancel our agreement.
       
      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
       
      You only have to look at TrustPilot to get an idea of what this company is like.
       
        • Thanks
      • 3 replies
    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
       
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
       
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
       
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
       
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
       
      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
       
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
        • Thanks
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CLAMPING/TOWING/BLOCKING IN ON PRIVATELAND

 

(A copy of this guide can also be found at Blogspot:Clamping Guide)

 

 

Introduction

 

This document started after a few colleagues of mine were clamped at work. I wanted to check out the legality of clamping and find out what, if any, remedies there were. As I started trawling various forums and looking at the issues there was a distinct difficulty in trying to find answers. The information was there but not in anyone place.

 

This guide covers clamping on private land only and not on the public highway.

 

A good starting point in understanding your rights and the obligations of the clampers is contained in the Citizens Advice Bureau’s excellent advice guide.

 

You can find it at http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/t_whee...ivate_land.pdf.

 

However the guide has very little background and is necessarily brief. This document seeks to fill in the blanks and provide further information.

 

The Security Industry Authority refers to clamping as vehicle immobilisation. This can also mean towing away or blocking in. As these are all related remedies for trespass I will use the term interchangeably in this document.

 

The document includes my recommendations on what to do if you are clamped and what remedies you can seek. The list of remedies is not exhaustive and should not be treated as such.

 

October 2009: Clamped on Land You Own or Rent

I have seen a number of questions regarding tenants/owners of private dwellings with shared car parks wanting to know the situation regarding clamping. This is often in response to a landlord/property factors bringing in a clamping firm. I have done a bit of research into trespass and garnered opinions from various sources and put something together on this topic. This information is contained in Appendix A at the end of the guide. Please note that my solutions are just suggestions and you should verify the legality of any action before embarking on it. See the disclaimer below.

 

January 2010 Updated

 

 

I have added an appendix listing the more useful references used in writing this guide. I’ve also added some discussion on criminal damage to a clamp. There are some other minor amendments and clarifications.

 

Disclaimer

 

Please note that I am not a lawyer and the following should not be construed as legal advice. While I have set out to be accurate the information could contain errors or omissions.

 

Any advice given is of a general nature and I will not accept liability for costs incurred for using any part of this guide. You should seek legal advice before embarking on any course of action recommended.

_________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _____________________

 

Background and Legal Basis for Clamping

 

Clamping began in the 1980s as a controversial statutory measure to deter illegal on-street parking in Central London. It was the success of that measure and its extension to other congested city centres which encouraged its use by private landlords and the proliferation of clamping companies willing to carry out that work on their behalf. But whereas on-street clamping was tightly regulated with specific procedures, rights of appeal and controls over the amount of release fees, the opposite was true of private clamping, which was completely unregulated and a product of the common law.

 

The common law principle that clamping uses is a medieval remedy for trespass called damage distress feasant. This principle basically put is that something may be detained until damages have been recovered or satisfaction be rendered for injury they have done. In the past this principle was applied amongst other things for trespass of livestock. If someone’s livestock strayed onto someone else’s land and caused damage, the landowner was entitled to keep hold of (distress) the livestock until damages were paid. In the same way clamping involves keeping hold of (distressing) your car until you pay for the damages you have caused in parking where you have. This remedy also applies to towing a vehicle away.

 

Trespass is part of the legal system of torts. Under tort, damages are sought to restore a party to original position as best they can before commission of the tort. They are therefore punitive in nature. Contrast this with damages arising from breach of contract. Contract damages seek to put a wronged party in the position where they would have been had the contract been performed. They must not be punitive.

 

Clamping is illegal in Scotland thanks to a 1992 court ruling. In BLACK v CARMICHAEL (1992- S.C.R 709) it was decided that the clamping of a vehicle and the demanding of a release fee amounted to extortion and theft.

In England and Wales a different approach was taken. A Court of Appeal decision in 1995 gave clear guidance. The Case of ARTHUR v ANKER (Times Law Reports 1st December 1995) produced a landmark decision

 

 

On the 6th May 1992 David Arthur knowingly parked his car in a private car park belonging to commercial leaseholders for around 45 minutes whilst visiting the nearby local authority planning department. In doing so he disregarded a prominent notice warning that unauthorised vehicles would be wheel-clamped and a £40 release fee charge.

