Management Co’s long-term use of our parking space, without our knowledge?

Management Co’s long-term use of our parking space, without our knowledge?

9:30 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago 10

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Hello, We own a leasehold flat with a designated parking space in an underground car park. The property has been let out to the same tenant for 13 years. They never used the parking space and we never had cause to go to it.

The tenant has now moved out and upon checking the space, we discovered that the Management Company has outlined the space in green, for residents to use to park motorbikes!

They have even posted an official notice advising to park motorbikes within the designated green line. We spoke to the concierge who advised this space had been in operation since he worked there (3 years).

Our experience is that the Management Company concierge team is very aggressive, including when we have had workmen in, and threatening to call the police when they thought a tradesman was in the car park stealing something, which he wasn’t!

We now intend to start using the space.

Do we have any recourse – financially and/or legally against the management company who have used our property without permission or financial recompense?

How bullish should we be in our dealings with them?

Any advice/similar experiences?

Thanks,

Jo


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Comments

Neil P

10:03 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Nightmare! I'd always start with a gentle/polite conversation/email with the management company (not the concierges who are powerless to change anything) - they may well have done this is good faith and will rectify the situation without any fuss. If not they should give you justifiable reasons for their actions which gives you something to work on (fight against). The change really only benefits those on motorbikes, rather than the management company, so it's not in their interests to fight this out.

If you get no joy then I'd get your solicitor to write a letter pointing out that this is your property and give them a timescale to repaint the lines.

Beyond that you're into a legal case which would prove costly I'm sure...but fingers crossed you can sort this out easily enough before you get to that stage.

David Smith

10:09 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

I wonder if Adverse Possession applies in this case?

Neil P

10:18 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Maybe a bike-riding concierge did this off his own bat and the management company have no idea?!

Judith Wordsworth

10:28 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Is the parking space on your flats title?

If you have a "Demised" parking space, that too will be coloured, or edged in the same colour as the plans of your flat boundary colour.

Demised meaning that is for your use, and your use only, and no one else can use it.

In the same way that your flat is "Demised" to you and only you can use your flat and no one else can just walk in and use it.

Your lease will state if you have a demised parking space or a designated parking space.

If designated, then it's designated via the freeholder.

The right to exclusive use of a specific parking space is granted to a qualifying leaseholder in their lease, is effectively an easement to park. The requirements of section 1(3)(a) of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) need to satisfied or will it fail on the basis that the parking space has not actually been demised to the leaseholder under their lease?

So you have to find out if you have ( from your lease plans and lease wording ) do you have a Demised parking space, or a designated parking space, or an allocated parking space ?

If the parking space is demised under your lease, I would write to them stating that you require your designated parking space and that under the terms of your Lease, registered at HM Land Registry under Title Number xyz, you are giving formal notice that you require all and any markings they have attached to your designated parking space to be removed within 10 working days. Failure to do so may (or will if you’re happy with it) result in legal action to repossess your property.

As a leaseholder, and not a landlord, go and ask Citizens Advice.

Might be a useful read

https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/forum/long-leasehold-questions/67342-a-parking-question

https://www.haroldstock.com/car-parking-spaces-do-you-have-a-divine-right-to-park-anywhere-or-are-your-rights-limited-by-law/

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/property/313-property-features/13121-parking-rights--easements-or-licences

Darren Peters

10:47 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Not legal advice I would add that if your lease states you have a demised parking space, stick a car on it in the meantime. You can pick up something off Autotrader or Facebook Marketplace for £500 or less.

That asserts your right and puts the ball in their court somewhat.

I would still have a solicitor send a snotty letter.

Martin Hicks

11:10 AM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 05/06/2023 - 10:47
Some freeholders/managing agents require all vehicles parked on the premises to have road tax (VED), which is now payable when ownership is transferred to a new owner; which in turn requires a valid MOT and insurance.

Darren Peters

12:10 PM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Hicks at 05/06/2023 - 11:10
Then this would need to be stated in the Lease. The Freeholder/agent can't just add new terms.

Neilt

12:10 PM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Hicks at 05/06/2023 - 11:10
If it's off-road on private property it doesn't need any of those things except a current SORN cert, which is free

David Smith

12:18 PM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neilt at 05/06/2023 - 12:10
Most Leases state that vehicles need to be road worthy so Taxed Insured and a valid MOT.

Kizzie

12:23 PM, 5th June 2023, About 9 months ago

How would VED be enforced without being a breach of the Data Protection Act as
this would have nothing to do with maintenance and proper running of the property equally applies to SORN unless the vehicle a fire risk or eyesore when a lessee can report issue to the lessor under provisions of the lease

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