How to address loss of income from car parking space?

by Readers Question

10:37 AM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

How to address loss of income from car parking space?

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How to address loss of income from car parking space?

We own a flat, with underground car park, which we let out (independent of the flat) as most of the tenants do not have a need for parking space, since the property is close to offices and lots of public transport.

We were recently informed by the managing agent of the block (we later found out that this was on the instruction of the directors of the RTM company) that letting out the parking spaces (to non-residents of the flats) will no longer be allowed. They cite the fact that they a) have experienced problems from some of the renters of such spaces and b) that subletting the spaces is a breach of the Lease (which is debatable).

I have written to the directors of the RTM, expressing my dissatisfaction with the intended exercise (they have not responded as yet) and wonder what else I should be doing to stop them from implementing this plan?

Does anyone have similar experience, and if so, how was it resolved?

We have owned our flat (and the parking space) from when the property was built, more than 15 years ago, and this matter never came up the entire time.

We spent a lot of money to buy the car parking space when we bought the flat, which most flat owners do not have.

Many thanks

Dray


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Comments

Neil Patterson

10:39 AM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Hi Dray,

Was there a reasoning behind not allowing the separate rental of the space? Had it caused problems in the past?

terry sullivan

11:16 AM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

ttfo?

Puzzler

12:23 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Whether or not it is a breach of the lease depends on what the lease says....not usually debatable. Do you mean it is not mentioned? Is the parking space part of the property or separate? You say you opted to buy it so is it on a separate title?

Freda Blogs

12:27 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Depends on the terms of the lease whether this can be imposed/enforced. If its an RTM co with well meaning but inexperienced managers, this might not be a well-founded 'ruling'.
Have they provided evidence of the problems alleged and proof that they are from renters?

martinB

12:34 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

I would have ignored the notification and carried on. I assume you know the person renting the space so have a word and tell him/her what is happening and tell to say if asked that he/she is a friend of yours etc etc.

Michael O

20:58 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 16/03/2020 - 10:39
Well they report potential to compromise the security of the development and then also make reference to unauthorised parking, which is a totally different matter.

Michael O

21:07 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 16/03/2020 - 12:23
From my own understanding of the content of the lease, it is a different entity to the flats....and yes it was purchased on its own and does not automatically come with all flats. Most flats do not have parking spaces.

What is also interesting is that the new managing agent now wants to levy owners of car parking spaces additionally. It will be the first time this will be done, so really odd that they, at the same time, want to imply owners of such spaces cannot let them out.

I'm not aware of it being on a different title, but can imagine that to be the case. I'm just not sure how to confirm that

Michael O

21:11 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 16/03/2020 - 12:27
You're absolutely right about the RTM co directors. There is no real evidence

Michael O

21:16 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by martinB at 16/03/2020 - 12:34
Thanks. That's also something to consider, but I would want to challenge the idea directly in the first instance, especially as I doubt they have the authority to impose such 'ruling'. If I think I'm not getting anywhere then I would revert to the idea.

My inclination is also to ignore the letter, but I'm not sure how they will attempt to implement it.

moneymanager

21:28 PM, 16th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Hi Dray

Indeed I have, our experience is quite long and may not be pertinent to yourself, this is only a synopsis.

The first point I would note is that you say the prohibition is "on the instruction of the directors of the RTM company", as it is the duty of the RTM and the delegated management company to uphold the lease (ALL of the lease's terms, they can't pick and choose) then either there is a right to... (we'll define that in a minute) or there is not in which case both were in breach of duty, it really comes down to what the full lease says (and that MAY include the apartment lease too) as to both what you can do and on what it is silent.

In our case all apartments and spaces are on seperate leases and cross referenced, they are not only poor written but many contain fundamental errors, there are also different versions, those space lease we bought "loose" from the developer have completely different covenants which all helped the case, perhaps not the case with you but it is worth investigating as the lease will most likely include a phrase such as "it is the landlords intention to issue leases on a generally similar basis", so if one leaseholder is disadvantaged they CAN gain levergae by demanding the term in the other (as we did).

The stated position here is that "it" is preclued, what is "it"?

The lease will typically say things like you cannot sublet or "part company with", which we don't, we issue a "licence to use"

Our leases say that spaces must be used "principally" for the use of tenants (leaseholder or otherwise). "Principally" isn't a very useful word as it is imprecise, I contended that all our spaces are principally available to tenants and in any case the lease is 155 years years long and only 15 has elasped and thus there is plenty of time for curtailment should it be thought necessary; I have had that very contested.

You say "they cite the fact that they a) have experienced problems from some of the renters of such spaces"; that of course may not be restricted to third party users but does highlight the need for proper processes.

Although the public stance is one of preclusion both the managing agent and RTM Co knows that many residents (both leaseholders and renters) do rent or even loan their space to outsiders, usually on an ad hoc basis but it is acknowledged it is difficult to manage when done covertly (I want to do things correctly and with concierge cooperation) and so my licence imports all the conditions of use of the "car parks" i.e. not just the space itself in orer to ensure that it is not used for "immoral purposes" or car maintenance or parking a trailer etc and lastly to protect yourslef from claims for damage to property or person.

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