Small-Business Owners: Preventing Unwanted Parking in Your Private Facilities
If you're a small-business owner who provides parking spaces for your customers, you probably think of these facilities as part of your premises and look after them accordingly. If any unthinking individuals happen to leave litter or deface the area, you're probably going to have the matter attended to as soon as possible. While your parking spaces are not quite the face of your business, they can still be a prominent part and can in fact contribute to your customer's first impressions, as parking their car might give them their first glimpse of your premises. This is assuming that your car parking spaces are available. Unwanted parking from persons who are not your customers and are using your facilities for their own convenience can be a massive inconvenience for you. So how can you prevent unwanted parking on your premises?
Remember that parking which is convenient for your customers is not necessarily yours. You have no jurisdiction over parking on the street directly outside your premises. Any stopping restrictions in place there are at the discretion of your local council, and it's up to them to enforce any violations. You generally only have control over the parking facilities which are actually part of your premises, and these need to be adequately signposted.
Local Parking Enforcement
Do you have signs clearly displayed in your parking facilities which stipulate that the spaces are strictly for the usage of your customers? Such wording should be unambiguous and use plain language. Even this might not be sufficient. It can be advisable to enquire with your local council. They might have the ability to allow your business to enter a private arrangement for the provision of local parking enforcement. This means that parking authorities can enforce parking restrictions on your premises as they would on the street, issuing fines as appropriate. A fee might be required for this, and you would generally need to submit a parking plan (detailing the hours of operation for your business, amongst other items) and have authorised signage and line markings to remove any ambiguity.
If a motorist then violates your parking restrictions, you can simply contact your local council, who will dispatch a parking control officer. A fine can then be issued. You might also be permitted to authorise the towing of the vehicle, whether it's through a council contractor or by calling a towing services provider of your own choosing.
Your private parking facilities fall under your jurisdiction, and yet it's important to ensure that you take the necessary steps to ensure that you can correctly enforce your rights and obligations.