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Playing the parking companies at their own game

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  • Anto_28
    Anto_28 Posts: 151 Forumite
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    Another example of where this idea falls flat on its face is:

    You rent a house for a year, and don't pay the rent.
    You get evicted and move elsewhere.
    The landlord obtains a CCJ against you and goes to the high court.
    High court enforcement track you down at your new address and knock on your door.
    You subsequently put a notice on the door saying that if a High Court Enforcement agent knocks its £100 each time

    Are the high court enforcement agents going to stop chasing the debt because they don't want to incur £100 invoices every time they knock? I very much doubt it.
  • pustit
    pustit Posts: 235 Forumite
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    How about this angle?
    Who provided the permit?  The OP has a contract with the issuer not the PPC.
    The OP has no concern with the PPC, they could change every month but his permit is still valid.

  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
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    edited 14 February at 12:41PM
    pustit said:
    How about this angle?
    Who provided the permit?  The OP has a contract with the issuer not the PPC.
    The OP has no concern with the PPC, they could change every month but his permit is still valid.

    I'm not sure this works. If it was the OP's own property then, as has been argued successfully in court elsewhere on numerous occasions, if the lease / deed indicates a right to park in one's own spot, no permit is needed (unless that has already been agreed by the owner in the original lease / deed). But this is a case of parking at a third party's property and that third party can specify terms and conditions and how they will be enforced (by themselves or an agent).
    Fundamentally, the issue is whether the permit was or wasn't displayed according to the T&Cs.
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23 Forumite
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    @pould @Anto_28, if I understand you right, you're saying that the reason I'd have no claim is because they are undertaking lawful actions by sending me letters. I understand that argument.

    However, aren't I right in thinking that parking companies have been taken to court for harassment for doing exactly this - pursuing a debt which they may believe they have a right to pursue, but in actual fact they do not?

    If they had a legitimate, lawful reason to pursue this debt, then this could not be considered harassment, which is why I could not take a landlord pursuing unpaid rent to court, or a sign by the doorbell saying it's £100 to ring it - that would interfere with lawful actions. However, where those actions are not lawful - such as where they could be taken to court for harassment - they have no legitimate right to do it. In this instance, I've already demonstrated that I had the permit and pointed out that they have no evidence it wasn't displayed in my side window.

    To use your landlord's example, imagine after I had moved out and settled all of my rent, he decides that I didn't pay enough and he should have been charging me £800 a month rather than the contracted £700, and wants to retroactively increase it. He starts sending me letters and texts demanding money. If I asked him to stop and he didn't, I think we'd probably all agree that could constitute harassment - he's unlawfully pursuing a debt that he believes he is entitled to. He WOULD be entitled to pursue it through the courts (though would be unsuccessful). I'm more or less asking the question, that given the landlord's conduct would not be lawful, if I could notify him that I'd be invoicing him a fee for each occasion he did this, as he had no legal right to do it, and I am at a detriment because of it.

    My notice to the PCC said that they could pursue me through the courts if they felt that their claim was legitimate, but I said that they could no longer contact me directly. If it may constitute harassment, surely they have no legal right to do it.
  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
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    Jopkins said:
    @pould @Anto_28, if I understand you right, you're saying that the reason I'd have no claim is because they are undertaking lawful actions by sending me letters. I understand that argument.

    However, aren't I right in thinking that parking companies have been taken to court for harassment for doing exactly this - pursuing a debt which they may believe they have a right to pursue, but in actual fact they do not?

    If they had a legitimate, lawful reason to pursue this debt, then this could not be considered harassment, which is why I could not take a landlord pursuing unpaid rent to court, or a sign by the doorbell saying it's £100 to ring it - that would interfere with lawful actions. However, where those actions are not lawful - such as where they could be taken to court for harassment - they have no legitimate right to do it. In this instance, I've already demonstrated that I had the permit and pointed out that they have no evidence it wasn't displayed in my side window.

    To use your landlord's example, imagine after I had moved out and settled all of my rent, he decides that I didn't pay enough and he should have been charging me £800 a month rather than the contracted £700, and wants to retroactively increase it. He starts sending me letters and texts demanding money. If I asked him to stop and he didn't, I think we'd probably all agree that could constitute harassment - he's unlawfully pursuing a debt that he believes he is entitled to. He WOULD be entitled to pursue it through the courts (though would be unsuccessful). I'm more or less asking the question, that given the landlord's conduct would not be lawful, if I could notify him that I'd be invoicing him a fee for each occasion he did this, as he had no legal right to do it, and I am at a detriment because of it.

