Author Topic: Euro Car Parks PCN – Parked longer than maximum – Sainsburys Ilford  (Read 196 times)

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M456

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Hello All,

The vehicle is a business contract hire and has received a PCN from Euro Car Parks for overstaying the maximum period in the Sainburys car park in Ilford. I believe the maximum time is 90 minutes.

PCN - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ljvNTVDYEd0XvOSk6Wg-JxPQ1F5YlyDv/view?usp=sharing

The PCN was received on 12 October 2023 and we sent an appeal using their online portal on 18th October. The content of the appeal is as follows:

We acknowledge the receipt of the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) referenced above, dated 12th October 2023, issued by Euro Car Parks Limited to our company, S Ltd, hereinafter referred to as SLtd. This PCN pertains to an alleged unpaid parking charge incurred at Sainsburys, 55 Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2AA, on 23rd September 2023.

We wish to confirm that SLtd is the hirer and keeper of the vehicle in question, as defined by Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA). In light of this, we are writing to formally dispute the validity of this PCN.

While the PCN cites the reason for issuance as an "overstay," it lacks supporting evidence for this claim. Given the absence of conclusive proof regarding the alleged breach, we trust you will concur that it would be unreasonable for Euro Car Parks Ltd to expect us to settle this charge.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the PCN does not comply with the stringent requirements outlined in Schedule 4 of POFA. Consequently, Euro Car Parks Ltd has forfeited any right to claim unpaid parking charges from SLtd as the vehicle's hirer and keeper.

We kindly request that, within 28 days, you provide us with written confirmation of Euro Car Parks Ltd’s acknowledgment that it cannot and does not hold SLtd accountable for this parking charge. The responsibility for this matter should now rest solely between Euro Car Parks Ltd and the driver.

We appreciate your cooperation in this regard and look forward to receiving the requested confirmation.


Though we received an acknowledgement of the appeal, we never received a response. However late in December we received a final demand notice letter. As a result we contacted Sainsburys Executive Office who in turn have got in contact with Euro Car Parks. Today, 9th January 2024 we received a notice that our appeal has been rejected.

Rejection - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pGNohtKGuqIpOLWEWtdzhPUDS7OXB1md/view

Should we use the same text as our appeal for the POPLA appeal or something totally different?


Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 05:06:13 pm by M456 »

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H C Andersen

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Re: Euro Car Parks PCN – Parked longer than maximum – Sainsburys Ilford
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2024, 05:37:42 pm »

We wish to confirm that SLtd is the hirer and keeper of the vehicle in question

No you are not. The 'keeper' is the registered keeper.

The hirer is the hirer, that's it, the hirer. As a limited company it is axiomatic that the company was not the driver and therefore the only entities here are the keeper, as in registered keeper and we understand the hire company, the hirer and the driver.

Which begs the question: who is the real keeper i.e. the registered keeper because someone has thrown your hat into the ring, but whether you to the lions we've yet to see?

Other questions will follow like where's the PCN and what did the registered keeper do with their PCN, do they qualify as a hire company and you as a hirer under PoFA and did they relieve themselves of their potential liability as specified and was this demanded of you properly?

So to answer the question: Should we use the same text as our appeal for the POPLA appeal or something totally different?, the answer is something different.

DWMB2

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Re: Euro Car Parks PCN – Parked longer than maximum – Sainsburys Ilford
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2024, 05:57:31 pm »
It's seldom suitable to use exactly the same text for a POPLA appeal as the initial appeal for the simple reason that the audience is different - you're addressing the POPLA assessor rather than the parking company.

Your initial appeal seems to have been made on 2 grounds:
  • Lack of evidence
  • Lack of compliance with Schedule 4 of PoFA in order to hold the hirer liable

1. The rejection mentions entry and exit times (the initial notice presumably did too, but we haven't seen this). Do you have any evidence to contradict this, or was this appeal point more a case of "chancing your arm"?

2. Simply asserting they haven't complied with PoFA is fine for the initial appeal, but not for POPLA. They won't just take your word for it. Instead, you'll need to outline exactly how they have failed to comply with PoFA, and why this means the money is not owed. If you need any help doing this, you should show us the initial notice from ECP, and tell us if they sent any additional documents when they sent the notice to you.

Nosy Parker

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Re: Euro Car Parks PCN – Parked longer than maximum – Sainsburys Ilford
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2024, 10:16:36 am »
I don't think it's helpful to confuse the OP with academic (in both senses) bickering about the definition of 'keeper'.

I suggest the following for the POPLA appeal.

This is an appeal by the hirer of the vehicle against the operator's purported notice to hirer. 

The operator's purported notice to hirer was not properly issued as it does not comply with the requirements for a 'notice to hirer' set out in paragraph 14 of Schedule 4 to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ('POFA').

Specifically, and without limitation, the notice does not:

1.    comply with the condition set out in sub-paragraph 14.(2)(a) POFA to include with the PCN a copy of the documents mentioned in POFA paragraph 13(2) and the relevant notice to keeper;

2. expressly reference paragraph 14.(5) POFA in as required by sub-paragraph 14.(5)(a);

3. include all the information required to be included pursuant to POFA sub-paragraph 14.(5)(b);

4. include in the warning required to be included pursuant to POFA sub-paragraph 14.(5)(c).

Any one of the above failures to comply with POFA is alone sufficient to require cancellation of the purported notice to hirer.

POPLA is respectfully reminded that paragraph 21.2 of the BPA AOS Code of Practice requires strict compliance with POFA in order for an operator to hold a hirer liable. Partial or even substantial compliance is not sufficient:
 
21.2 As long as the strict conditions of Schedule 4 are met, you may claim payment from the keeper or the hirer of the vehicle rather than from the driver. To do this you need to follow the procedures set out in the Schedule.

Furthermore, the hirer is entitled to all defences open to the driver including lack of landowner authority and inadequate signage and the hirer reserves the right to expand on these points in light of any evidence or argument advanced by the operator.


The notice to hirer must therefore be cancelled.
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DWMB2

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Re: Euro Car Parks PCN – Parked longer than maximum – Sainsburys Ilford
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2024, 11:56:01 am »
M456 - you may notice some replies have moved from this thread. There was some discussion as to the difference (if any in this context) between the terms 'keeper' and 'registered keeper'. Whilst this discussion might be useful generally, it isn't of direct relevance to your approach to appealing this charge, which your company should do in their capacity as the hirer of the vehicle, along the lines of Nosy Parker's advice above.

If you're interested in the discussion that has been moved, it can be found here: 'Keeper' vs 'Registered Keeper' - PoFA