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undisclosed parking enforcements by estate agent/landlord

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My partner and I with our child moved into a brand new home on a new development after xmas. We were told we had one allocated space with the house, no one ever mentioned being unable to park in the road (which has no lines on the road or signs up) so we assumed it was legal to park on the road.

 

Last night I parked my car on the road, my partners in the space. This morning I come out to my car with a note from concerned residents asking me not to park there as the management firm who oversee our estate (apparently in thing for new estates) are going to bring in a parking enforcement company.

 

Unimpressed I go looking for the residents contact at the management firm at lunch time when I return. He's told me that my landlord the house owner would have been given a lease which states only 1 car allowed per household and there is to be no parking on the roads, pavements or allocated bays. When I signed the lease I read every single line and there was nothing on there about parking restrictions. Had we had known this we would NEVER have moved here. We had the choice of 2 homes and the one we were in now at the time seemed better, had we known then what we know now we would have chosen the other house. There are discussions underway with parking firms at the moment, no lines will be put down only enforcement signs on posts etc.

 

Where do we stand? The estate is in the middle of no where, it's not like we can park 10 minutes away and walk in, we can't get rid of a car as we both work across country. Had we had known this there's no way we would have agreed to move here. We feel like we have been completely had over by the estate agents who managed the process when we moved in. The lease is now managed by the landlord.

 

We signed a 12 month lease end of December with a get out at the end of June (now) but now we know we will put money away and find somewhere with better facilities.

 

Can anyone tell us where we stand re our lease?


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Is the road a private road or is it maintained by the council?

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Hi

 

It is not a private road, that I'm sure of. I'm not sure if this makes a difference but it's a new phased development and we are on the first phase, I'm not sure if the contractor George Wimpey has anything to do with it still.

 

There is a management firm but these are funded by the service charges from the flats. Once the entire development is complete (good few years) the management of the roads will be handed over to the council.

 

Hope this makes sense, this is all piecemealed from different conversations I've had with the management firm and a neighbour who is in the residents association.

 

Thanks


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My new house includes a restrictive covenant that is supposed to prevent me from parking on the road, but it is completely ignored. It may be that the "concerned residents" are merely seeking to keep the estate looking "nice".

 

I don't think you can blame your landlord. Builders don't always make these restrictions clear to the purchaser.

 

If a parking management company put up clamping signs then you could be in an awkward situation. If on the other hand, they issue tickets, then you could decide to take your chances by ignoring them (see the parking forum here).

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Thanks Steve M.

 

The residents associations actions are in response to the management being in talks with a parking enforcement company to manage the parking on the estate.

 

I asked the management firm why this wasn't made clear to us and his response was it's all in the lease and the estate agents/sales agents know about it but didn't make it clear to us. In fact the agents have been selling the fact we can park in the road.

 

As we didn't buy the house and would therefore not have access to the lease where do we stand in regards to the tenancy agreement? Had we known about these facts there's no way we would of taken the house, we both work nationally and need our own cars. If we were told when taking the tenancy that would have been fair enough because we would have the choice to accept this condition.


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I'm afraid it is highly unlikely to affect your tenancy agreement.

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The suggestion that there is a management firm with some responsibilty for the road would seem to be imcompatible with the suggestion that the road is a public highway maintainable at public expense. I think you need to do some research to establish the position.

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I asked the management firm why this wasn't made clear to us and his response was it's all in the lease and the estate agents/sales agents know about it but didn't make it clear to us. In fact the agents have been selling the fact we can park in the road.

Can you prove this in any way? My thoughts would be that you could maybe use such proof to claim any loss from the selling agent/landlord for non-disclosure leading to misrepresentation. If you made it known to the agent/landlord that you required parking for two cars then this forms part of the contract of sale/lease - whether verbal or written (obviously a lot more straight forward if written).

 

My other thought would be to the display of signage in relation to the parking enforcement. I believe this would require planning permission which would require posting for consultation in the areas affected. If signs are just put up without permission, they would be illegally placed and thus unenforcable.

