Monday, 9 January 2017

UKPC lose residential case. Charge not a genuine pre-estimate of loss

UKPC v Mr Aziz Birmingham 9/1/2017 C2HW01A6. DJ Gibson

Mr Aziz visited a residential block and parked with full permission of the tenant. He received 2 parking charges of £100 each, which UKPC magically inflated into a £400 claim.

Mr Aziz contested the claim on the basis that the charge was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss, and that UKPC did not have authority to issue charges as he was parked with the permission of the tenant.

First Hearing

The first hearing was before DJ Rich on 29/09/16. DJ Rich disagreed with the pre-estimate of loss point, but found that there was no chain of authority to prove UKPC could override the  lease. He adjourned the case on UKPC's request so that they could come up with some paperwork.

Second Hearing

Mr Aziz represented himself. UKPC engaged SCS law who contracted Simon Villae to appear as advocate. Before the hearing Mr Villae confided to Mr Aziz that he expected to get a tongue lashing from the judge due to the awfulness of the UKPC's bundle. DJ Gibson did not disappoint him, and laid into him as UKPC had failed to provide any evidence that they could override the lease, despite asking for an adjournment. They did provide a letter from the Management requesting them to put up a sign banning parking in the bin storage area, but as this was not where Mr Aziz parked, DJ Gibson ruled this was totally irrelevant. The photographs UKPC supplied were heavily pixelated and almost useless - Mr Aziz's vehicle appeared to have oval wheels.

DJ Gibson dismissed the claim on the basis UKPC did not have authority to override the lease and issue charges. She also followed the lead of HHJ Charles Harris QC in Jopson v Homeguard [2016] B9GF0A9E, and ruled that ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 did not apply to residential cases. There was no way that residents or their visitors would agree to pay a charge of £100 to park in spaces they owned. The charge of £100 therefore had no commercial justification and as it was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss was therefore a penalty and not justified.

DJ Gibson asked Mr Aziz if he had got his defence from the internet. Mr Aziz said he had. DJ Gibson said there was nothing wrong with this but cautioned Mr Aziz to be wary as case law was forever changing and so he should always make sure any research was up to date.

Prankster Note

When a parking company request an adjournment this should always be resisted on the grounds that they have employed a professional solicitor to assist and should therefore be fully aware of the paperwork required, and it would be out of proportion to the value of the claim to have a second hearing. The advocate costs, which are not reclaimable in the small claims track, far outweigh the value of the claim.

If there must be an adjournment ask for a wasted costs order which would be the full value of a lost days pay under the unreasonableness rule 27.14(2)g

Take a copy of the rule

It should be noted that HHJ Charles Harris QC uses this rule to award £2,000 in costs against a parking company in a residential case.

Members of the British Motorists' Protection Association provided assistance to Mr Aziz, and he passes on his thanks.

Data Protection Act 1988 (DPA)

It would appear Mr Aziz has the possibility of two data protection claims against UKPC for obtaining his personal data from the DVLA and continuing to use it when no lawful reason existed. The going rate for these breaches is £250 each.

UKPC are already around £500 down on this hearing

If Mr Aziz decides to take action and successfully pursues a DPA breach this would leave them £1,000 out of pocket for issuing two bogus charges.

Happy Parking 

The Parking Prankster

1 comment:

  1. Transcript for Jopson vs Home Guard Services;