Readers’ emails: Resident permit pain

From: lewis
Subject: car parking fine – please help!!

Hi, ive read through your website but not sure couldn’t find a specific answer to my problem and would really appreciate your help.

Im a resident of a complex (parking is operated by PCM) where residents do not have designated bays and it is a bit of a 1st come 1st serve basis. I failed to display a permit when I was in between selling and buying a car, rec’d a fine, appealed, waited till almost 14 days were before paying the fine. 28 days past still not heard anything back from the appeal so rang up and rec’d a letter fews days later rejecting the appeal.

Since receiving this letter ive only just come across your website.

Their letter states they do not dispute i am a resident and that i own a valid permit but say because no permit was displayed the parking operative was unable to determine the vehicle was permitted to park in this area.

This makes no sense and you would think the appeal process gives the opportunity to correct what was not clear to the operative.

I guess my question is does it matter if the parking spaces are designated or not?

Again i would really appreciate your help before appealing through the IPC to get my money back.

Regards.

Hi Lewis. Firstly in response to your question “does it matter if the parking spaces are designated or not?”, it depends. It depends what is meant by designated. In some leasehold arrangements, the lease designated you a space. Since the lease grants you rights to that space, it would most likely trump any contract a private parking company may have with a management company. This is because you effectively have rights to that parking space, and a 3rd party cannot unilaterally decide to give those rights away on your behalf. We talk about this issue more here.

Reading your email, it seems like your arrangement is not like that. However, all is not lost! Firstly, how is the signage worded? Sometimes the signage says “Permit holders only”, as opposed to “Permits must be displayed”. Clearly if it were the former, then you are a permit holder, irrespective of whether it is displayed or not. It’s worth checking the signs.

Finally, who has decided to appoint this parking company? Clearly the point of appointing them was to stop non-residents abusing the spaces, rather than punish residents who’ve forgotten to display them. I’d suggest you contact your neighbours and see if you can get the management company to appoint a company with the residents’ interests at heart.

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