LAWLINK – What can I do to end arrangement about parking spaces?

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Q. I run a business from a small commercial premises in a rural part of Limerick. I had an arrangement with a nearby garage whereby they could park their overflow vehicles to the rear of the property. I didn’t get cash for this, but I was always treated fairly by the garage when it came to services on company vehicles etc. I had a good relationship with the previous garage owner, but he sold up and moved home over the pandemic. The new owner is moving cars at all hours of the day and night, it is interfering with my business, and there are some vehicles that have been parked there for nearly three years now. I want to end the arrangement as they are unsightly.

Dear Reader,

Firstly you should check and see if there was any formal legal agreement in place, even if some considerable time ago, with the garage or the previous owner. If there is, you will be bound by the terms of that agreement and how you might terminate the agreement would depend on the wording thereof.

If there is no formal agreement, the garage might be deemed to be using the lands as an ‘informal licence’. Given that it is informal, it can be terminated at any time by you or by them.

Given also that there was no money formally changing hands, although a reduction in price of services was being offered, legally you could terminate the arrangement without giving any notice.

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It would be sensible to write, perhaps through your solicitor, to the garage. This can be worded in a very pleasant manner, noting that for various reasons you cannot continue with the arrangement and allowing them a short period of time to remove all vehicles.

You should ensure that, once that time period has elapsed, that you take necessary steps to secure your property, including changing locks on gates, putting up signs, or similar.

If the vehicles are not removed within the time scale as mentioned, your solicitor should write a further reminder to the garage, allowing further time to remove the vehicles, explaining that they will be removed and scrapped if they remain on your property after a certain date.

You should take carful advice from your solicitor before taking any steps to actually remove the property. It is possible that if the vehicles are damaged then you might perhaps be liable for any loss to the garage.

If at all possible, you should try and maintain a cordial relationship with the garage. It may take some time for them to make alternative arrangements, but while you should ensure that they are given sufficient time to take such steps as they think necessary, you should try and progress matters.