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cowboyclamper

Clamped within a few minutes in a resident's parking bay

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Hi - I've tried to find the answer to my issue on this site, but haven't found the same scenario. Basically, I rent a parking bay outside my flat. To park there, you need to display a valid permit. My mum popped round to my flat one day recently, to drop off some post for me. I keep a spare permit in my flat for her to use if she needs to use my space. Sadly, by the time she got back to her car (must have been 2-3 mins) Parking Control Services (who by all accounts on this site seem to be cowboys) had clamped her. She paid the (unreasonable?) sum of £205 to have the clamp removed (£125) and fine (£75) paid (plus £5 for paying by card).

 

I would like to know if we have any chance of claiming the money back. It is too late to withdraw the payment. In my unqualified opinion, I think that

- the charge is unreasonably high

- possibly administered wrongly (a Penalty Charge Notice was stuck to her windscreen). I have seen elsewhere that private companies shouldn't use these?

- lastly, I wonder if one has to be allowed a reasonable amount of time to display the permit. I am sure she was parked for less than 5 mins. I understand that you are allowed 5 mins to obtain a ticket at a parking meter. Same rules for permit bays? She was on her way back to the car with the correct permit! How annoying!!

 

Any help much appreciated - thank you.

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Why is it to late to withdraw the payment?

 

Correct, private companies cannot issue "fines" or "penalties". If they claim it was a fine then that will help if you have to go the (messy) way of court to get your money back.

 

Any "rules" you refer to about time to get a ticket from the meter etc only apply to legit council parking, not rouge fly-by-night [problem] merchants unfortunately.

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Hi, thanks for the reply. Ok, well it sounds like it might be tricky to claim money back now that it has been paid. Not that mum had a choice since they clamped her car. I'll see if we can still withdraw the card payment - if we can, what do you think Parking Control Services will do next? Would we have a leg to stand on, or would we have to pay eventually anyway?

 

I wonder if I should appeal to their better nature?! I may suggest to the managing agents of the flats that they appoint another firm. We have a crazy situation where the clampers can 'get' people who park in a bay without a permit, but cannot touch cars parked in the middle of the access road, or on the lawns! In other words, if mum had parked on the flower beds, instead of in MY space, she would not have been fined!!

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how about a chargeback on her credit card if she used one?

this doesn't sound like a PCN but a PPC , ie not council issued or controlled.

you wil get nowhere if its a PPC [problem] by appealling!

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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So basically this company can slap a notice on a car that I actually want in my space, and we have no option but to pay (since the cars are immediately clamped).

 

I wonder if I have any legal rights to enjoy the space that I pay money to rent in the way I want? I was never consulted by the managing agents about the policing of the parking bays. Since I pay money to rent my space, do I have some rights over how it is used? (Anyone good on legal issues around leases??)

 

I doubt I will get very far in an appeal to the parking company, so perhaps I should focus on the totally mad policing system the managing agents have decided to allow. If someone parks in front of my space, blocking me from using it, they CANNOT be fined. If my mum parks IN my space, with my permission, for a few minutes (albeit failing to immediately display the permit) she is fined an exorbitant amount with no option but to pay up front. Crazy!

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Carefully read the clamping sticky at the top, and check what the signs say, whether they are suitably visible, whether the receipt was compliant with the law. Also check your lease agreement.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-offences/137863-clamping-guide.html

 

Write to the clamping company and to the landowners, summarising the situation and demanding repayment under threat of legal action.

 

Take legal action. If you post more information here, people will give you ideas about what to do. The view here is that clamping is a remedy for trespass. You'd need to show your mum was not "trespassing".

 

In the end, taking legal action is the only way you have chance of a) seeing your money and b) discouraging the company from clamping anyone else.

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Technically it's your space and therefore they have absolutely no right to clamp anything in it without the space owners permission.

 

This is a very common issue with clampers in privately owned flats. The landowners/management companies should (but rarely do) set out the rules correctly. No car should be clamped in any residents space unless the owner has specifically complained to the clampers and asked them to act.

 

If you do take it down the court route, remember a judge is a reasonable person. You can quite easily point out that it was your space, used with your permission and you need a reasonable amount of time to get a permit. I would be very surprised the clampers let it get that far. Is is unreasonable and quite clear that they are extorting money from you for charging for a ticket and a clamp.

 

Sadly I've not heard of any credit card company doing a chargeback when it comes to clamping. I'm in the process of suing clampers right now and the credit card company have said that until I prove I was illegally clamped by a judge they can not refund. If I win my case, I will let my CC know, and they will refund the money plus my costs (as they are liable for everything up to £75k due ot the consumer credit act!).

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Thanks very much for your replies - you have encouraged me to write to the clampers and also the managing agents. I'll try to post the results on here, although I expect it may take some time to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

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Do you rent your flat and the parking space together?

Your landlord may be in breach of the Landlord and Tenant act 1988, which gives you the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property you rent. If you pay rent then you have exclusive use and possession of the land, much the same as an owner-occupier.

So if you owned your flat and parking space and a private company clamped your car, what would you do?

More information from your rent officer at the local council. A tenancy agreement can only give you additional rights to those given in law. It cannot diminish them. Unfortunately, depending on when you first rented the property, you landlord could refuse to renew the lease once your current one expires.

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We part-own the flat (ie part mortgage, part rent). The car park space is rented on a separate agreement. 'Prawns25', that's an interesting point you made about my right to enjoy the land. It's certainly something I'll take up with the landlords for the flats.

 

Perhaps it would be worth my while gathering a few signatures from my neighbours, suggesting that we appoint a more professional company. For example, here is a quote from the guidelines of another company (whom I know nothing about - this is not a recommendation!) .... 'A period of 5-10 minutes is allowed on residential developments to allows (sic) parking permits to be collected and/or visitors permits to be obtained, although 15 minutes are allowed for deliveries.' If you're interested in reading more, it's on capitalcarparkcontrol.co.uk/codeofpractice_8.html

 

That sounds far more reasonable. To repeat myself, I'm still very annoyed that the clamper clamped my mum's car after barely 2 minutes. That just seems cynical to me.

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In normal situations there will be a limited company who effectively owns the buildings and pays the bills. Your maintenance charge is paid to this company. The directors are usually unpaid people who live in your block of flats and have volunteered themselves for the job. It is them you want to write to. They instruct the management company who to employ and who not to employ.

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