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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Thursday 23 January 2020

Parking Ticket on Private Land: Escape for Keeper

No valid permit displayed on windscreen. No parking ticket purchased. Car parked for too long. Car not parked in a designated bay. For these and a multitude of other reasons, whoever controls the parking on private land and public car parks may try and clobber you with a parking charge. That's the polite way of referring to a penalty.

Perhaps the conditions for parking were clearly set out on 10,000 notices displayed on the land or in the park. Perhaps they were broken. But, say, though you were registered as the vehicle's keeper, you weren't the driver and were in Outer Mongolia  or Macclesfield at the relevant time? If, as will usually be the case, the parking control people don't have a clue on the identity of the offending driver, they are often in a position to clobber you as the registered keeper.

But there is one crucial thing they have to ensure is done before the registered keeper can be legally liable where the vehicle has been remotely photographed and they frequently slip up on this. It is to get the notice to keeper which they will send out, in the hands of the registered keeper within 14 days of the transgression. More often than not it will be posted to the keeper. However, when it is not received within that tight period of 14 days the keeper will have a cast iron defence to the charge and any county court claim which might be brought in an attempt to enforce payment. An appeal to the parking people ought to be successful.

The law to rely on is paragraph 9(5) of the fourth schedule to the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. And a very fine schedule it is.