Readers’ emails: No defence against cowboy parkers!

From: Ron

At your page
you have a paragraph on “No authority”, which states:
“If the leaseholder leases the space, then the management company does not have rights over it to contract in a parking company.”

If you are correct, this would appear to leave the leaseholder defenceless against “cowboy” parkers – trespassers parking in his/her space! In such cases, is there aANYTHING the lessee do to enforce his/her “right to peaceful enjoyment of that space”?
Especially bearing in mind that it would be impractical for each lessee to make own arrangements with an enforcement company – which would probably result in cowboy parkers parking so as to obstruct access to the spaces!

I notice that your site is called “ParkingCowboys”. Bearing in mind the existence of parking cowboys in the sense of people who park selfishly, I hope to find some balance or, failing that, some pointers on your site relating to advice for people who find their driveways or parking spaces occupied by intruders. (The situation is worse where lessee the parking spaces are not numbered.


Hi Ron,

It very much depends on the lease which is different in every case. Often the lease provides a parking space with no mention of parking permit schemes. In these cases the leaseholder is free to let management of the space to whoever they like, either on their own, jointly with fellow leaseholders, or delegate to a management company. But the point is that it is the leaseholders right to create such a scheme. Very frequently, the management company take it upon themselves to put in place a scheme without each and every leaseholders’ permission. In some cases the lease does allow for a scheme to be put in place – but each lease would need to be checked.

Further, without understanding the nature of the private parking industry, management companies often engage unscrupulous cowboy operators, of which there are many (most?). These companies ‘manage’ the car park for low cost or entirely free, making the majority / all of their money by issuing tickets. This drives the wrong behaviours whereby they will issue tickets to anyone whether they be trespassers, residents, ambulance drivers, taxis or genuine visitors.

The point of such a scheme is to stop people without permission parking, so just because a leaseholder fails to display a permit on a given day (e.g. because the permit fell off, or they bought a new car), doesn’t mean they deserve a £100 penalty does it? Unfortunately, when a company makes money by issuing tickets, they care very little for what is fair. If they allow an appeal on this basis, then they won’t make money.

Also, remember, a permit scheme doesn’t actually stop someone misusing the space, it just gives the parking company a licence to chase the motorist after the event to get their money. If these schemes were effective, then parking would improve and there wouldn’t be hundreds of companies out there offering to manage car parks for free? The simplest and most effective scheme is to install collapsable bollards that only the owner can raise and lower. It simply stops anyone using the space without permission, and doesn’t come with the nasty side effects of a permit scheme.

Like other types of tickets we hear about, the research we’ve done shows that the majority of tickets are issued to genuine users of the car park. At retail parks and supermarkets, most tickets are issued to genuine shoppers, likewise to patients and staff at hospitals, and patrons of pubs and restaurants. The private parking industry has developed a business model that serves them well (a cash cow), but very little either landowners or motorists.

We hope that clarifies our view.