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Old 07-14-2007, 11:47 PM
 
124 posts, read 342,533 times
Reputation: 56

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Seeking advice. I was assigned a parking space at my townhome by the HOA and I parked my car there. Unexpectedly, there is someone (I guess who just took the spot for some reason without the HOA acknowledgement) towed my car away. What should I do? Should I sue that party, the tow company and HOA? Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,068 posts, read 10,599,780 times
Reputation: 4876
PM Paula Lynn on this board. She's the closest person I can think of who would actually know the answer to a question like this. She's in property management, as a rental agent, so it isn't directly related to her field, but she's the first and best source that I can think of.
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 11,175,286 times
Reputation: 1746
Normally when you own a condo, you also own the parking space. The owners not only have a deed to the condo, but also the parking space. If this is the case, there are times a neighbor/resident realizes that a condo is empty, and they may decide to use "your" space. In LA county, in order to tow a vehicle, the place has to be posted regarding towing/unauthorized vehicle parking, etc. ALONG with the Civil Code and the number for the towing company. Here, towing companies WILL NOT tow if it's not posted. Now, if a vehicle is blocking access and is on the City street -- not a problem - it will get towed. Unfortunately, this is a low priority, and 6 hours later when the towing company shows up, car is gone

I would definiately check the CC&R's, contact your owner, the Board of Directors and find some sort of compensation. The Board probably is not responsible for your reimbursement, same with your Owner. You would have to go to the person who had it towed and/or the towing company.

I'm assuming you are renting, so the first person I would contact is your owner, who you signed the lease with and pay your rent to. There could be a chance they rented out your space and did not clarify it with you.

Good luck and keep in touch. I would like to know the outcome.

Paula Lynn

Last edited by Paula Lynn; 07-15-2007 at 10:53 AM..
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:51 PM
 
124 posts, read 342,533 times
Reputation: 56
Hi Paula,

My case is this, I am the homeowner of a townhouse. Recently, I was assigned another parking space by the HOA. But the problem is there is another person (either owner or renter, not sure) took the spot for sometimes. When I received the assignment letter, I parked into that spot naturally. But then, this neighbor (now I know who that is) wrote me a note to tell me not to park. I contact HOA immediately and HOA told me the spot is now for you and should not have any problem, then I parked of course. On Friday night, the car was towed. I have two questions. One, how come the towing truck can come in to the complex and tow whatever car. THe HOA has assigned a specific towing company to do the business, but for some reasons, other tow companies can come in and tow too. How can we stop this kind of towing? I mean, if someone does not like his neighbor, he can jsut tow his car away, right? where is the law? Second, can I ask compensation from the HOA (towing fee) in this case becasue first, they notified me that I am ok to park, second, I also double check with them to make sure once I got the note. Aren't they responsible? How can I find legal advice on this? I am not sure what this is classified to. I am really desparate and feeling extremely unfair and feel that the mean guys can do whatever they can. The society becomes lawless. Thanks Paula and sorry for the long questions.
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 11,175,286 times
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I'm sorry for all you're going through ..... Most of my properties are rentals, but I do several HOA's. The HOA's I manage, you BUY a parking space along with the condo/townhome. I've never heard of being "assigned" parking spaces when you actually own a condo. Once again, I would suggest to contact the Board or an attorney who specializes in condo management.

Parking problems are a managers worst nightmare. I truly hope everything works out for the good.

Paula
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:22 PM
 
124 posts, read 342,533 times
Reputation: 56
Do you have any referral, Paula? Are they free until you win like personal injury lawyers?
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 11,175,286 times
Reputation: 1746
No, I don't have any referrals, but how much did you have to pay to get your car back? $150.00?? Would not be worth hiring an attorney. Go to the Board.
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 11,175,286 times
Reputation: 1746
I once rented a parking space (out doors) and her car was towed by a resident. The HOA paid her back in full for towing charges.
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,211 posts, read 4,304,801 times
Reputation: 918
Most tow companies are flat out crooks. Our daughters car had a temp parking permit, but got towed anyway. You have to pay to get it out of their impound, permit or not, the guy at the lot called her all kinds of names, plus they are not liable if anything is missing, it's like a nightmare. I think the security guards are on the take with these crooks also. This happened in San Marcos and the lot was in Vista.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:24 PM
 
26,719 posts, read 53,418,083 times
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Default Tow Company Give Backs... it can happen

Quote:
Originally Posted by vfrpilot View Post
Most tow companies are flat out crooks. Our daughters car had a temp parking permit, but got towed anyway. You have to pay to get it out of their impound, permit or not, the guy at the lot called her all kinds of names, plus they are not liable if anything is missing, it's like a nightmare. I think the security guards are on the take with these crooks also. This happened in San Marcos and the lot was in Vista.
I disagree about the liability part... not the nightmare part... the question is proving damages beyond the cost of getting your car back.

The courts have held tow companies and HOA associations liable for improper towing. The tow company is generally under contract from the HOA and that is where I would start because the HOA at least knows who to contact. The insider's term is called a "Give Back" without charge... although you still must generally go in person to the storage yard with ID to get your vehicle back.

It is sad, but true that you really don't have any rights unless you are willing to exercise them and tow companies know this. It takes a special type of person to do private property tows because of all the abuse the drivers are subjected to and most are very thick skinned.

I would first work through the HOA and if you are not satisfied, "I" would file a small claims case naming the HOA, Tow Company, and the person that authorized the Tow... that way you have everyone in the same room together.

Good Luck... I know it is frustrating but it sounds like you are the innocent party here!

If you're really PO'd, you can also file a complaint with he State and City where the tow company is licensed and even the local Better Business Bureau and your local TV Consumer Action Reporter.

Sorry that you had to go through this... my bet is that they will settle rather then going to court.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 07-15-2007 at 06:39 PM..
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