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What arethe alternatives to clamping andtowing away?


theneed arise. Good record keeping on the contractor’s part will be useful as part of this. Thereisnoguarantee that aclaimwon’tarise


even in themost apparently straightforward case. Thereforeproceed with caution. Keep aclear papertrail anduse photographsas evidence. If the decision has been takento remove anddispose of thevehicle,use thelocal authority if possible or a reputable contractor who willmake a credible witness.


COSTSOFDEALING


WITH ABANDONED CARS It cancost alot of timeandmoney to remove abandonedcars. If thecar belongstoa leaseholder theymay be charged if the lease allows it. If the car has been abandoned by a non-


resident then anycostsinvolvedmay ormay notberecoverable fromtheservice charge funds; butacareful readingofthe leases will establish the position. Amanagingagentwhohas to deal with


vehiclemay constitute ahazard, andmany regard theabandonment of vehicles as anti-social activity. However, thismust not blind you to the consequences of action that maysubsequentlyberegardedascavalier or draconian. Someleases will specify that only taxed


and roadworthy vehiclesmay be parked in the allocated parking area. Othersmay not. As a result,itmay be perfectlyacceptable that a vehiclethatmay look in poorconditionand is out of tax but is not a hazard could park legitimately in theowner’s allocatedparking space or in spaces allocatedgenerally to residents.


IS ITAHEALTH


AND SAFETY HAZARD? The health and safety of residents and their visitorsmust be theparamount consideration of thoseresponsible forthemanagement of buildings and their common parts. Therefore, if avehicle is in such aconditionwhereby it couldlegitimately be regarded as ahazard, the landlord is entitled to take such action as to render the potential hazard harmless.


IS THEVEHICLE


ABANDONED? Adifficult questiontoanswer andthere are many exampleswhere mistakes have been made.Reasonablesteps to ascertain thestatus of anyparticularvehicle will include checking with DVLA and ticketing the vehicle. OneJudge in such acasebelievedthat


thelandlord shouldmaintainaregisterof vehicles foreachblock although it is difficult to envisagehow this mightbeachieved. A


Flat Living Issue 16


more practical solution might be to write to residents(or agroup of them)toprovide a furthersafeguard againstasituationwhere aresidenthas allowedarelativetouse their ownallocatedspace to park acarwhilst it is restored.


WHATACTION IS


APPROPRIATE? If it is believed that avehicle has been abandoned, then removal and disposalmay be theonlypractical solution. If theDVLA checkpointstoanon-resident, andother investigationsleadtothe sameconclusion,


money to remove abandoned cars


considerationshouldbegiven to instructing acontractortoremoveand disposeofthe vehicle.Many localauthorities have specialist unitsfor this type of work andindeedmany have their own direct link to DVLA. Unless thevehicle needsremovingasa


matter of urgency, anoticeshouldbeaffixed securely to it giving the owner a reasonable period of timewithinwhichtocontact you prior to a final decision being taken. ALWAYS take aphotographofthe vehicle


with notice attached to demonstrate that this action has been taken. If acontractorisused forthispurpose,alwaysensurethattheyare preparedtogiveevidenceinCourt should


It cancost a lot of timeand


abandonedcarsmay wish to discusswith theirRMC clientwhether additional fees are payable forwhat is not a normal part of the management services provided.


UNTAXEDVEHICLES Avehicle parked on thestreetmustbetaxed, insuredand if it’s aged threeyears or older itmust have avalidMOT certificate.Ifyou wish to report avehicle that does notappear abandoned, but does appear to be untaxed then please contactyournearest DVLA local office.Thiscan be done anonymously.Details


you will need to collect include: nmake,model and colour of the vehicle nregistration number nlocation of the vehicle nnameand address of owner (if known). Registered owners will be legally


responsible at alltimes formakingsurethey have avalidtax disc.Theywillbeliablefor penaltiesand fines if thevehicle is untaxed, dumped or caught up in any criminal activity (automatic penalty of £80 if vehicle not taxedattimewithout anyneed to seethe vehicleand £1,000 if takentocourtUNLESS a statutory off road notice has been declared). Acar canbe parked off road and not display a


taxdisc, if it is thesubject of aSORN(Statutory off road notice)registeredattheDVLA.An enquiry to theDVLAwill then confirmif the car is then subject to a SORNor not.●


Formoreinformationgoto theBritishParking Associationatwww.britishparking.co.uk/


Todownloadorsharethis articlegoto:www. arma.org.uk/leasehold-library/document/ parking-issues/pages/1


AssociationofResidentialManagingAgents Limited(ARMA) Tel02079782607 Email info@arma.org.uk Websitewww.arma.org.uk


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