On returning to his vehicle he saw the inevitable clamp. He refused to pay any release fee and made an unsuccessful attempt to remove his own vehicle with a pick up truck – which led to an altercation between his wife and the clamper, Thomas Anker, which led to Mr Anker claiming he had been assaulted by Mr Arthur’s wife.

In the early hours of the following morning, Mr Arthur returned to the car park and succeeded in removing the two clamps, which had immobilised his vehicle, before driving away. Unfortunately this did not satisfy Mr Arthur who went on to sue Mr Anker for trespass to his vehicle. In rejecting Mr Arthur’s claim, the Court of Appeal laid down the principles of law which now govern modern wheel clamping.

 

 

These are:

 

  • Where warning notices are prominently displayed, any motorist who parks a vehicle in defiance of that notice will be deemed to have consented to the clamping of his/ her vehicle and its subsequent detention until a release fee is paid.(implied consent)
  • The amount of the de-clamping fee must be reasonable.
  • Arrangements must be in place to enable the prompt release of a vehicle once the vehicle owner has indicated that s/he is willing to pay the release fee.

There remains uncertainty as to what constitutes a "reasonable release fee". In VINE v LONDON BOROUGH OF WALTHAM FOREST (Times Law Reports 12th April 2000), the original trial judge had regarded a release fee of £105 as reasonable- although the Court of Appeal later ruled the clamping illegal on other grounds.

 

On the morning of 6th March 1997 Ms Vine had been undergoing hospital treatment. She felt unwell and therefore parked her car (on private land) in order to leave the vehicle and be sick. She did not see the clamping signs, which were displayed. On returning a few minutes later she found that her car had been clamped. Under protest, she paid the release fee by credit card, but, assisted by the Automobile Association, she successfully sued for a refund.

 

The lesson from Vine is that even when signs are prominently displayed, a motorist who has not seen them cannot have consent to a vehicle being clamped. An underlying principle is that it is not only objective judgement must be exercised but also subjective judgement as well. Even if the signs are seen they have to be read and understood.

 

Also in amongst the judgement from Vine was a ruling on a reasonable release fee. In the original case a release fee of £105 was deemed reasonable. That amount today, taking into account inflation using the retail price index as a guide, would now equate to roughly £138 (March 2008). However it is worth pointing out that often the damages awarded for trespass are nominal. Bearing in mind that tort law is not designed to enrich the wronged party but rather to put them in the position they would have been in had the tort not occurred, it could be argued that many of the release fees are disproportionate to the actual damage suffered.

 

These two cases decided that clamping in England and Wales by private companies was legal and provided a certain framework to govern the activities of the clampers. However with numerous cases of clamps being applied illegally when cars were legitimately parked, cases of intimidation, assault, threatening behaviour on or by the clampers it soon became clear that there was something wrong. Rightly or wrongly an act of parliament sought to correct the imbalance but instead of outlawing clamping as a remedy to unauthorised parking on private land it instead gave it cloak of legitimacy. It was lumped in with the Security Industry Act.

 

The Private Security Industry Act and The Security Industry Authority

 

In 2001 the Private Security Industry Act was passed. This has been amended and was finally enacted around 2004. The Act sets out some very strict rules for those wishing to engage in Vehicle Immobilisation (Car clamping/towing/blocking in) involving a release charge and list some pretty stiff penalties for breaches including fines up to £5000 and 5 years in jail.

 

Part of the act authorised the setting up of an administrative body to oversee the licensing of Security Industry Operators and staff. This body is the Security Industry Authority. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has a website (https://www.the-sia.org.uk/). You can obtain links to all the relevant legislation relating to the SIA. More importantly you can perform an online check to verify the license of any SIA licensed individual.

 

Licenses fall into two categories – frontline and non-frontline. Frontline licenses are required by all staff who will be undertaking day to day security duties including vehicle immobilisation.

 

Non-frontline licenses are required by the principals of firms whose employees undertake duties licensable under the PSI act.

