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.
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.
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.
The Parking Prankster