With many staff driving to work, parking should be high on the list of things to consider when looking for a new business premises. As a company director it is important to consider the matter of parking and transport carefully before buying properties. This is because things can change over the course of a few years. Consider this:

Is the local parking that’s available at the time of purchase always going to be available?

Two years ago our company purchased a new office building. We made the purchase from a reputable, local property development company called Tilia Properties . At the time of the sale we had a good rapport with the director of the company, a Mr Nick Hovey.  The office we were to purchase was amongst several other properties that Tilia Properties owned and we accessed our office via a road way owned by Tilia. At the time of purchase the road was stone and in a poor state of repair, therefore one of our primary concerns before buying the property was the state of that roadway. After some discussion with Mr Hovey we agreed that part of our purchase price would be used to re-surface the road.

Sometime after our sale had gone through the road was re-surfaced. Although we have a small car park at our premises, at times some staff parked their cars on the road when no spaces were available. For two and half years this has been no problem, especially as cars from other people/companies would also park on the road. Because of this the road has always been quite busy since before we purchased the property.

Recently Tilia decided to use a contract parking company to stop people parking on the road. When this happened we tried talking to Mr Hovey but  unfortunately he did not return any of our calls. We thought perhaps he was too busy as after all, controlling a multi-million pound business takes a lot of time. We decided to call his wife Mandy Hovey as we had also dealt with Mandy at the time of purchase and she worked for Tilia also. With previous dealings we had always found her to be very professional and pleasant. We were unable to speak with Mandy either. We decided to email Tilia and propose a scheme that we thought might be a suitable solution to their parking problem and allow us to considerately park on the road from time to time without impairing access to any of their properties. We proposed that our staff should display a parking permit card to help identify our cars from others that may not have any association to the area. Unfortunately none of our emails were answered. We continued to call and leave messages to see if our emails were arriving ok (you know how some emails don’t always get though), but alas no return call.

After a couple of weeks we received a phone call from the contractual parking company telling us Tilia were not interested in our parking pass idea and had told the parking enforcement company to treat our vehicles the same as everyone else and issue a fine if parked on the road. This is troubling to us as it is the same road we helped to pay to be re-surfaced and we hoped that a compromise could have been reached. The parking company did contacts us and ask us if we would like to rent parking spaces on a nearby piece of land that Tilia own and are not presently using for £50 per car, per month.

So here we are with a serious parking problem and sadly we find ourselves at odds with the owners of the access road,  even after helping to fund resurfacing the road via our office purchase.

We would suggest that anyone purchasing a new office that can be accessed by an adopted road should gain permission in writing or better still have their deeds amended at the point of purchase. After the purchase you may find the property developers you once enjoyed a good rapport with are not as approachable once they have received their money.

Buyer beware!