Author Topic: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.  (Read 94 times)

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alextodrive

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Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« on: May 20, 2024, 01:32:36 pm »
Hi all,
hope this finds everyone well.

I have been issued a parking charge notice by civil enforcement, for contravening a hotel guest car park t&c's.
They have rejected my appeal.
I'm now looking at whether an appeal to POPLA is worthwhile or not. Any advice very welcome!

Brief circumstances
11/04/2024 - I have driven to a hotel car park, to pick up a chap who was buying my car off me. He was staying at a nearby hotel. I drove into the hotel car park at 07:36. Sat in my car waiting for him to come out. He had a quick look round the car, we swapped seats and he drove the car out (with me as passenger) at 07:58.

An ANPR camera has logged the car going in and out and issued me a ticket because as it has transpired the registration was meant to be input by the guest, within the hotel.

I've appealed to civil enforcement, explaining. I picked up a guest. There were no signs I saw nor had an opportunity to read. I drove the car in, but did not drive the car out and it was purchased by the new owner - who was a guest. I also sent the guests booking info.

Appeal rejected - Reply from civil enforcement.

We refer to your recent correspondence.

We have carefully reviewed your appeal and/or evidence provided taking into consideration all the
points you have raised in relation to this Parking Charge Notice.

On this occasion, your appeal has been unsuccessful for the following reason:
Signs in the above car park clearly advise that guests/customers must register for a permit on the
touchscreen inside the premises. We have no record of your vehicle registration being keyed in on the
touchscreen on the day.

Although you state the vehicle was not left unattended, the vehicle did not adhere to the parking terms
stated on the signage.

It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they adhere to the parking terms.
Please note we do not operate CCTV at this location. We use Automatic Number Plate Recognition
(ANPR) cameras that record all vehicles entering and exiting the car park. The high-tech cameras are
not designed to monitor movements within the car park.

Please find attached your photographic evidence as requested.

Please find attached a copy of the signage erected throughout the car park advising drivers of the terms
and conditions in place.

It is therefore our position that the Parking Charge was validly issued because of the above detailed
breach of the terms and conditions set out on signs in the car park. You have now reached the end of
our internal appeals procedure.

Next steps
I had asked for evidence of all the signs, how large they are and where they were located. Civil enforcement as above, did not provide any information on where the sign is located. How large it is. And stated they have no video evidence covering the car park.

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

To my mind there is an argument here that, there was no reasonable possibility I could have seen or read this sign to accept this parking contract. Given as I had explained to them, I stayed with the vehicle and did not walk around the car park or into the hotel. Nor have they been able to evidence where this sign is located in their appeal rejection. I think the fact that the guy I picked up, who had stayed at the hotel and drove the car out, also had no idea, adds to the weight of this evidence.

Any opinions from you all here? And any suggestions of the best way forwards?

Many thanks, Alex.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2024, 01:34:37 pm by alextodrive »

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b789

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2024, 02:10:43 pm »
The conditions of parking were that the driver should input their car reg at the hotel reception.  The driver didn't, for whatever reason. The car was in the car park 22 minutes. The driver that. enters the private land is always liable. CE didn't know the identity of the driver so they used "reasonable cause" under the KADOE rules to request the keeper details from the DVLA and then sent the NtK to the keeper.

So, where are we now? The keeper has made the error of admitting that they were also the driver. Unless the NtK was fully compliant with the strict requirements of PoFA (often not), had the keeper not identified the driver, CE would have had little to go on.

The only things you can appeal on at POPLA are the signage and maybe contractual right for CE to issue PCNs. The signage is sometimes a winner at POPLA, especially if you can show that any signs are not prominent or obvious or are obscured. Also, any signs must adequately bring to the attention of the driver the charge for breaching any conditions.

The contract with the landowner may be of value. It is interesting that the sign shown is in the name of the hotel. It would need to be clearly established that CE has the right to sue in their own name. They may lack the right to sue in their own name. You would not know though unless you get to see the contract.

The sign is the contract between the driver and the landowner. The Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 in the UK allows a third party to enforce contractual terms if the contract expressly provides for this or if the terms purport to confer a benefit on the third party. The sign shown doesn't include any clause that allows a third party, Civil Enfocement in this case, to enforce the terms.

