Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Tenancy Agreement not overruled by Parking signage

Pace Recovery and Storage v Mr N C6GF14F0 16/09/2016 Croydon.

Mr N had the temerity to park outside his own home, in his own parking space, without displaying a permit. Pace Recovery and Storage (trading as ACE Security) issued him a parking charge, and when Mr N declined to pay it, took him to court.

In the hearing, Mr N produced his tenancy agreement, which showed he had the unrestricted right to park.

District Judge Coonan dismissed the claim and refused leave to appeal.

I have to deal with this on the evidence that is before me now. I have before me a tenancy agreement which gives Mr [N. redacted] the right to park on the estate and it does not say “on condition that you display a permit”. It does not say that, so he has that right. What Pace Recovery is seeking to do is, unilaterally outside the contract, restrict that right to only when a permit is displayed. Pace Recovery cannot do that. It has got to be the other contracting party, Affinity Sutton, which amends the terms of the tenancy agreement to restrict the right to park on a place in circumstances in which a permit is displayed but that is not in this tenancy agreement and you as a third party cannot unilaterally alter the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The approved judgment which may be of use to other people in the same boat, is hosted on the Prankster's site here.

After the hearing, Mr Charman stated his regret that he had relied on the advice of solicitors.

 As you can see from this, we rely on solicitors, which maybe we should not really have done, but we have relied on solicitors who at this point have said, “No, there is not a need” and maybe if they had seen the lease

No doubt a lot of other Parking companies who have lost at the hands of Gladstones Solicitors will be thinking the same think.

Prankster Note

It is a well established legal doctrine that an existing contract cannot be unilaterally altered. Any solicitor, apart it seems from Gladstones Solicitors, could have told Mr Charman that.

In the case of residential parking, the existing contract would normally come into place when the tenancy agreement is signed.

Failing that, the contract next most probably comes into force at the time permits are supplied. If this does not explicitly state parking charges of £100 will be charged for non-display, then this term cannot be unilaterally introduced later.

It would be very unusual for the contract with a resident to be formed by the signage on site. The signage is there only to form a contract with non-residents.

Responsible parking companies will realise this. Spivs and chancers, who have no intention of providing a responsible parking management service and only want to gouge the residents, will have difficulty accepting this.

Paper permits are an outdated and inefficient way of managing a residential car park. They fail to take note of the needs of the residents, who may have to swap cars at short notice, or who may want someone else to use their space at short notice. They also have a habit of disappearing from view or expiring while the owner is on holiday.

Responsible parking companies will either use a modern system which does not need paper permits, or will cancel charges accidentally given to residents or their guests.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Suggest that Mr Charman reports Gladstones to the SRA for poor advice, which surely even a first year law student would not have given. H&D still laughing all the way to the bank though, so who cares?

  2. Such a pity that Leave to Appeal wasn't granted. It would have been nice to see this in front of a higher court.

    Ah, just read the case transcript.. Leave to appeal refused but can be sought by application to the District Judge.

    Go for it son. Like to see you slapped around for your crass business achievements.

    Go on give us a persuasive finding in a higher court of appeal.

  3. Please appeal Mr Charman go on you know you want to

    We can then get a persuasive judgement

    And all your PPC chums will be grateful for you closing down one of their "business" strands

    They will love you for ever honest

  4. Anyone know what the rest of the tenancy agreement said? Any mention of a covenant to abide by any regulations introduced by the site management from time to time? Lots of leases have a clause like that in them.

    If so, and Mr N was still successful this judgment is a big win. If not, then it was an inevitable win.

    1. Yes I think this is a key point. These clauses are framed very generally, and for example one that I am familiar with allows the Management Company to erect signage to regulate vehicular traffic and parking, with a covenant by the occupier to abide by any directions on site.

      I would hope that on a purposive construction of the lease, what these clauses would be interpreted as signage such as "no parking here" or the numbers on the spaces allocated to each flat. It cannot be the case that a reasonable person would understand the clause to mean that the rightful occupier of a space can be charged for parking on their own land.