    My notice to the PCC said that they could pursue me through the courts if they felt that their claim was legitimate, but I said that they could no longer contact me directly. If it may constitute harassment, surely they have no legal right to do it.
    You're absolutely right that it's harassment (and could be deemed such by the court with penalties thereto), but from their perspective they are pursuing you for a valid debt. I suspect they're going to argue in court that the pass should have been in the front window, and the judge will have to decide whether you had agreed to display it in your front window in the first place.
    So as it stands, the PPC thinks it has a valid claim and its up to the court to decide. If it's clear that the T&Cs don't say where the pass needs to be displayed, you can then claim for harassment, but unless the PPC (and its agents) are bombarding you with mail, I really can't see the case for a £100 receiving charge, especially as you have zero proof that the PPC accepted the contract with you for £100 every time it sent you a letter.
    This actually is the core of the issue. What would your response be if the PPC sent you a letter saying that the invoices you sent are unjustified, so they will charge you £100 each time you send one? Would you consider that unfair?

  • Anto_28
    Anto_28 Posts: 151 Forumite
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    Jopkins said:
    @pould @Anto_28, if I understand you right, you're saying that the reason I'd have no claim is because they are undertaking lawful actions by sending me letters. I understand that argument.

    However, aren't I right in thinking that parking companies have been taken to court for harassment for doing exactly this - pursuing a debt which they may believe they have a right to pursue, but in actual fact they do not?

    Correct - Hence why I have taken VCS to court for the PCN they issued to me. On the GDPR/DPA basis which is a legitimate claim.

    If they had a legitimate, lawful reason to pursue this debt, then this could not be considered harassment, which is why I could not take a landlord pursuing unpaid rent to court, or a sign by the doorbell saying it's £100 to ring it - that would interfere with lawful actions. However, where those actions are not lawful - such as where they could be taken to court for harassment - they have no legitimate right to do it. In this instance, I've already demonstrated that I had the permit and pointed out that they have no evidence it wasn't displayed in my side window.

    I hear you, but this is no different to mine. I also had a permit, a permit THEIR PO inspected and verified by taking additional evidence photos. Read my thread, at one point I mention the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 but was advised it wasn't considered harassment at the point I mentioned it.

    You've not proven your case to anybody but yourself so far, and only YOU believe they are harassing you. They will disagree, so you take it to a judge who will be the ultimate judge on if they are or are not harassing you.

    To use your landlord's example, imagine after I had moved out and settled all of my rent, he decides that I didn't pay enough and he should have been charging me £800 a month rather than the contracted £700, and wants to retroactively increase it. He starts sending me letters and texts demanding money. If I asked him to stop and he didn't, I think we'd probably all agree that could constitute harassment - he's unlawfully pursuing a debt that he believes he is entitled to.

    This is every so slightly different in that you could prove by way of a tenancy agreement that the funds payable were £700 not £800. I do agree if the landlord sent letters in this instance it would be considered harassment because he had no lawful reason to up the rent retrospectively.

    You have to disprove that the PPC have a legitimate interest, in the same way I am having to.

    He WOULD be entitled to pursue it through the courts (though would be unsuccessful). I'm more or less asking the question, that given the landlord's conduct would not be lawful, if I could notify him that I'd be invoicing him a fee for each occasion he did this, as he had no legal right to do it, and I am at a detriment because of it.

    Correct, he could goto the courts, and correct he'd lose. He'd also be hit with the unreasonable clause (if it ever go that far) and you could claim costs (ie xx hours @ £19 per hour) for all the time you spent reading/responding to the letter (the same way i'll be asking the court for a ruling of unreasonable conduct by VCS)

    My notice to the PCC said that they could pursue me through the courts if they felt that their claim was legitimate, but I said that they could no longer contact me directly. If it may constitute harassment, surely they have no legal right to do it.
    I think you'll find yourself in a position where proving your contract to be legitimate to be incredibly tough, personally i'd advise taking the more standard routes and using the GDPR/DPA 2018 and PFHA 1997 which you can quite easily prove. I seriously suggest reading VCS vs Robert Ferguson, where Ferguson was awarded £1,500 when the judge ruled he was entitled to compensation pursuant to the GDPR/DPA 2018 and Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

    The compensation your seeking is already built into these acts. You just need to go the right way about accessing it, and I do worry the Judge will see your actions as vexatious and unreasonable, but this is your case, and your call, and we can only give our opinions and advice.
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    @pould
    @Anto_28

    Thank you both. I understand where you're coming from. It's a shame, as I was hoping that there might be room to try something new which could have been a bit of a game-changer if ordinary people can start issuing invoices to PCC's where those PCC's genuinely don't have a claim and they can demonstrate it.