 

Not totally sure on the above, but there maybe some substance - food for thought.


Disclaimer...

All advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. offered by '
Turtle1000
' is taken at a readers 'own risk & responsibility' and 'Without Prejudice'.

 

Should a reader wish to undertake action following advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. by '
Turtle1000
', it is recommended that full & proper legal consulation be first made before any implimentation or undertakings.

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With regard to new housing estates, the local council often does not "adopt" the roads for some years after the estate is complete, leaving responsibility for dealing with the roads to the builders/management company.

 

Your tenancy agreement should actually include any covenants and relevant clauses from the original lease. You must take this up with your landlord.


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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With regard to new housing estates, the local council often does not "adopt" the roads for some years after the estate is complete, leaving responsibility for dealing with the roads to the builders/management company.

Rightly so, as if the council adopt before the road is fully completed (including allowing for settlement) they will get left holding responsibility for completion.

 

Likewise, the building company do not want to release the road because any subsequent damage from machinery may be costly to repair plus the council are likely to place restrictions on use once the road is adopted.

 

This is why the wearing course is generally the last thing done on any roads. The underlying courses of road are simple to repair in isolation and don't need to look 'pretty', but the final wearing course would need to look good (for the council to adopt). After adoption, the council don't really care and will allow repairs (and the inevitable spoiling of the road athetics) because anything more will cost (usually to an uneconomical position), with replacement of the wearing course only being done when absolutly necessary (or budgets need spending :rolleyes:).


Disclaimer...

All advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. offered by '
Turtle1000
' is taken at a readers 'own risk & responsibility' and 'Without Prejudice'.

 

Should a reader wish to undertake action following advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. by '
Turtle1000
', it is recommended that full & proper legal consulation be first made before any implimentation or undertakings.

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Hi

 

I phoned the same agent who let us the house and her words were 'Maurice (management contact) told me there were no problems about parking on the road and I don't know anything about no parking within the lease'.

 

It gets worse. As a result of this parking issue I've gone on a hunt to find out more info, have found a residents association and a closed group on facebook. I've found out the management firm are charging the same as my council tax for a year, I didn't know anything about this. We've been here 6 months and apparently it's charged 6 months in advance in a lump sum (no monthly payments).

 

I feel so physically sick I could cry, I'll be on maternity leave in a few months and we can't afford this. Food will be a luxury let alone this horrific charge. I've read a term in the lease which reads

 

Tenant's Obligations

 

The Tenant agrees to;

 

Pay a fair proportion of all charges, based on the length of the tenancy, including water and sewerage charges, rates and assessments (but of an annual or recurring nature only) and for all gas, electricity, oil or solid fuel consumed on the Property (including all fixed and standing charges) and all charges for the telephone during the Term of this agreement. If the Landlord is held responsible by law for the payment of any of these bills the Tenant agrees to refund to the Landlord the amount covering the Term of this tenancy.

 

This is the only loop I can see where this charge may fall under.

 

I can't believe this, I'm trying to get us straight before the baby comes and then I find this. Anyone have any thoughts?


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I don't think you can be held responsible for these management charges - the only items mentioned in the clause you quoted relate to the normal utilities, council tax, telephone etc.

 

If you are presented with a bill for these charges, refuse to pay and take legal advice.

 

It seems that you have not been given the full facts about this property. I would definitely be using the break clause and finding another property - and not through your current agent!


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Thanks KL.

 

What's the break clause?

 

I can't believe this place, I'm more annoyed with myself for getting so upset about it.


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We signed a 12 month lease end of December with a get out at the end of June (now) but now we know we will put money away and find somewhere with better facilities.

 

Can anyone tell us where we stand re our lease?

 

This is your break clause. It enables you to give notice and leave after six months.


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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The owner of the property pays the management charges, not you. They should have covered that when setting your rent.