 

Landowners have a responsibility to ensure that anyone performing vehicle immobilisation for a fee on their land is licensed by the SIA. There are pretty stiff penalties for landlords (and I guess this would mean CEO or directors if it’s a registered company) if they allow unlicensed operators to immobilise vehicles on their land on their behalf (i.e. acting as their agent).

 

The SIA do not regulate

 

  • the amount of the release fee
  • the time taken to release a vehicle
  • the adequacy of signage around the site warning that vehicles may be immobilised
  • the complaints procedure of the company employing the vehicle immobiliser

They SIA advise that :

 

“If a vehicle immobiliser uses threatening behaviour or intimidation they may be committing a criminal offence and we would recommend that you report such instances to the police”.

The SIA's remit covers the individual undertaking the licensable activity.

 

 

The PSI Act sets out that:

 

  • The person immobilising the vehicle must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority.
  • The person immobilising or releasing the vehicle must have their Security Industry Authority identification badge on display.
  • Upon payment a receipt must be issued. The receipt should contain the:
    • the name of the license holder
    • the signature of the license holder
    • the license holders SIA License number
    • the location where the vehicle was clamped or towed
    • the date when the vehicle was clamped or towed

     

Further terms for vehicle immobilisers were set out in The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Licenses) Regulations 2007.

 

 

These are

 

1)A vehicle must not be clamped / blocked / towed if:

a)A valid disabled badge is displayed on the vehicle.

b)It is an invalid carriage

c)It is a marked emergency service vehicle which is in use as such.

 

 

In The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Licences) Regulations 2007

 

  • “invalid carriage” has the same meaning as in section 253(5) of the Road Traffic Act 1960;
  • “disability badge” means a badge issued under section 21 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and
  • “Emergency vehicle” has the same meaning as in regulation 3(2) of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989.

Any firm who does not comply with the above is in breach of the Security Industry Act and can be prosecuted.

 

Unlicensed Clamper

 

It is also an offence to knowingly employ unlicensed clampers. Landlords can be fined up to £5000 and/or be jailed for up to 6 months per offence.

 

Other License Conditions

 

Front line staff must:

 

  • Wear the licence where it can be seen at all times when engaging in designated licensable activity (unless you have reported it lost or stolen, or it is in our possession)*.
  • Tell us and the police as soon as practical if your licence is lost or stolen
  • Tell us as soon as practical of any convictions, cautions or warnings, or charges for relevant offences whether committed in the UK or abroad
  • Tell us of any changes to your name or address as soon as practical
  • Not deface or change the licence in any way (should your licence become damaged, you should advise us and request a replacement).
  • Not wear a licence that has been defaced or altered in any way
  • Produce the licence for inspection on the request of any constable, any member or employee of the SIA or other person authorised by the SIA
  • Return the licence to us as soon as practical if you are asked to do so
  • Tell us as soon as practical of any change to your right to remain or work in the UK

*You do not have to wear your licence where it can be seen if you can demonstrate that the nature of your conduct on that occasion requires that you should not be immediately identifiable as someone engaging in such conduct. On such occasions you must carry your licence on you and be able to produce it on request. This condition allows store detectives or close protection operatives to perform licensable activities without the need to be identifiable. The covert licence condition cannot apply to vehicle immobilisers.

 

Camera Operatives need to be Licensed?

 

The following is taken from the notes of the Vehicle Immobiliser Network Meeting 20th March 2009. (Thanks to Blessed Beard over at Pepipoo for this one.)

 

 

 

5. Will the SIA allow trained vehicle immobilisers who have not yet received their

licence to shadow a trained and licensed VI to get some training ‘in the field’? Bad

experiences can scare off new vehicle immobilisers, so the money spent on their

training and licensing is wasted.

 

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 says that “activities carried out in connection with” a

licensable role should be licensed. Therefore if someone is accompanying the licensed

vehicle immobiliser, observing the process, they would need an SIA licence. Although it

could be argued that ‘in connection with’ is down to interpretation, it would be up to a court

of law to decide.

 

 

Valid Clamping?

