VCS ticket at my apartment block
My parents visited me when vcs had just been introduced to my apartment block. No visitors spaces had been formalised (and still haven’t) and they displayed badge.
They got a ticket whilst parking in a non obstructive sensible spot. To add insult other cars have parked in non visitor spots without penalty since and I believe the management company have had some tickets cancelled due to the confusion.
Do they have a leg to stand on?
Please help and will be happy to donate to sight as a thanks.
Hi Ross. Unfortunately management companies often employ private parking companies to manage private shared parking areas. The management company’s intention is to stop abuse of the car park (e.g. from non-residents), whereas parking companies intention is to issue as many tickets as possible, even if it’s to the detriment of the residents.
What usually makes these tickets easy to fight is that your lease and deeds won’t typically mention any conditions of parking in the space(s) assigned to your apartment. That means that the management company wouldn’t have any right to manage parking on your land, and therefore any contractual parking charge would be worthless.
Now, in this case, it’s not particularly clear cut. Your parents aren’t actually residents and they weren’t parked in a marked parking space (I assume from your email). That land would be owned by the landowner of that piece of land (presumably not you), and they can put in place any management arrangement they like.
On the assumption that is the case, they may have had the right to issue the ticket. As such, you then need to look at options for fighting the ticket on other grounds. What does the signage say? Does it explicitly say they should not park where they did? Was the sign lit if it was dark at the time? Consumer law says that if there is any ambiguity in the contract (the sign) then it should be interpreted to the benefit of the consumer.
Vehicle Control Services (VCS) are a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC). The IPC’s Independent Appeals Service (IAS) is not at all transparent in its dealings, unlike the BPA’s POPLA appeals service. As such, there aren’t any known ‘slam dunk’ winning arguments to get their tickets cancelled. You would be wise to seek counsel for your case on one of the parking forums where you can go into detail about your ticket (e.g. provide photos etc).
The last point is that you should complain to the management company. You say they’ve not formalised the visitors spaces yet – well, why not? Is it fair that they should be issuing tickets if the scheme is not set up correctly yet? It may be that the management company can get VCS to cancel the ticket, so its worth pursuing.
Best of luck, PC