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  • FIRST POST
    • pika_doh9
    • By pika_doh9 7th Dec 17, 4:10 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 3Thanks
    pika_doh9
    Car Park Investment - Is it a Scam?
    • #1
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:10 AM
    Car Park Investment - Is it a Scam? 7th Dec 17 at 4:10 AM
    I bought a car park space at Gatwick airport in March 2016 for £25,000 with a company called Park first. They promised a guaranteed 8% rental return for 2 years.

    I just got the paperwork with details about their buy-back scheme.

    Turns out after 2 years they offer to buy the parking space back from you for £21,840. They deduct the £4000 (8% of £25,000 over 2 years) and give you £840 interest (2% of £21,000 over 2 years). This means I did not make a rental income, they have simply given me back my own money and the 2% interest isn’t even on the original investment.

    I then have to pay solicitor fees which, if more than £840, means I lose money from the investment! Especially with tax on the ‘rental return.’

    I was so outraged from the false advertising of 8% rental return! How can they justify giving me back my own money.

    They then tried to convince me to sign up to a lifetime lease where after the initial 2 year period has finished, I have to wait another 3 years to sell it back to them or I have the option to sell it to the open market at any time. I was informed that they may or may not buy it back after 5 years, and if they do, then it may or may not be at the original value of £25,000 - but on the plus side I get to keep all the rental return (so the £4000 + whatever % interest I get over the additional 3 years - assuming someone actually parks in the space).

    If I sell it back on the open market then they take 5% fee and I pay solicitor fees. So assuming they can only sell it back for £25,000 - they get £1250 and I may only get an additional £1000 in the end after all the fees - so no 8% rental yield.

    I also have to mention that if I choose to sell it back, it is a 12 month process and I get no payments or interest in that time.

    So in summary I lose money if I sell it back to them after 2 years. I potentially lose money if I sell it back to them after 5 years (because they might again offer to buy it back and deduct what they have paid so far) and I lose money if they sell it back to the open market (assuming I cannot get it sold for £25,000 minimum).

    I hope I have explained it well - have I been a fool to invest in a parking space? It looks to me like it does not offer any return.
Page 3
    • TBC15
    • By TBC15 17th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    • 671 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    TBC15
    IT IS A SCAM, can we please move on.
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 17th Feb 18, 7:34 PM
    • 4,306 Posts
    • 3,325 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    IT IS A SCAM, can we please move on.
    Originally posted by TBC15
    You can move on whenever you like.
    Those who are still interested enough to keep reading and contributing to the thread can do so too
    Then when everyone has had enough the thread will sink into the archives.
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair
    • dealer wins
    • By dealer wins 17th Feb 18, 9:18 PM
    • 6,140 Posts
    • 11,979 Thanks
    dealer wins
    I agree with TBC15
    Choose life
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 18th Feb 18, 10:19 AM
    • 4,306 Posts
    • 3,325 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    I agree with TBC15
    Originally posted by dealer wins
    In that case why click on it, read it, post on it - and bring it to the top of the front page again?
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair
    • fabij99
    • By fabij99 12th Apr 18, 2:13 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    fabij99
    I got caught too and now paying solicitor fees but can anyone tell me did they send the deeds back with the buy back scheme as they request my solicitor is very concerned about letting this go before they pay any money etc
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 12th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 8,075 Thanks
    Malthusian
    I got caught too and now paying solicitor fees but can anyone tell me did they send the deeds back with the buy back scheme as they request my solicitor is very concerned about letting this go before they pay any money etc
    Originally posted by fabij99
    I can see where your solicitor is coming from but I think they may be failing to see the wood for the trees.

    The Store First / Park First group is £30m in the red (as at June 2017) as a direct result of having to set aside £60m-odd for paying back Park First investors. The risk that Park First pretends the deeds got lost in the post is really neither here nor there. Your solicitor can always keep a copy and send the deeds Recorded Delivery or via courier.

    To have the best chance of recovering anything, your solicitor needs to a) get on with it b) chase Park First for the money to the point it becomes borderline harrassment.
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 17th Apr 18, 9:05 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    How are you getting on with this?Have you heard anything back?
    I too have invested and am worried about getting my money back.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 17th Apr 18, 9:38 AM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 8,075 Thanks
    Malthusian
    How are you getting on with this?Have you heard anything back?
    I too have invested and am worried about getting my money back.
    Originally posted by Katiewhy2
    Have you told Park First you want to exercise the buyback option?

    Who sold you this investment? The same people who sold you Diamond Construction and Renewables?
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 3rd Oct 18, 5:20 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    Yes I have initiated the buy back option in December 2017 and instructed a solicitor - he has sorted everything and deeds have gone back - This was february but they are saying that it could take 12 - 18 months to get the money back-
    they now have everything! The deeds (we do have copies) all my money, I'm not getting interest payments and I am now struggling financially (and the stress it has caused!)
    Bloody nightmare!
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 3rd Oct 18, 5:28 PM
    • 11,864 Posts
    • 13,842 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    I think there's more chance you'll be on Elon Musks next rocket to Mars than get anything back.
    If you consider it gone and move on will that remove the stress?
    Please dont criticise my spelling. It's excellent. Its my typing that's bad.
    • BlackBird75
    • By BlackBird75 3rd Oct 18, 11:22 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    BlackBird75
    So out of interest:

    Are these car size plots of land now genuinely owned by the "investors"?
    If so, would these be registered at the land registry?

    Would it be possible for the "investors" / victims to compile a map / diagram of their plots?

    What is the company that sold these plots of land now actually doing?