 

Under the PSI Act and existing case law for clamping to be valid the following must be present or take place

 

1. There must be clear and prominent signs indicating a vehicle may be immobilised.

2. The signs should contain

a)A number at which an offer to pay the release fee can be made

b)The amount of the release fee (which should be reasonable)

3)Upon an offer to pay or payment being made the vehicle must be released in a reasonable amount of time

4)The person immobilising the vehicle must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority.

5)The person immobilising or releasing the vehicle must have their Security Industry Authority identification badge on display.

6)Upon payment a receipt must be issued. The receipt should contain the:

a)the name of the license holder

b)the
signature
of the license holder

c)the license holders SIA License number

d)the location where the vehicle was clamped or towed

e)the date when the vehicle was clamped or towed

What to Do If You are Clamped

 

1. Keep calm, however distressing it may be, getting angry or upset will do you no good and it may get you arrested.

2. Take a note of any signage. It should be clear and visible. Look particularly at entrances/exits.

3. If you have a digital camera take pictures of any signage. Is it readable from where you stand? Was it prominently displayed where you came in?

4. If you have the ability record/make notes of anything said or done by the clampers. Particularly record or note any threatening or intimidating comments or behaviour.

If they demand extra because a tow truck has been called out refuse to pay and call the police. They must release once an offer to pay is made.

5. Ask to see the clampers SIA I.D. If they cannot produce it call the police. They are possibly unlicensed and thus committing an offence under the PSI act.

6. Pay on a credit card if you can or by cheque.

7. Do not offer any physical violence to the immobilisers you are liable to be arrested.

8. Do not damage a clamp (i.e. cut it off). You leave yourself open to a charge of “criminal damage” if you do. (There is some debate over whether if you found a clamping to be wrong e.g no signage whether you would be entitled to end the tort by a "self help" method e.g. bolt cutters. You have to make a judgement call). All that said proving a charge of criminal damage may not be that easy.

9. If you can remove the clamp without damaging it then you can do so.

10. Make sure you get a full receipt with all the required details

11. Check that the clamper is licensed on the SIA website.

12. If they are demanding a towing fee for a tow truck turning up or being called but not actually towing refuse to pay anything other than the release fee.

 

Can I Recover My Money?

 

Unfortunately there is no one clear path to go down to seek redress if you are clamped. More often than not you will have been forced to pay to have your car returned – regardless of whether the immobilisation is legal or not. Unless the firm in question is grossly in breach of the PSI Act then the only path left open to you is to attempt a civil recovery. This will need to be done via letter at first and if that fails then through the county court on the small claims track.

 

One final point is that these firms are often fly-by-night outfits. If you are seeking redress you should sue the clamping firm and the landowner as co-defendants. (landowner details can usually be obtained from the land registry. (www.landregistry.gov.uk).

 

Damages claimed for trespass must be paid to the landlord so unless the clampers and the landowner have a water tight agreement they may be acting unlawfully.

 

Stopping or Reversing Payment

 

If you have paid by cheque or credit/debit card there may be avenues open for to try and get the payment stopped or reversed.

 

If you can pay by cheque then do not put any guarantee information on the back. The simple thing to do is ring your bank and have a stop put on the cheque. It may cost you a small fee to do so but its better than a large amount. I suspect that most clamping companies will be unwilling to accept payment by cheque for this very reason.

 

If you paid by credit card or debit card then you could, reasonably in my opinion, claim that you were forced to pay under duress and that the transaction is invalid.

 

It may be that your bank or credit card company will be unwilling to do anything to help you. If that is the case then the your only remedy is recovery through the civil courts

 

Gather Evidence

Before attempting any recovery you need to gather evidence of any failures to comply with either the SIA legislation or the case law given under Vine or Anker.

Signage

 

One of the most common causes of complaint is the lack of adequate signage. Arthur Vs Anker clearly states that a sign must be present. Vine further enhances that by saying it must be seen and understood. If the signage is clearly posted and you’ve parked in clear violation then you’d better have a pretty good reason, such as in the Vine case, to bring a claim against the firm that clamped you.

 

However that said signage is often missing, inconspicuous or unreadable. Many posters on the consumer action group forums have mentioned that poor lighting as a reason for the signs being missed.

