Today was an interesting “business” day. I had seen an auction lot for sale just down the road from me, in a sought after Hertfordshire town. Unlike most of my viewings – this didn’t require an appointment, I could just turn up – as it was an open car park!!
It wasn’t a very big car park – just 17 spaces. But it had a guide of 15k and I knew the area.
Here is the car park (currently used by all and sundry as it is not locked up)
As you can see it is in good condition, with a lovely tarmaced surface, spaces lined and ready to go!
Looking around, I reckoned that at one stage it had probably been the pub’s car park (as that was to the side) and they had sold it off to raise some money. Here is the pub (green fencing is their rear boundary)
It was also just a stone’s throw from a lot of new build flats which had been developed:
It was also within the town centre and easy walking distance for people who were working locally or for those commuting to London.
However, I had noticed there was a church at the top of the car park and that for them to access their small parking area (only enough room for 2 car park spaces) they would need access over my car park. I was pretty sure there was going to be a right of way in place and I would have to work out how to manage that.
And so I sat down and tried to figure out how I would run a car park!
I worked out who my customers would be, how much I could charge, I did market research on current spaces, looked into leasing and licensing agreements, worked out different barrier systems, charging systems – all in the name of car park research!
And so I figured out this could be an interesting little earner. OK I would need some set up costs, and some time to get this off the ground, but thereafter the car park could become a nice little passive income earner. I’d worked out that while the guide was just £15k I would be prepared to pay around £50k for the car park.
And so I got the legal pack. Yes I had been right about the Methodist church and the right of way for access..however I had figured out how I could work this.
But then I saw the legal wrangling that the council had going on…and then I learnt they were trying to purchase the site – what is known as a compulsory purchase order (CPO). A CPO is a legal function which allows certain bodies which need to obtain land or property to do so without the consent of the owner. While CPO’s usually include compensation rights including the value of the property, costs of acquiring and moving to a new property, and sometimes additional payments – it is a drawn out and risky area to get into.
My plans for the little car park had not included being forced to sell it to the council and having to argue with solicitors over the next few years. This was meant to be passive income – wrangling with the council will be anything but that!
So for now my car park business is on hold – but at least I have learned about different parking barrier systems