My question involves a tow and impound from the state of: Washington
Last night, I parked in a legal spot within my apartment's secured Resident-Only Parking garage, and as a result, blocked in a car that was parked in front of me. When I parked there, there was an empty space to the left of the car in front of me, and the car had enough room to pull out that way. In fact, I even got back in my car and adjusted my parking job so that he would have room to do so.
This morning, my car was gone. I talked to the managers of my apartment complex, and they had heard nothing about it. After checking the rest of the parking garage for my car, I saw a sign posted outside of the complex for a tow company. I called, and sure enough, they towed my car. I went to get it right away, and I'm slammed with $463.19 to get it back.
However, because management was not aware of this happening, it was the TENANT who called the tow company, let their tow truck into the resident-only garage, and had my car towed. Is this a legal impounding in the state of Washington? I have 10 days to request a hearing (~$85 in filing fees), and in the laws surrounding car impounding hearings, I found this in WA RCW 65.55.120:
I realize that since the towing company has a sign up on my apartment's property, there is likely a service agreement between my apartment complex and the towing company. In other states, though, written authorization is needed on a case-by-case basis to tow (I could not find anything specific to Washington state). So, I reached out to the head of management of my apartment complex and requested a copy of their contract, and am awaiting the response. There is nothing relevant in the Parking Addendum on my lease - Just that Management has the right to tow any unauthorized car I park in the garage (My car is registered with the apartment complex, and do have a valid parking pass on my vehicle)(d) If the impoundment is found proper, the impoundment, towing, and storage fees as permitted under this chapter together with court costs shall be assessed against the person or persons requesting the hearing, unless the operator did not have a signed and valid impoundment authorization from a private property owner or an authorized agent."
If I do nothing, I am -$463.19. If I pursue a hearing and win (and if I do, should I lawyer up?), I break even. If I pursue a hearing and lose, I also have to pay the defense's legal fees. Any advice? Thanks SO much!!