 

One “pay for a solution” website I have seen suggests that a guidance point for the visibility of signs is the Road Traffic Act 1991. As there is no guidance for size of no parking signs or their placement on private land other than the case law that they should be clear, visible and understood you could use the guidance on public land as a reference. Whether a court would accept this is debatable.

 

Excessive Charge

 

There is no legal limit to the amount that can be charged for a release fee. The Vine case said that a reasonable amount in 1997 was £105. This roughly translates to £138 in today’s terms (based on the CPI and rate of inflation March 200 . It would be worth consulting a lawyer with a view to court action if you’ve paid significantly more than this. However this figure is a guideline and even if you’ve paid less than a court may decide it is still to high.

Not Licensed By The SIA

 

If the immobilisers are not registered it may render the clamping invalid and therefore you should be able to seek a refund. It may be that attempting a bargain along the lines of refund my money and I won’t report this breach will be effective. Bringing pressure to bear on the landlord may also bring results. In my view you would do better to report the matter to the SIA and seek redress via the courts as the clamping should not legally have taken place and by that reasoning no release fee should have been due. In performing the unlicensed clamping they have broken the law and both they and the landowner can be fined up to £5000 and/or be jailed for up to 6 months per offense.

 

Summary

 

It would seem the clampers have it going for them – at least initially. They get your money and backing in some cases from the Police. Knowing your rights will help you seek redress is through the courts.

 

I hope this guide will help.

 

Pin 1 On U

 

(A copy of this guide can also be found at Blogspot:Clamping Guide)

 

Appendix A: Residential Parking and Clamping

 

Introduction

 

This section is to deal with what is becoming a very real problem. More and more property managers, landlords and so on are looking to respond to resident complaints about people parking in their spaces and are often times bring in clamping firms to deal with the problem.

 

Clamping is a remedy for trespass. Bearing in mind that trespass is to enter wrongfully or without proper authority or consent upon the real property of another, it does (or should) present problems for using clamping in a residential setting. The key element is “wrongfully or without proper authority or consent”. That consent or authority comes from either two sources the landlord (usually through a lease or rental agreement) or a title deed (i.e. you own the land and the parking space).

 

Guidance if your accommodation includes a parking space (ownership, rental agreement, lease)

 

I have seen information being sought by a number of people who own accommodation that includes a car parking space. The normal situation is that the estate management or property factors decide to bring in clampers to control the parking situation. In some cases this is at the residents behest but I have seen cases where this was done without the residents knowledge or consent.

 

You cannot be deemed to have trespassed if you have proper authority or consent. If your title deeds, lease or rental agreement specifically mention a car parking space then as far as that is concerned you have consent to park in that space. There may be conditions imposed, particularly in a rental situation that should you breach may cause the consent to be withdrawn. You would need to check the documentation carefully.

 

Permits or No Permits.

 

Often management companies will seek to impose a system of permits. Any car not displaying a permit gets clamped. As a general rule this cannot simply be imposed. In the case of a new scheme then this would amount to a unilateral change of contract or an attempt to make you party to a contract. This simply cannot happen. Both need your agreement.

 

In the case of moving into an existing scheme as a tenant unless the rental/lease agreement makes it clear or you sign something specific then again you are not obligated to participate.

 

It may be you like the idea of a permit scheme and want to participate in it. At face value it presents a low cost option. But what happens when you, who have a perfect right to park, forget to display your permit and are clamped. Are you really liable for the release fee? Not so attractive now is it? I would suggest that there are more cost-effective and less stressful methods of preventing people parking where they shouldn’t. I will detail some later.

 

For anyone facing a permit scheme I would advise you opt out. You don't need to be confrontational. A polite discussion will probably achieve more. However I would put all of the above in writing as well and send it via recorded delivery. That way he you have a record that you notified all parties concerned.

 

Your letter should include the following points and be addressed to the clampers and the landlord/ management company/property factors

 

1. That you reject their permit scheme

2. Advise them that you will expect an immediate and full rebate of any release fee paid should your vehicle be clamped and any incidental expenses incurred.

