A scammer has used a parking app to illegally rent out dozens of spaces around a garden square near Regents Park.
Residents in Clarence Gardens, NW1 discovered that their parking spots were being fraudulently advertised and hired out on platform JustPark. Over 200 bookings had been accepted for the bays from £2.80 an hour
Thousands of people use the platform to make money by hiring out their land such as driveways, with drivers able to choose from spots at over 45,000 locations across the UK.
Customers who reserved a space at Clarence Gardens were greeted with a message from ‘space owner’ Michael K directing them to the square and were told to ‘park in any available bay as we do not have allocated bays’.
Michael’s message also mentions there are automatic number plate recognition (AMPR) cameras near the spaces and that customers have their registration on his ‘permit holders database’. S
Some drivers have reported receiving a PCN from Camden Council after reserving a bay. One review advised: “Do not park here. You will receive a PCN as I did. The man is illegally subletting resident bays that he does NOT own.
“You will be faced with angry neighbours and fines.”
All spots in Clarence Gardens are owned by residents who pay an annual permit fee, with subletting bays strictly forbidden by council rules.
One local complained that the influx of visitors parking had led to an increase in litter on the residential estate, with some elderly residents unable to park because their spaces were taken.
JustPark said that the listing was ‘clearly in breach of our terms and conditions’ and that it had removed the spaces from the site and suspended the account involved, although the page was live as recently as Tuesday morning. All further bookings for the spaces have now been cancelled and refunded, and customers who received fines will be eligible for compensation.
The parking website told WT that it had a ‘number of processes’ in place to prevent incidents like this happening and that it investigates space owners with poor ratings and complaints. It added that it was unable to identify the fraud earlier because the listing had 4.6 out of 5 stars and that the bookings looked ‘legitimate’.