Visitor Parking Dispute and Unreasonable Behaviour

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    Visitor Parking Dispute and Unreasonable Behaviour

    Hello. I am the owner of a residential apartment, which I use as my main residence, which is managed by a property management company, to whom I pay a monthly service fee, and a residents management company, of which the PMC is one of the directors. The freehold of the land is owned and managed by a separate company to whom I pay an annual ground rent fee.

    I have been suffering from a chronic back injury for around six months, having sustained a torn lumbar muscle and a trapped / inflamed nerve, which causes significant issues to my mobility / flexibility. To make matters worse, I am self-employed as a photographer, which involves mostly standing, crouching, squatting, lying on the ground and lugging heavy equipment around.

    I live on the second (top) floor, and there is no lift. On a near-daily basis, I lug a bag of camera gear and several cases of lighting equipment down the stairs, and load them into my car (and unload / take them up the stairs again afterwards). I have been parking my vehicle in a visitor's parking bay, which is sensibly located 15m from the only entrance / exit to the block, rather than my allocated space 200m away, in attempt to minimise the stress placed on my back. This is not causing a tangible issue as there are 8 visitor spaces, one of which is in permanent use by a resident with two vehicles in their household, and the others which remain largely unused - simply put, there is never a problem with availability of parking.

    I have been subject to what I now consider to be harassment from the property management company and one of the directors of the residents' management company for around three months because of this. Rather than having a normal conversation with me, the resident / director began placing passive-aggressive, printed notes on my vehicle, in my postbox and under my door, commanding me to move my vehicle. I responded by writing directly to the management company, stating my expectation that this action stopped immediately, and explaining, as above, my reasoning, which I consider to be a reasonable explanation; at the end of the day, it's my livelihood and personal comfort at stake.

    I have offered what I deem to be a reasonable resolution, of returning to park in my allocated bay as and when I have returned to full fitness (I'm 33 and have previously been very physically fit, so I don't consider it likely to be a debilitating long-term condition), which has been dismissed without reasonable justification, of "because I said so", direct quote, from the PMC representative.

    The PMC continued by disavowing themselves of the resident's decision to start sending me notes, and refusing to do anything about it. They have since, however, supplied this individual with my personal email address, to allow him to continue harassing me via email. This was disclosed to him without my consent, and when I complained to the PMC, they insisted that they were acting in full compliance with GDPR by allowing him my contact details and that he was "entitled" to them. I take issue with this, as I don't believe it's a legitimate interest, and I believe my reasonable expectation of privacy overrides any legitimate interest they may feel they have. The ICO were unable to advise specifically without investigation, so I have made a SAR to the PMC in order to start an investigation.

    This subsequent communication received from this direction has consisted of threats of legal action on grounds of breach of the lease (without referral to a specific clause in my lease) and without stating on what grounds legal action would be pursued - I haven't caused any loss or damage through my action, and as I understand it, any pursuit of forfeiture / s146 would be laughingly dismissed by a court due to the draconian pursuit of property forfeiture over a parking dispute.

    The hypocrisy of this individual director in question is also, admittedly, a factor in my refusal to comply; he spent an extended period parking in the visitor bays when his wife was unable to walk a great distance after surgery (which I have absolutely no problem with, seeing as I consider personal comfort of greater importance than stubborn adherence to arbitrary rules). He has also seen fit to remove my For Sale signs from the main road entrance to the development twice, stating that it was against the lease to put signage up; the signs were in a piece of grass owned by the council, who had given me permission to erect them (and in fact, seemed completely perplexed as to why I was even asking them). He's a belligerent piece of work who has harassed me in the past in pursuit of damages to communal areas actually caused by another resident (I had a complaint upheld by TPO following this incident), and seems to have a personal issue with me which sees me having the rules applied to me more equally than others.

    I'm basically looking for some guidance as to if the PMC are, in general, legitimately allowed to dole out my personal email address to someone I have reported as having a problem with me, as well as what potential legal action the PMC could take against me. They don't actually own or manage the freehold so I'm bemused as to what action they think they're entitled to take.

    At this point I'm digging my heels in, but I'm keen to learn more about what my rights are in this case; my comfort, pain management and career are my only priority here, to be honest.

    Allowing a managing agent to be a director of a management company is generally a very bad idea.