If the third party, CE, is acting as an agent for the landowner, they might be able to enforce the contract on behalf of the landowner. The relationship between the landowner and the third party would need to be clearly established. This is what you are relying on at POPLA. They must provide evidence that they have the right to enforce the contract between you and the landowner. This will be in their own contract with the hotel. You would have to insist that they provide a copy of the contract between CE and the hotel, not just a statement say that they do.

The hotel may assign their rights under the contract to CE. This assignment needs to be clear and appropriately documented.

For CE to successfully sue for a breach of the parking contract, the terms and conditions on the sign should clearly state that they are authorised to enforce the contract. It doesn't.

CE must demonstrate that they have the legal right to enforce the contract, either through privity, third-party rights, agency, or assignment. They will have to evidence this at POPLA.

So, whilst you have thrown away a few additional arguments you could have used at POPLA by revealing the drivers identity, you should still appeal to them. If you are unsuccessful has no bearing on how you proceed after that.

The Rookie

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2024, 02:58:19 pm »
He was staying at a nearby hotel.

I've appealed to civil enforcement, explaining. I picked up a guest.
That wouldn't look good if it got to court would it?

As long as the signs were there to be seen and you can therefor be considered to have chosen not to read them I don't see a legal leg to stand on.

CE are certainly litigious.

There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!

alextodrive

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2024, 04:40:54 pm »
He was staying at a nearby hotel.

I've appealed to civil enforcement, explaining. I picked up a guest.
That wouldn't look good if it got to court would it?

As long as the signs were there to be seen and you can therefor be considered to have chosen not to read them I don't see a legal leg to stand on.

CE are certainly litigious.

To be clear, there is one sign. Somewhere in that car park. Which CE, couldnt themselves tell me where it is.

Which given, as I stated, I didnt so much as leave my vehicle, let alone walk around the car park, nor enter the hotel, where the sign may well be next to the entrance of.

I dont think it would be at all unreasonable to stand before a magistrate and say, I drove past a sign saying parking for guests only. I was picking up a guest. I didnt leave my vehicle. I have no idea where this sign was. CE dont either. They havent been able to tell me where it was on request during appeal. They dont have any footage of the car park, showing where this sign is and if I would have passed it. They havent provided the sizing of it, upon request in my appeal. So for all I or they know, or have so far demonstrated, it could be tiny and hidden in a far corner of this car park.

b789

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2024, 04:47:05 pm »
"Magistrate"??? This is not a criminal matter. There are no magistrates involved. This is civil law. It is an argument about an alleged debt for an alleged breach of contract.

Signage is a very valid point on which to appeal to POPLA. The fact that you never left the vehicle is not a defence. If you were on private land, you are expected to look for signs detailing the terms of parking on that private land.

Can you obtain some photos of the car park showing the lack of signs?

alextodrive

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2024, 04:54:19 pm »
"Magistrate"??? This is not a criminal matter. There are no magistrates involved. This is civil law. It is an argument about an alleged debt for an alleged breach of contract.

Signage is a very valid point on which to appeal to POPLA. The fact that you never left the vehicle is not a defence. If you were on private land, you are expected to look for signs detailing the terms of parking on that private land.

Can you obtain some photos of the car park showing the lack of signs?

Ah I just assumed it was a magistrate that sits over a small claims court too. I realise its entirely civil not criminal. Either way, whoever makes the decisions at small claims / county court is who I meant.

It's not close to where I live but I could go back in a week or two. Within the 28 day appeal time anyway.

alextodrive

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2024, 05:01:06 pm »
The fact that you never left the vehicle is not a defence.

On that point.

Having never left the vehicle unattended, and the signage not specifically stating "no waiting, unloading" etc. It only says "guest parking only" is there a potential defence that by remaining in my vehicle waiting for a hotel guest, I havent parked there - not sure whether thats a dead end or something to consider and add to an appeal.

Interest to hear all thoughts!

b789

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2024, 05:13:15 pm »
You entered private land. There was a sign at the entrance that told you it was private land. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you were on private land, you were responsible, as the driver, to find and read any signs that contained the terms for parking on that private land. Whether you did or did not is irrelevant.