    Full disclosure, I work for the landowners and could very, very easily get the charge cancelled if I wanted to. This isn't about not paying a fine, this is about the arrogance of the PCC's believing they can do this. It's not even particularly about "seeking compensation", and although I can look into court for harassment (tbh I doubt it would meet that threshold right now) and the GDPR stuff, I was hoping for a bit of new territory which would make companies like this more vulnerable.
  • Anto_28
    Anto_28 Posts: 151 Forumite
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    I'm sure your not the first, and wont be the last who comes up with creative ideas such as the one discussed in this thread. While interesting your approach is, it's not without its own flaws.

    PoFA 2012 is on the PPCs side, and us motorists have to just suck it up and defend ourselves when these pariahs of society try to pull a fast one over us.
  • pould
    pould Posts: 251 Forumite
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    edited 14 February at 4:06PM
    Jopkins said:
    @pould
    @Anto_28

    Thank you both. I understand where you're coming from. It's a shame, as I was hoping that there might be room to try something new which could have been a bit of a game-changer if ordinary people can start issuing invoices to PCC's where those PCC's genuinely don't have a claim and they can demonstrate it.

    Full disclosure, I work for the landowners and could very, very easily get the charge cancelled if I wanted to. This isn't about not paying a fine, this is about the arrogance of the PCC's believing they can do this. It's not even particularly about "seeking compensation", and although I can look into court for harassment (tbh I doubt it would meet that threshold right now) and the GDPR stuff, I was hoping for a bit of new territory which would make companies like this more vulnerable.
    There are plenty of us who have walked the path before and can share our experience and wisdom!
    There are occasionally new paths to be explored. For example, in my case against Smart Parking I'm asking the judge to test the idea that Smart Parking's NTK doesn't actually make any specific claim against the keeper or the driver, and so never puts them in a place where they make a valid KADOE request (as such a request needs to be on the basis of claiming against the keeper or the driver). That's novel territory, but unless it went to a higher court wouldn't ever be precedent setting.
    Here's the section from my skeleton:

    1.     , the Claimant argues that the Defendant did not meet the two valid reasons for making a KADOE request for the Claimant’s VRM. The KADOE contract in section B.2.1 gives the two reasons for a valid KADOE request as:

    B2.1. The DVLA shall provide each requested item of Data to the Customer via the KADOE Service for the Reasonable Cause of enabling the Customer to:

    a) seek recovery of unpaid Parking Charges in accordance with the Accredited Trade Association Code of Practice, and using the procedure in Schedule 4 to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where the vehicle was parked on private land in England or Wales on a particular date); and

    b) otherwise seek recovery from a driver of unpaid Parking Charges in accordance with the Accredited Trade Association Code of Practice (where the vehicle was parked on private land in Scotland or Northern Ireland by that driver on a particular date, or where the Customer has chosen not to pursue, or is not in a position to pursue the vehicle keeper by utilising conditions in Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012).

    B2.2. The Customer shall use each item of the Data only for the Reasonable Cause for which it was provided. The Customer understands that each item of the Data may be used only in relation to the particular date, event and purpose for which it was requested and must not be re-used for any other date, event or purpose.

    1.1.  The Claimant argues that the Defendant was in full knowledge that it did not meet requirement B.2.1.a in that their Notice to Keeper does not attempt recovery of loss via the Registered Keeper. The Defendant’s Notice to Keeper does not conform to the necessary wording or conditions of paragraph 9, Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012).

    1.2.  The Claimant argues that the Defendant was in full knowledge that it did not meet requirement B.2.1.b in that their Notice to Keeper does not attempt recovery of loss via the Driver. The Notice to Keeper does not at any point inform the registered keeper that the alleged charge is liable from the driver and does not attempt to recover it from the driver. The court is invited to rule that the sentence in the Notice to Keeper beginning “If you were not the driver of the vehicle…” is not in and of itself a claim of driver liability for the charge and rather takes the form of entrapment to mislead the registered keeper into revealing the name of the driver so that only then driver liability can be claimed and attempted to be enforced.

    1.3.  The Claimant invites the court to rule that since the Notice to Keeper does not invoke either keeper liability or driver liability the Defendant made a KADOE request for the Claimant’s personal details despite knowingly being in violation of the terms and conditions for such a request. The Claimant invites the court to award a quantum of damages that are exemplary.

    That's novel, but the judge may choose not to pursue it precisely because it's novel. It's also specific to the NTK I received.

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,199 Forumite
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    edited 14 February at 4:38PM
    You work for the landowners?

    Kick the PPC out then (or encourage your employers to do that).  You do not need a 'permit scheme' which does not target trespassers, it targets you.
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