A common cause of conflict among residential leaseholders is over the parking of commercial vehicles, such as vans, in designated spaces within a residential development. In a recent case at Brady Solicitors we explain how we successfully settled a service charge dispute over car parking for our client.
Parking disputes on residential developments often arise when a leaseholder uses their designated parking space for a commercial vehicle when they are not permitted by the lease to do so. In this case, a residential leaseholder wanted to be able to park his van in his designated parking space, but the management company said this was a breach of his lease. The leaseholder felt the clause in the lease concerning his car parking space was unfair and he therefore withheld payment of his service charge.
At the court hearing the leaseholder argued that the clause in the lease that prohibited the parking of a commercial vehicle within his car parking space was not only unfair and not agreed, but also that his van was used for both private and commercial purposes and the clause was unclear on this. He also counterclaimed for losses as a result of increased insurance and parking costs for having to park his vehicle elsewhere.
The court found in favour of our client, the management company, stating that the clause was clear on wording, clear on intention, and therefore fair and binding, despite the van being the leaseholder’s only vehicle. It was also important that the leaseholder had purchased his vehicle after the lease was entered into and so purchased it with the knowledge that he would be breaching the terms of the lease by parking it in his designated space.
Our client was awarded all service charges and legal costs, thanks to Bradys’ litigation expertise. And it was all handled at no cost to the management company.
Our message: leaseholders must check the clauses in their lease carefully to ensure they don’t breach the lease terms by parking unauthorised vehicles in their parking spaces; and management companies should ensure their leaseholders understand which vehicles are permitted and which are not.
Assistance with a commercial vehicle parking dispute
With cars generally getting bigger in size and the popularity of 4×4’s, the parking of small commercial vehicles in residential parking spaces is becoming more of an issue for property managers and a rising cause of dispute, particularly when the vehicle causes no more of an obstruction with their size than a family people carrier.