    Would it be possible for the "owners" of these plots to get together and sell the whole car park as one? Then just divide the money up?
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 4th Oct 18, 8:06 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    Hi, has anyone else invested with Group First / Park First and initiated the buy back option?
    How are you feeling about it?
    How long have you been waiting?
    I have started a facebook Group called
    'Group First car parking Investment'
    I was wondering whether there are other people out there and we can form a sort of support group- For ourselves but also to stop anyone else being caught up in this , what for me can only be termed a nightmare.
    Please pop on over and 'like'the group and I'll be in touch.
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 4th Oct 18, 8:29 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    Yes we own individual plot numbers in a car park in Gatwick. We had deeds and land registry documents etc as you would if you were buying any other piece of land.

    Thats why I want to get a list of other investors to see how many people are out there that would like to sell their spaces- I tried to sell privately before the early redemption buy back option was on offer.

    I have now done a legal exchange of the deeds, back to Group / Park First- so they now have everything- my money, the interest that I would have received if I hadn't done the early buy back option, and the deeds- I have nothing (well solicitor has copies obviously)
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 4th Oct 18, 9:36 AM
    • 4,995 Posts
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    Malthusian
    The deeds are worthless (they are for a piece of land which nobody wants to buy and generates negligible yield) so you had nothing before and you have nothing now. Sorry to be blunt, but I'm not trying to make you feel worse, entirely the opposite. Unless you were advised to invest by an FCA-regulated adviser, you will probably be happiest if you assume the money is gone and treat anything that is realised as a bonus.

    I'm not seeing your Facebook group but you might find more investors if you named it "Park First investor group" or similar. People are more likely to be searching for Park First than the name of the holding company.

    Be exceptionally on your guard for fraud recovery fraud if you are going to solicit contact off-forum. There is every chance you and the other investors in your group will be contacted by people claiming you can get your money back, but first you need to pay "legal fees" or "liquidation fees". Needless to say you will never see this money again.

    Would it be possible for the "owners" of these plots to get together and sell the whole car park as one? Then just divide the money up?
    by BlackBird75
    The "whole" car park is still owned by Group First and Toby Whittaker so the answer to that is almost certainly no. Even if every single space is owned by investors and even if 100% of them clubbed together, Group First and Whittaker still own the lanes between the spaces, the fencing, the barriers, and the whole infrastructure that surrounds the spaces. I have not seen the leases so I am speculating to some extent, but I would be very surprised if I am wrong.

    If you have a building divided into two flats owned by two leaseholders, they can't just band together and take the freeholder's property for nothing.
    Last edited by Malthusian; 04-10-2018 at 9:38 AM.
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 4th Oct 18, 5:17 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    Thank you- I am hopeful - They have a legit solicitors sorting it for them-
    I'm just worried that they will go bust
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 5th Oct 18, 9:26 AM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 8,075 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Group First's previous investment scheme (Store First, essentially the same model but with self storage sheds in place of parking spaces) had already collapsed around the same time that you invested. Park First is £30 million short of the amount it needs to repay you and other investors, according to its last accounts.

    I see little point in worrying about the fact that they are very likely to go bust, as disclosed by their own accounts filed with Companies House. They have already taken your money, don't let them take your mental health as well.
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 5th Oct 18, 9:41 AM
    • 4,306 Posts
    • 3,325 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    Unfortunately Malthusian is right.
    It says 'limited' after the names of companies for very good reason.
    Most people don't seem to realise how important it is, because they never get to experience what it really means.
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair
    • BlackBird75
    • By BlackBird75 5th Oct 18, 12:19 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    BlackBird75
    The deeds are worthless (they are for a piece of land which nobody wants to buy and generates negligible yield) so you had nothing before and you have nothing now. Sorry to be blunt, but I'm not trying to make you feel worse, entirely the opposite. Unless you were advised to invest by an FCA-regulated adviser, you will probably be happiest if you assume the money is gone and treat anything that is realised as a bonus.

    I'm not seeing your Facebook group but you might find more investors if you named it "Park First investor group" or similar. People are more likely to be searching for Park First than the name of the holding company.

    Be exceptionally on your guard for fraud recovery fraud if you are going to solicit contact off-forum. There is every chance you and the other investors in your group will be contacted by people claiming you can get your money back, but first you need to pay "legal fees" or "liquidation fees". Needless to say you will never see this money again.



    The "whole" car park is still owned by Group First and Toby Whittaker so the answer to that is almost certainly no. Even if every single space is owned by investors and even if 100% of them clubbed together, Group First and Whittaker still own the lanes between the spaces, the fencing, the barriers, and the whole infrastructure that surrounds the spaces.
    .
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    So if First Group goes into liquidation, who does "the rest" of this car park belong to then?
    • Katiewhy2
    • By Katiewhy2 5th Oct 18, 1:10 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Katiewhy2
    I don't know- And can it be sold to give us back our money?
    Its a big bit of valuable land.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 5th Oct 18, 2:07 PM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 8,075 Thanks
    Malthusian
    So if First Group goes into liquidation, who does "the rest" of this car park belong to then?
    Originally posted by BlackBird75
    We're getting beyond the point at which I'm comfortable speculating.

    There may be no reason for Group First to go into liquidation. Is the money owed by Park First or its parent company? That question needs to be asked of a professional solicitor who can look at the paperwork.

    Park First does not own any car parks. According to its last accounts, it held no tangible assets (its only assets were £10k worth of "patents and licences" and £515k of debtors, mostly trade debtors). The land is presumably owned by other Group First companies.
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