Readers’ tweets: Notice to Keeper requirements
@ParkingCowboys does a NTK have to state what the breach of contract is or just the entry and exit time?
I assume from your tweet that this was issued for an overstay. I find it difficult to believe it doesn’t state that on the Notice to Keeper, but for the purpose of this response, we’ll assume it doesn’t.
In local authority parking, there are strict rules about what notices must contain. If they don’t contain them, then the ticket may be invalid. However, in the murky world of private parking enforcement, the answer is not straight forward since it is not backed by statute. However, there are two areas that should be considered.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced the concept of Keeper Liability. POFA 2012 does describe what a NTK must contain (see Keeper Liability). If the NTK does not meet those criteria, then keeper liability cannot be relied upon by the parking company. However, if the parking company knows who the driver was (e.g. because you have identified them), then the parking company could still attempt to enforce against them. Further, despite POFA not being applicable, the parking company could still attempt to enforce against the keeper if they can demonstrate that on the balance of probabilities the keeper was the driver.
In order for parking companies to have access to the DVLA keeper database, they must be a member of an Accredited Trade Association, such as the British Parking Association Ltd, and follow their Code of Practice. The BPA code of practice states the following:
When you serve a Notice to Keeper, you must also
include information telling the keeper the ‘reasonable
cause’ you had for asking the DVLA for their details
Now, if they have not stated what the breach is, then arguably they are not meeting this part of the code. If that is the case then you should complain to the DVLA that your data has been released without reasonable cause, and to the BPA that the parking company in question is not adhering to the Code of Practice, and you could also cite that as an appeal point to POPLA. However, irrespective of that, it does not automatically mean the ticket is unenforcable; a county court judge may still find that you have formed a contract with the parking company, and that by overstaying you have breached it.