3. Advise them that if your vehicle is clamped, you will be seeking damages for trespass, harassment and loss of enjoyment of the property.

 

Clamped in Your Own Space?

 

If you are the landowner then and this is ignored then they are in violation of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. They must have landowner permission to clamp. If they enter your land to clamp your vehicle they become guilty of trespass themselves and you would certainly have an actionable case against them and whoever employed them. You can, and should report them to the police and the Security Industry Authority.

 

If you are tenant you may have grounds to seek damages from the landlord for loss of “peaceful enjoyment of the property”. (Human Rights Act 1998. You need to check your agreements carefully. They may be guilty of harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (C43 1.1.3). To enter your property a landlord or his agent must give 24 hours written notice and have your permission. Tenants need to confirm that they have a parking space specifically allocated to them and that they have not inadvertently agreed to clamping. If you haven’t agreed to this then effectively you are in the same situation as a landowner and could have an actionable case against them for trespass.

 

If you find yourself in the position of being clamped in a space that you own or rent then it is my opinion that you would be in a position to persue a self-help remedy to remove the clamp. Alternately you might want to call the clamping company, advise them of the situation and get them to release you. They may of course refuse. Complaints to the police may prove effective as they have interfered with a motor vehicle.

 

Communal Parking - Renting

 

This is harder to advise on. It is very much dependent on your lease/rental agreement. But essentially if you have permission to be there then you cannot be trespassing.

 

Alternatives to Clamping

 

One of the best alternatives I’ve seen is one that empowers the owner/renter of a parking space to control access. It is the raisable bollard/post. These can be locked into position and prevent access when your car is not there. These are relatively low cost (probably lower to buy and install than the average clamping release fee) solutions to implement and mean the a lot less hassle and stress you.

 

Remedies

 

Talking is good. Quiet negotiation may achieve more than shouting and yelling. A quiet polite letter stating your case may help. If not you have the alternative of going to court - having sought legal advice first.

 

Appendix B: Sources and References

 

Lloyd vs DPP 1992

Arthur vs Anker

Vine vs LBC Waltham Forrest

The Private Security Industry Act 2001

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 Regulations 2007

The Security Industry Authority

Edited by pin1onu
Updates and clarifications
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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Pin1onu,

 

I can see that a lot of work has gone into this, clamping on private land really is a huge problem. A guide such as this can only help.

 

Come on moderators, don't you think deserves "sticky" status.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are a tenant and have been clamped in your own space then it is very likely that the clampers and/or the landlord will be guilty of an offence:

 

Harassment - LandlordZONE

 

This is because as a tenant you are entitled to peaceful enjoyment. If the landlord wishes to stop you doing so he/she MUST get a court order first. This protection can also apply to people visiting tenants.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All

This is my first post and I'm really hoping someone can help me. I also hope I can be of some help to someone else in the future!

I took a chance and parked on double yellows on Saturday night. 2 wheels on the pavement, 2 on the road. I did spot some parking notices on the side of the building but I did think this related to the wide pavement beneath them. I was parked on the bend so in front of the corner of the building. I knew I could've been risking a parking fine but not at £225.

I returned to find my car clamped. The sign said £125 to release the clamp, £95 Towage cancellation fee (if a tow truck had been dispatched). I rang the number and was told that unless I paid there and then that I would be charged the full amount and a daily charge for keeping the car.

The man on the phone said that because the tow truck had been dispatched that I would have to pay the full fee, I asked how he could prove that the tow truck had been dispatched?? His only answer was 'well you can wait for it to turn up'!!.

Although I can stomach paying a REASONABLE fine if I really was unlawfully parked, I cannot stomach the 'made up' charges for sending a make believe tow truck. I had been on the phone to the guy for 15 minutes and before that had stood for 10 mins in amazement at my misfortune before ringing. What a coincidence that at the exact time that I phoned, the tow truck had just been released???

Can anyone please offer me any help?

Thanks!

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Unfortunatley I cannot offer you help, except attemp to make you feel better becuase I am being asked to pay a fine of £2700.00 to get my car released after the clamping company denied having it for more than 6 weeks. They now want me to pay for storage, cost of towing and clamping. After i py,I then have todrive to surrey to collect it. Isn't there a limit to the distance which your car can be taken by these people?