    You appear to be in the wrong in using the parking space, and should have negotiated a dispensation before doing so.

    I'd agree that giving out an email address was a GDPR breach (but note that giving out the address which you gave out for the company register is not).

    I'm surprised that the council gave you permission; are you sure they understood it was on their land; they could have been treating it in terms of permitted development rules, not trespass. However it does appear to me that you were in breach of the spirit of the lease, and you could be inviting vast numbers of To Let sigins in the same place.


      I agree with leaseholders points. I would be amazed if the PIC is allowed to be a director. In my opinion a breach of data protection. Have you complained to Property Redress Scheme.
      From what you have said it is disgraceful behavior towards you. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery.


        Why can't you unload your car outside the property and then once unloaded and equipment stowed in your property, move it to the correct parking space?


          And then repeat the process in the morning ? It appears to me OPs behaviour is perfectly reasonable. I am an unassuming, non confrontational kind of person but I would dig my heels in.


            Would you get anywhere suggesting they turn one of the visitor's bay into a disabled one?


              Excellent idea. We had an owner with mobility problems who parked in visitor bay because it is closer. Everyone simply accepted it.


                Originally posted by royw View Post
                Would you get anywhere suggesting they turn one of the visitor's bay into a disabled one?
                I don't see how this would help.
                If the directors of the PMC are unwilling to allow the OP to park in a visitors spot while he/she is affected by a temporarily physical problem, is it really likely that they would agree to allow them to use a the parking spot if it was specifically set aside for the disabled?



                  By the letter of the lease, yes, I can be considered "in the wrong", however, as before stated, I'm not acting in an unreasonable manner, I have provided a legitimate reason, and have been responded to with harassment and unreasonable behaviour instead of any attempt at compromise.

                  Yes, I am sure, yes they were also sure, we have both seen the land registry map which proves it, and it's irrelevant as to whether it is in the "spirit of the lease" or not, the ground is not covered by the lease, and the For Sale signs are my property, I paid for them.

                  I agree it's poor practice to have the management company as a director. It promotes a total conflict of interests (as I am now experiencing).


                    Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                    Why can't you unload your car outside the property and then once unloaded and equipment stowed in your property, move it to the correct parking space?
                    So I should; Go downstairs. Move my car from the bay to the VP spots. Go back upstairs. Get my gear and go back downstairs. Leave. Work. Return. Take my gear upstairs. Go back downstairs. Move my car. Go back upstairs.

                    Apart from it being a total waste of time, it's bad practice in car maintenance, especially in cold weather, and seems a pointless and unnecessary further inconvenience, solely to avoid upsetting people who get upset over trivial concerns...


                      Originally posted by royw View Post
                      Would you get anywhere suggesting they turn one of the visitor's bay into a disabled one?
                      I'd feel like a fraud if I did so, but interestingly, there are no Disabled bays, despite the proliferation of elderly residents.


                        Originally posted by scot22 View Post
                        And then repeat the process in the morning ? It appears to me OPs behaviour is perfectly reasonable. I am an unassuming, non confrontational kind of person but I would dig my heels in.
                        Thanks for the well-wishes. I too am non-confrontational and would prefer a quiet life. This whole situation has arisen due to the confrontational behaviour of another, looking to cause a real problem in response to a trivial issue, so I too am inclined to dig my heels in - purely from a self-preservational POV, and because I don't see why I should respond positively to such behaviour.


                          I expect this to escalate badly. My perception is that you are being aggressive and basically trying to bypass the rules in at least two ways.

                          As I said, I suspect the council actually answered the question "do you need planning permission to erect a for sale sign?" rather than giving you permission to erect a sign on land maintained at public expense, but in any case it is clearly an attempt to to find a loophole in the lease.


                            Perhaps you would be better off finding a more suitable property as clearly this one is no longer suitable. By the sounds of it, all parties would see this as a good solution.

                            Just because your circumstances change, trying to bend the lease to suit this is probably not the best way of maintaining good relationships with your neighbours. Perhaps if you had asked for permission first, rather than acting entitled, a more reasonable response might have been forthcoming.


                              I have 're read the original post and it still seems to me that everything is perfectly reasonable. However, if selling avoid disputes with neighbours.
                              Block any email address you don't want to receive. Chase up your estate agent and escape asap.


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