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How to stop unauthorised parking on private land

  • Jan 04, 2020

Are you fed up with car owners parking on your private land without authorisation? Whether it’s land attached to your home, business or a completely separate entity, we understand the frustrations when it comes to people parking unlawfully, especially when it becomes an obstruction to your day.

As one of the leading car park management providers, this guide aims to provide you, the landholder, with advice and guidance on how to best manage people parking without permission or authorisation on private land. 

Who is a landholder?

Firstly, who is a “landholder”? Landholders refer to individuals who own land, in some instances rent it out to others, or make an income from their private land. 

What is the current legislation for parking on private land?

Currently, there is no legislation in place for parking on private land. According to The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, private landowners cannot lawfully clamp or remove a vehicle without authority to do so. That being said, by banning wheel-clamping and vehicle removal, landowners have greater control over how they manage parking on their private land. 

How can you prevent unauthorised parking on private land

Since the ban of vehicle clamping and removal was implemented in 2012, landowners can stop unauthorised parking on private land by:

 

  • Ticketing. Landowners can enforce parking regulations on their land by placing a PCN on an unlawfully parked vehicle, handing the ticket to the driver or posting the ticket to the address of the registered vehicle keeper. 
  • Signs. Landowners can use signs which demonstrate parking charges will be incurred for trespassers parking without authorisation. 

 

A private landowner can hold the registered vehicle keeper liable for unpaid parking charges in instances where the registered keeper refuses or is unable to name the driver at the time the parking charge was incurred. This is often referred to as keeper liability. That means, since the new legislation in 2012, the registered keeper can no longer be held liable for unpaid parking charges if they are able to identify the driver of the vehicle at the time a parking ticket was incurred.

Using ticketing to prevent unauthorised parking

Ticketing is an effective solution to prevent unauthorised parking from occurring on your private land. 

If landowners opt for vehicle ticketing, they will be responsible for placing a PCN on said vehicle or handing it to the driver. If after 28 days, you have not received a response from the vehicle driver, you can submit a request to the DVLA for details of the vehicle’s registered keeper and ask for details of the driver or request payment of the parking charge notice.

In instances where unauthorised parking has been identified remotely via cameras, the landholder is within their rights to contact the DVLA for information on the registered keeper and must write to the registered keeper within 14 days requesting details of the vehicle driver or for payment of the parking charge notice.

If the registered vehicle owner was not the driver of the vehicle at the time a parking charge was incurred, they should be invited to give information to landowners regarding the driver’s name and address.

A parking ticket issued to parked cars without authoriation can only be enforced if a landowner: 

  • Is able to demonstrate that a contract to park existed between the driver and the landowner and said contract had been broken.
  • Has displayed signs which clearly show charges for unauthorised parking and they are trespassing.

Parking tickets must include the following information at a minimum:

  • When & how the parking offence took place
  • How much the parking charge is
  • Discount for prompt payment of the parking charge
  • How and who should the payment be made to
  • The time and date when the parking charge was issued
  • What the arrangements are for the resolution of disputes or complaints

How to draw up a parking contract

A parking contract can be drawn up in a number of ways, for example:

  • Car park signs can be used to display the terms and conditions upon which parking is offered.
  • Car park signs can be used to display when a driver is trespassing and parking is not allowed

If signs at a car park are not deemed sufficient and/or the terms and conditions are not fair, it could be argued that a parking charge notice cannot be enforced.

When a stolen vehicle has been parked without permission on private land

In the event that a stolen vehicle has been parked without authorisation on private land, the registered keeper of the vehicle cannot be held liable for any unpaid parking charge that the vehicle has incurred whilst it was stolen.

The registered vehicle owner will need to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the vehicle was stolen during the period when the parking charge was incurred.

When a hire vehicle has been unlawfully parked on private land

In the event that a hire vehicle has been parked on private land without authorisation, the person or organisation hiring the vehicle is responsible for any parking charges which have been incurred during the hire period. These circumstances are only applicable when an individual or organisation has signed an agreement with the hire company which states they will accept liability. The hire company will not be held liable if they are able to send relevant agreement documents to the landholder within 28 days of receiving a parking charge.

How can creative car park help prevent unauthorised parking on private land?

As one of the leading car park management providers, we have self ticketing solutions to help deter unauthrised parking. We can provide parking ticket booklets and weatherproof signs which clearly demonstrate the consequences of trespassing and unauthorised parking. 

One of the benefits of going through us is that we’ll take care of almost everything. Our self ticketing solutions only show our name so registered keepers or vehicle drivers will contact us directly, ensuring you don’t have to deal with any confrontational behaviour. 

If you would like more information regarding our self ticketing solutions to stop unauthorised parking on private land, please get in touch online or call us on 020 7101 4871.