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I have a general clamping question that I thought of yesterday.

 

I know that when it comes to parking "fines", it is the driver that enters the contract when he uses the car park after reading the sign. So, if a letter is addressed to the registered keeper asking to pay the fine, the latter can tell them to refer back to the driver.

 

Now how does that relate to clamping? I imagine the driver agrees to be clamped if he doesn't comply to sign's t&c but what if again, the driver is not the registered keeper? Are clampers allowed to clamp and retain possession of the keeper's property when the the latter did not enter any contract? Could the keeper say his car has been effectively stolen?

 

I hope you understand what I mean.

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I have a general clamping question that I thought of yesterday.

 

I know that when it comes to parking "fines", it is the driver that enters the contract when he uses the car park after reading the sign. So, if a letter is addressed to the registered keeper asking to pay the fine, the latter can tell them to refer back to the driver.

 

Now how does that relate to clamping? I imagine the driver agrees to be clamped if he doesn't comply to sign's t&c but what if again, the driver is not the registered keeper? Are clampers allowed to clamp and retain possession of the keeper's property when the the latter did not enter any contract? Could the keeper say his car has been effectively stolen?

 

I hope you understand what I mean.

 

Have a read through the guide. The answer to this is that clamping is deemed to be a modern application of damage distress feasant which is a remedy for trespass and not a remedy for a breach of contract. In medieval times it was the owner of the livestock who paid the damages caused by his livestock. In modern times it is, ultimately, the responsibility of the owner to pay the "damages" and thus recover their property.

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  • 1 month later...

I know it could be a bit of a pain (but a lot less painful than a 400GBP fine) but could I put my own wheel clamps on all 4 wheels when I park therefore not allowing these thieving gits to actually clamp or tow away my vehicle ? I'm presuming the clamping firm would be subject to the same laws that I am ie I couldn't remove their clamps and I'm also presuming (hoping) that towing or lifting my vehicle onto a flatbed truck would not be possible if all 4 wheels were clamped.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't park illegally at all - it's just that these robbing cowboys get my goat up so much, (it always appears to be those less able to stand up for themselves who are targetted) I'd love to turn the tables on them so to speak.

Edited by Seven Lucky Logs
Grammar, really.
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  • 2 months later...
Does anyone know of the specific section in the PSI Act that states this?

It's not defined in the PSI Act. It's from the case law (Arthur vs Anker) which is as binding as statute law.

 

"A motorist who trespassed by parking his car on private property having seen a warning notice there that a vehicle parked without proper authority would be wheel clamped and released on payment of a fee, was to be taken to have consented to the effect of the notice, provided that the release fee was reasonable, the vehicle was released without delay when the motorist tendered the fee and there were means by which the motorist might communicate his offer of payment.

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hi I'm new to this and I still don't understand how it works..... Basically, I got a parking ticket for parking on a college campus whilst purchasing my parking permit. I sent the parking template letters but received this reply :-?:

 

Thank you for your further email confirming that although the registered keeper of the offending vehicle you were not the driver at the time of the offence. I also note your unwillingness to pay the Charge Notice.

 

As you appear to be unwilling to provide these details then we must draw your attention to the following points. Our client's conditions of contract relating to parking are detailed on the signs and referred to upon the Charge Notice. Failure to comply with the conditions of contract constitutes a breach of contract which entitles our clients to pursue the remedies referred to in the conditions of contract. These remedies include the right to clamp defaulting vehicles.

 

By virtue of the failure to pay the Charge Notice the breach of contract remains.

 

Accordingly, I must advise you that your vehicle registration has been recorded on our client's database as an unpaid offending vehicle that has parked in breach of the conditions of contract. If your vehicle is seen at any of the sites managed by our client then it will be clamped, pursuant to the conditions of contract. In order to secure release of the clamp you will be required to pay a release fee and also any outstanding parking Charge Notices.