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Break clause passed on the 27 June, have I not missed it by a few days?


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The owner of the property pays the management charges, not you. They should have covered that when setting your rent.

 

Thanks jackieandwayne. You would of thought they would have covered it, neither of us had absolutely no idea it even existed until I started research regarding the parking issues.

 

There's nothing in the contract that remotely refers to the charge other than the term I listed previously. Even when we looked at buying an apartment on the same estate the sales person spoke about the service charge which we'd expect for a flat but said nothing about management charges which are charged additionally.


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lihi - tell them to go and boil their heads, politely, and in writing! They haven't a leg to stand on.

 

In the 80's I bought my GF council flat. My upstairs neighbour had her own locked front door at the foot of the stairs, which some years before had always been unlocked because on her stairs was the communal boiler housing which the Council needed access to. By the time I bought, this set up had been removed and we all had our own boilers, hence she locked the GF door to her flat, fair enough.

 

Then I noticed on my service charge that they were making a substantial charge for the decorating of her stairs, which led up to her ther front door, and a proportion of mantenance for the storage cupboard where the boiler bits previously were! They were still treating it as a communal area.

 

Oh what fun me and my neighbour had with the Council! First she rang up and demanded to know when her stairs were going to be redecorated, then I rang up and demanded a key to her front door to enable me to have access to an area I was paying to maintain! Of course, they then realised the error of their ways, but they still tried to argue that I should be paying. I didn't pay and they had to sort it out!

 

So, you stand your ground, you do not have to pay for management charges on a property you do not have the lease to, unless it has been factored into your rent. Sounds like you don't want to be there anyway, so go on, have a good game with them and enjoy it!

 

Of course, when they try and evict you, you can go to your Council as being in priority need! You cannot be held responsible for homelessness if you are merely standing up for your rights. A little trip to Shelter will help you, they deal with EVERYTHING housing, even this sort of thing.

 

Good luck.

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My daughter lives in a HA house - the local council "sold" its stock, and responsibilities to a HA some years ago. The estate is relatively new (built 1997) and is a mix of houses, flats and some shared equity properties. Well built and in a nice area - this local authority's spec for social housing has always been good.

 

Last year she received notification that the HA were introducing "service charges" to all customers. They were (trying to be) clever about it - the service charge was only a small monthly payment - to be introduced at the beginning of the next tax year - but would be "waived" for the first year. So they were hoping people would just think "well, that's ok - it's not much and we don't have to pay any extra for the first year, we can forget about it".

 

My daughter is not quite so daft. She queried the charges and was told it was for the maintenance of communal areas (she is in a 3-bed semi and maintains her front and back gardens herself - why should she be expected to pay for the communal areas of, e.g. the flats down the road?); servicing of gas appliances and smoke detectors (all covered in the past 12 years by her rent, one assumes). This was in fact a crafty rent increase by the back door.

 

The point is, HA rents are CONTROLLED and cannot be increased by more than a percentage set by law. SERVICE CHARGES can be whatever the HA chooses for them to be. They might be minimal for the first year (waived as a great favour to tenants, lol) but you watch them move up over the next 5 - 10 years!!!

 

She raised the matter with local councillors, her MP and tried to get her fellow neighbours involved and to realise what was actually going on. Difficult since although she and her husband work and pay all rent, council tax etc., many of her neighbours are on benefits so would not be paying anything anyway. Many emails and letters passed back and forth with the HA.

 

When her notification of rent for the coming year arrived this April - guess what - NO SERVICE CHARGE. The battle is probably not won, just shelved by the HA, but anyone being faced with service charges is entitled to question how much is being asked and what for and whether they are justified.


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Quite right and also all those concerned must be formally consulted, and have the right to obtain quotes from elsewhere to outdo the ones that the HA have obtained.

 

Its only when people realise they are being done over that they start sticking up for their rights. Me? Well, since I found this forum some years ago, I question everything now!

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