We manage a block of flats. Recently, a tenant of our leaseholder parked a caravan right outside our block of flats on the public road and is using it, presumably for some of his family members to live in it.
It is an eyesore and it is blocking the view of some flats. One resident complained to the council and the council said that they cannot do anything about it.
In addition, he has a big caravan in our private car park which he is using to store his materials. If that's not enough, they have parked several broken down cars in the car park and removed their number plates.
Naturally, we want to have these vehicles removed from our car park as well as have the caravan removed from the public road as it is blocking the view and natural light in some of our flats. Do we have any rights to have these vehicles removed from the public and our private car park area?
First, I assume you are satisfied that the tenancy, granted by the leaseholder to the tenant, does not breach the terms of the relevant lease. I am not familiar with your leases so I cannot comment further in this regard.
Second, if a vehicle is parked lawfully on a public road, there is nothing that the council, you or anyone else can do about it, unless the use of that vehicle becomes a public nuisance or the vehicle is used for illegal or immoral purposes.
Third, the relevant lease(s) may have something to say about the use of your private car park and I cannot advise properly without reading the lease(s) however, some possible scenarios are, as follows:
By way of a single lease or by two separate leases, one flat and one or more parking space, whether allocated space(s) or space(s) available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, are demised to the relevant leaseholder and there is nothing in relevant lease(s) that restricts the use of the parking space. If this is the case, your ability to act is limited to those vehicles that breach the provisions of the relevant lease(s).
The lease demises one flat demised to the relevant leaseholder to the leaseholder with the right to park either any or a specific number of vehicles in the car park, on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, with no restriction on the type of vehicle that can be parked in that space(s) or the use of the same. If this is the case, your ability to act is limited to those vehicles that breach the provisions of the relevant lease(s).
Regardless of whether the lease demises any specific space(s) or allows one or more parking space to be used on a ‘first come, first served, basis, the relevant lease(s) may restrict the use of the space(s), including the type of vehicle and the purpose. For example, some leases state that all vehicles parked on the land must be duly taxed and road-worthy, even though these are not statutory requirements for keeping vehicles on private land. Further, some leases state that the parking spaces are for private vehicles and in addition to excluding certain types of vehicle, the lease(s) may prohibit use of the space of commercial purposes. Furthermore, parking might be restricted to the marked spaces, even if those spaces can be used on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If any of these criteria are applicable, you will be able to take appropriate action.
If the provisions in the relevant lease(s) are not helpful, there might be a provision that entitles you to introduce new regulations that are binding on the leaseholders and you could use those regulations to impose parking restrictions at the development.
For a more comprehensive response, you are welcome to send me a copy of the relevant lease.
Shmuli Simon is Director of Legal Services at Integrity, the only law firm in England and Wales with a property management department regulated by ARMA.