Businesses prepare for abolition of power to clamp on private land
Business owners of private land and their managing agents are preparing for the abolition of their power to clamp and/or tow away vehicles parked without authority on the land they own or manage.
From 1 October 2012 it will be a criminal offence under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to immobilise, move or restrict the movement of a vehicle parked on private land. Exceptions include the police, local authority, government agency and bailiffs.
Owners and managers of, for example, flats with parking are:
• considering installing barriers to prevent entry to land
• checking leases to make sure they can recover the costs of such barriers from the occupiers of the units through increased service charges
• Signs warning drivers of the consequences of unauthorised parking may need to be removed or amended.
• Terms and conditions of leases or licences allowing parking on private land should be reviewed to ensure they are consistent with the new rules.
• Where management of parking facilities is outsourced to a third party, the agreement with the third party needs to be reviewed to make sure it acts within the law.
• If in doubt, take specialist legal advice.
Jonathan Waters is the founder of Helix Law. Before qualifying as a Solicitor he worked in industry and in investment banking for over a decade. He was also the Partner in charge of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law and Property Litigation at Stephen Rimmer LLP. Jonathan has wide experience of helping and advising businesses to avoid or to deal with commercial disputes and in particular construction disputes.
This article is written to raise awareness of the issues it discusses and it may not be updated after it is first written, even if the law changes. It is not intended to be legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. Helix Law is not responsible or liable for any action taken or not taken as a result of this article. If you think the matters set out affect you and you wish to apply them to your particular circumstances then we are happy to give you free initial telephone advice.