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Accordingly, I must advise you that your vehicle registration has been recorded on our client's database as an unpaid offending vehicle that has parked in breach of the conditions of contract. If your vehicle is seen at any of the sites managed by our client then it will be clamped, pursuant to the conditions of contract. In order to secure release of the clamp you will be required to pay a release fee and also any outstanding parking Charge Notices.

 

As far as I understand the rules governing clamping, a vehicle cannot be clamped for a previous offence regardless of whether you are on private land or not. i.e. clamping wouldneed to be as a result of a current ongoing transgression and not merely as a means to blackmail the owner into paying a previous charge.

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Issued by CP Plus limited. basically I parked on the Art college visitors Car Park when I was receiving a permit from the technological college (next door,literally the share the same front lawn). There was NOWHERE else to park on any of the car parks because they were full. I was ten minutes in what I thought to be a visitors car park.

 

These people also petrol the hospital car parks. Is it possible they could clamp me whilst I am visiting the hospital or any where else they petrol.

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no they can only clamp for trespass when all signage is correct and unequivocal, they have landowner rights etc etc. CP plus don't show up on the BPA AOS List. Did you contact them first or did write to you first ? report then to the Data Protection Registrar. First of all check their entry on the register - if you can find it ? when you can't use that in your complaint to the ICO. and explain parking law to the ICO. also check out the 'problems that PPCS face' thread and list all of the regs that CP plus violates. also please post a picture of one of their letters to you on here - suitably washed of personal details.

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Hi Lamma

 

Im sorry I didn't understand all that. I have know idea who 'BPA AOS' are or how to find them on the data protection register or who the Information Commissioners office? ........ So basically, all of what you just said :confused:

:)

But I do know that they were the one's to contact me first.

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/Users/andrea/Pictures/MP Navigator EX/Mail_20081103/IMG.pdf

 

Hello Lamma

 

Thanks for your mail :). I have attempted to send you a copy of the letter I hope you get it ok. I don't know how to do it so have had to guess!

 

I have begun writing a letter back to the company here is my rough draft, what do you think?

 

Dear Madam,

If you are a member of the BPA AOS then you will be aware that you can only clamp for trespass when all signage is correct and unequivocal and you have landowner rights etc. A vehicle cannot be clamped for a previous offence regardless of whether you are on private land or not. i.e. clamping would need to be as a result of a current ongoing transgression and not merely as a means to blackmail the owner into paying a previous charge.

 

 

You should also be aware that according to:Regulation 7 which deals with aggressive and unfair trading practices:-

 

7.1 A commercial practice is aggressive if, in its factual context, taking account of all its features and circumstances –

a) it significantly impairs or it is likely to significantly impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence; and

b) it thereby causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.

7.2 In determining whether a commercial practice uses harassment, coercion or undue influence account shall be taken of –

a) its timing, location, nature or persistence;

b) the use of threatening, abusive language or behaviour;

c) the exploitation by the trader of any specific misfortune or circumstance of such gravity as to impair the consumer’s judgement, of which the trader is aware, to influence the consumer’s decision with regard to the product;

d) any onerous or disproportionate contractual barrier imposed by the trader where the consumer wishes to exercise rights under the contract, including rights to terminate a contract or to switch to another product or anther trader; and

e) any threat to take any action which cannot be legally taken.

7.3 In this regulation –

a) ‘Coercion’ includes the use of physical force; and

b) ‘undue influence’ means exploiting a position of power in relation to the consumer so as to apply pressure, even without using or threatening to use physical force, in a way which significantly limits the consumer’s ability to make an informed decision.

 

"Whilst this is a new and untried regulation, members should be aware that sending a demand for payment to the vehicle keeper (as opposed to the driver) - without making it clear that the liability is with the driver – would fit within this regulation. Members should also be aware of the methodology used in the escalation of excess parking fees, ensuring that this escalation cannot be considered to be an ‘aggressive practice’."

 

"Members should therefore ensure that – for the time being – all correspondence with the vehicle keeper makes it clear that the contractual liability lies with the driver who parked inappropriately".

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You should also be aware that according to:Regulation 7 which deals with aggressive and unfair trading practices:-

You should put in what regulations you are quoting from. Its not clear from your mail.

Edited by pin1onu

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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