Any defence will have to be on whether the signs complied with the rules in Civil Enforcements AOS, the BPA, CoP.Feel free to have a read and find out whether you think their signs fully comply with the requirements:

BPA Approved Operator Code of Practice

If you think there are any rules they have breached, please point them out.

By remaining on the private land, beyond any "consideration period", you are deemed to have accepted the contract by conduct, whether you read the terms or not.

POPLA will not consider any mitigation. They will only consider points of law and the BPA CoP. You have signs and contracts in your quiver.


DWMB2

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2024, 05:36:59 pm »
One possible angle is that the signage would appear to be prohibitive... No offer of consideration is made to those who are not hotel guests.

This is an argument that would need to be made in court, and hasn't met with universal success when used (although one could argue it should be).

alextodrive

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2024, 06:26:12 pm »
You entered private land. There was a sign at the entrance that told you it was private land. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you were on private land, you were responsible, as the driver, to find and read any signs that contained the terms for parking on that private land. Whether you did or did not is irrelevant.

Any defence will have to be on whether the signs complied with the rules in Civil Enforcements AOS, the BPA, CoP.Feel free to have a read and find out whether you think their signs fully comply with the requirements:

BPA Approved Operator Code of Practice

If you think there are any rules they have breached, please point them out.

By remaining on the private land, beyond any "consideration period", you are deemed to have accepted the contract by conduct, whether you read the terms or not.

POPLA will not consider any mitigation. They will only consider points of law and the BPA CoP. You have signs and contracts in your quiver.

From British Parking - https://www.britishparking.co.uk/write/Documents/AOS/NEW%20Redesigned%20Documents/Version91.2.2024Highlight.pdf

A driver who uses your private car park with your permission
does so under a licence or contract with you. If they park
without your permission this will usually be an act of trespass. In
all cases, the driverís use of your land will be governed by your
terms and conditions, which the driver should be made aware
of from the start.

You must use signs to make it easy for them to find out what your terms and conditions are.

"Entrance signs play an important part in establishing a parking contract and deterring trespassers. Therefore, as well as the signs you must have telling drivers about the terms and conditions for parking, you must also have a standard form of entrance sign at the entrance to the parking area. Entrance signs must tell drivers that the car park is managed and that there are terms and conditions they must be aware of. Entrance signs
must follow some minimum general principles and be in a standard format. The size of the sign must take into account the expected speed of vehicles approaching the car park, and it is recommended that you follow Department for Transport guidance on this.
See Appendix B for an example of an entrance
sign and more information about their use."

----


Except the issue here is quite simple. When I appealed to CE, I asked them for the photos of the signs, where they are, the sizes and the text size.

All I got in their reply was a photo of one sign, that appears to be different to the entrance signs on google street view - assuming those are the same signs still up.

So whether or not the signage is compliant is currently impossible for me to know. And CE failed to prove in their rejection of my appeal.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2024, 06:28:39 pm by alextodrive »

b789

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2024, 06:32:18 pm »
So, you have some points to use in your POPLA appeal. You only have to win on a single point, CE have to successfully rebut all your points to succeed.

There is nothing to stop them providing that evidence to POPLA. You will be given an opportunity to review their evidence and make a further submission before the POPLA assessment is made.

They are not compelled to provide that evidence until a POPLA appeal. Even then, they can decide not to continue with POPLA and cancel the PCN.

DWMB2

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2024, 06:58:35 pm »
Can you send us a link to the Google Street View?

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Re: Hotel parking - Guest only. Picking up car buyer.
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2024, 01:23:29 pm »
Except the issue here is quite simple. When I appealed to CE, I asked them for the photos of the signs, where they are, the sizes and the text size.

All I got in their reply was a photo of one sign, that appears to be different to the entrance signs on google street view - assuming those are the same signs still up.

So whether or not the signage is compliant is currently impossible for me to know. And CE failed to prove in their rejection of my appeal.
What you asked for was irrelevant, they didn't have to supply it,. you want to contest it, go get your photos I'm afraid.

The signs inside the car park are invariably different to entrance signage so 'Of course'.

Well either make it possible or make a defence very hard, your decision to make, again they didn't have to at all.
There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!