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Towed from own residence bay.


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Hi All, I am looking for some advice with regards to a predicament I have found myself in. Last night I went to use my car only to find it was not in my designated parking bay! I live in a block of flats, the management company of which have hired a typical ****** parking enforcement 'company'. I correctly guessed that my car had been removed by this company. They said there was no permit visible but to my knowledge the permit is in the car and I genuinely thought on the Windscreen. The company want £280 + £100 + £40 because they stored it over night due to the fact that they can’t release cars after the hours of 9 and 5! After some searching on the internet and general reading of this forum I need to know if I have any sort of leg to stand on! I think it will be difficult to dispute the fact that the permit may not be fully displayed, I am certain that it was in the windscreen but there is the possibility that it slipped under my tax disc or was in-avertedly covered with some foreign object?! I don't check this every time I get out! I think my strongest case could be related to the fact that I am a lease holder and when I couldn't sleep at 3am last night I managed to find the actual lease document that states I have the right to park in the space I was in and there is even a map included with my car parking space shaded. Also I have never signed anything from the management company to essentially agree to the permit scheme? Does this mean they trespassed into my space? Does this mean they don't have the right to enforce parking permits as I own the space? Further more there is the option of the fee being reasonable? From what I have read I have interpreted it should be a fee to cover losses or damages incurred by the land owner (me surely?). Thanks in advance for any input!

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If you have a right to park there - and certainly if there is nothing to show that you have given up that right, then I think that you should get your money back.

 

You may have to pay them to get the car back and then sue

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You need to tell the Management Company that the parking company - their agents - have trespassed on your space and property. There is nothing in your lease regarding a permit, so they cannot operate a parking scheme on your space without varying the lease terms or you agreeing to the scheme in writing. Neither of these have happened. Therefore the lease trumps any signs or notices regarding the permit scheme and you want your car back now. If they do not return it you will have to pay up and then sue the MANAGEMENT COMPANY (as well as the clampers) and the costs to them will rise accordingly. Make it absolutely clear to them that as per your lease they have no legal right whatsoever to operate a parking scheme on your space without your permission.

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I always maintain that a court order should be obtained before removing a car. After all, LAs have to obtain a removal order through the court system. As I see it, this is boardering on theft of a motor vehicle. If it was me, I would approach the police (someone above the rank of PC) to see what they may offer. See what they say about your car being removed without any legal authority (a warrant). Having said that, the usual response is 'sorry, its a civil matter'. Well I don't think it is.

Edited by sailor sam

 

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You definitely have some grounds to challenge this towing away. If a car is clamped or towed then once an offer to pay is made then release should be in a reasonable amount of time - problem is the case law doesn't say what a reasonable time is but it does indicate that the means to obtain release should be available for 24X7. I definitely agree that you should not be penalised by the management company or their agents for using land which you own. Clamping/towing is essentially about permission to park and implied consent to allow your vehicle to be clamped/towed if you park without permission providing there is a clear signage or notification. As you have clear rights to the space they should not have towed you and indeed should have released and returned your vehicle without charge. I would be talking to the management company and attempting to resolve this matter without the need for court. Try phoning and make your points in a calm and collected way. (Its worth speaking to an organ grinder not a monkey) Make it clear that you hold them liable and that you did not agree to the permit system. Warn them that they will face court action if they refuse to budge. Send a letter containing all your points and ask them to pay your charges. If they argue that they will have to obtain a refund from the clampers or that they are indemnified by the clampers point out that you are not a party to any agreement they have with the clampers and that you hold them jointly liable. If they aren't forthcoming then I'd issue them with a letter before action and a county court claim if they still won't play ball. Also have a read of the clamping guide in the stickies section. Towing is covered as "immobilisation activity" under the Private Securities Industry Act and regulations and the case law around clamping is highly relevent and pertinent. I also wrote the appendix with this sort of scenario in mind.

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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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You need to tell the Management Company that the parking company - their agents - have trespassed on your space and property. There is nothing in your lease regarding a permit, so they cannot operate a parking scheme on your space without varying the lease terms or you agreeing to the scheme in writing. Neither of these have happened. Therefore the lease trumps any signs or notices regarding the permit scheme and you want your car back now. If they do not return it you will have to pay up and then sue the MANAGEMENT COMPANY (as well as the clampers) and the costs to them will rise accordingly. Make it absolutely clear to them that as per your lease they have no legal right whatsoever to operate a parking scheme on your space without your permission.

 

If you haven't yet paid up, then you need to go in very hard and robustly with the management company, indicating that their agents (the towing company) have acted unlawfully in trespassing on your space and removing your car, and that THEY (the management company) will be liable. Don't put up with some low-level drone - speak to someone high up the chain. Don't take any s**t about how it's not their problem, or how it's your fault not dispaying a permit. As I think is clear to you, you know it's rubbish. Do create an absolute merry stink with them, make it clear it's going to cost them a lot of money if they don't have your car returned NOW. If they are local, visit in person and raise hell. You may be able to force them into getting your car returned without having to go the legal route.

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OK, so the management company are not budging and are claiming that the 'freeholder' agreed to the parking scheme. But as previously mentioned in the lease agreement I have in my possession no mention of permits and the distinct term that I have the right to park in the exact space I was parked in. To make things a little more confusing I purchased a % of the flat under a shared ownership scheme, does this more than likely mean I don't then have that right or mean they can change it without my consent? I am for the sake of the cost mounting and because I need it collecting my car tonight to the tune of £507!!! I really am keen to follow this up but even after reading through the kindly offered advice on here and the suggested stickie’s none the wiser as to how I should go about claiming some or all of the money back? Under what grounds would I have the best argument?

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No, no, no. The Freeholder's permission is irrelevant. The lease confers on you the exclusive right to that space. In order to operate a permit scheme on the space they MUST legally vary the terms of the lease. They have not done this so the act of their agent was unlawful. They CANNOT vary the terms of a lease without the leaseholders consent. Has this been given? No it hasn't. Try and impress upon them that their agent HAS acted unlawfully and THEY are liable. If you end up paying, you WILL sue the Management Company and include costs on top of the release fees. They will not be in a strong legal position in light of what the lease says and the fact they have not vaired the terms in order to accommodate their parking scheme.

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My feeling would be to go for the management company through a court of law as the parking company are agents of the management company. That way it will make the management company aware they cannot take liberties with a lease. However please wait for a better informed reply.

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they may get rid of the parking enforcement, and leave you to fight your own battles with selfish neighbours who park where they like:(

 

 

what selfish neighbours? The OP never implied there had been any problem to fix in the first place

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  • 4 months later...

Hi The Slithy Tove, It has taken me a while to reply. Your PM has been strpped of any links for some reason? Could you possibly resend the link through somehow? If i get there quick enough they might not strip it? Cheers Dan

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