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  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Private Towing from Apartment Complex

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Texas

    How can we find out what is legal or not about towing by private companies in an apartment complex.

    I came out to find my car towed and when I went to office thinking my car was stolen they asked if I had parked improperly. I stated not to my knowledge I was in a open space. They said well who knows we did not get a fax stating any vehicles were towed.

    We have a very old lot and the lines are practically invisible, especially at night. Well I had parked over the line but you could not see that in the dark. There is not sufficient light in lot nor adequate striping. If complex is going to hold us to parking within space is there not a responsibility on their part to provide easily visible striping?

    How can I learn what are the rules of signage, visible striping and lighting for our parking lot?

    I find it interesting this all happened after I made a complaint about a huge loud party this weekend.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    9,170

    Default Re: Private Towing from Apartment Complex

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Texas

    How can we find out what is legal or not about towing by private companies in an apartment complex.

    I came out to find my car towed and when I went to office thinking my car was stolen they asked if I had parked improperly. I stated not to my knowledge I was in a open space. They said well who knows we did not get a fax stating any vehicles were towed.

    We have a very old lot and the lines are practically invisible, especially at night. Well I had parked over the line but you could not see that in the dark. There is not sufficient light in lot nor adequate striping. If complex is going to hold us to parking within space is there not a responsibility on their part to provide easily visible striping?
    Well, for starters, you must recover your vehicle and pay all fees that are due ASAP since storage fees are likely to continue to accumulate until it is picked up. If you find out later that something is fishy regarding the authority for the tow, you can then sue the management company and/or the towing company for damages limited to the amount you paid to get a release of the vehicle.

    Once you've done that (or upon communicating with the company that towed it), you need to establish the reason why your vehicle was towed. Since the management company has indicated no knowledge of the tow, you can/should ask the towing company for an explanation. If/when they provide you with an answer, you can then review the related laws regarding the matter.

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    How can I learn what are the rules of signage, visible striping and lighting for our parking lot?
    Lighting might not fall under the set of laws related to towing, it might be a building code requirement, and while a violation of those codes might result in the addition of more lights, it is not likely to benefit you with regards to getting any towing storage fees reimbursed. Other than that, one would assume that if they are going to regulate parking in "marked" spaces, that striping is a given... And there should be some signs posted to inform drivers of the parking requirements and prohibitions.

    You can review Chapter 2308, of subtitle A, of title 14, of the Texas Occupations code for a list of rules and regulations regarding the authority to tow a vehicle.

    Additionally, you might need to search the local ordinances for the city/county where this property is located. And lastly, a review of your rental lease may also reveal some sort of regulation that relates to the towing of a tenant's vehicle.

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    I find it interesting this all happened after I made a complaint about a huge loud party this weekend.
    Whether that is directly related or not, they would still need a valid reason to justify the tow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Private Towing from Apartment Complex

    I recovered my car and I was told I was double parked. We are less than 50% occupied so no one parks within ten spaces of me. I was less than 6 inches over a stripe you cannot see in the dark.

    I went around complex today and found two other vehicles not parked in stripes and took pictures of them. If they are going to hold me accountable then don;t they have to hold everyone to same rule? Can I sue in small claims court to get my money back I had to pay to get my car? I have photos of striping being faint and they let other tenants park over lines without towing them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
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    9,170

    Default Re: Private Towing from Apartment Complex

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    I recovered my car
    Good...

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    I was told I was double parked. We are less than 50% occupied so no one parks within ten spaces of me. I was less than 6 inches over a stripe you cannot see in the dark.
    The capacity of the lot is not an issue, they can have 50 spaces for a few as 5 tenants, it doesn't mean they can park sideways... they would still have to follow the rules set by management assuming those rules existed and that they were given to each tenant.

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    I went around complex today and found two other vehicles not parked in stripes and took pictures of them. If they are going to hold me accountable then don;t they have to hold everyone to same rule?
    The rules apply to everybody equally. However, I highly doubt that the rules require them to tow each and every violator as soon as the alleged violation occurs. Of course you're free to make it a point to patrol the lot looking for violators, and immediately informing management of any, but even if those are towed, how does that help you?

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    Can I sue in small claims court to get my money back I had to pay to get my car? I have photos of striping being faint and they let other tenants park over lines without towing them.
    You can sue to get your money back; but keep in mind that you, being the plaintiff, carry the burden to prove that their actions, or lack thereof in this case -by way of the lack of clear markings specific to each parking space- were the proximate cause for the damages you incurred when your vehicle was towed and stored.

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    I have photos of striping being faint and they let other tenants park over lines without towing them.
    We have not seen the pictures, and even if we had, the ultimate decision as to how clear/unclear those marking are, is up to the judge to decide.

    Quote Quoting andnowwhat
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    they let other tenants park over lines without towing them.
    So, for some odd, strange reason that is unknown to you, they only picked on you this time?

    They are not under any obligation to tow each and every vehicle in order to justify yours being towed. In other words, as long as they can show that the rule exists, that you were or should have been aware if it, that the spaces are marked in a manner that a reasonable person can discern where one begins and where it ends, AND that you were clearly in violation of double parking, then the tow is justified regardless of how often those rules are enforced!

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