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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7163
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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private towing issue

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We live in a gated community and are members of the association. We requested a parking permit for the parking lot that belongs to the association. It was issued but what we didnt recognize that it said VISITORS PERMIT. We parked the car at the spot marked for RESIDENTS OF THE ASSOCIATION ONLY, however there was no sign such as for visitors. The car was towed, there was no address of the towing company displayed and the person whose number was listed didnt answer the phone for 5 hours and didnt return calls. The address also wasnt displayed, actually online it is listed as PO BOX. Now we have to recover the car that was towed to Yorktown, although we live in Hampton, VA. Do we have any legal basis for suing our association?


Update. We finally got through to the towing company. The charged us $176 for the towing plus 3 days of keeping the car. Not to mention, they only accept cash. Tomorrow i drive there to recover the car. What are the documents they have to provide us? Is it legal to accept cash only, that is what they said? What are the possible mistakes this company could make to contribute to a possible civil action against association? In addition, the property management company responded that they had the right to do what they did, stating that those who had a visitors permit could not park at these reserved spots, however, residents could park even without any permit. This doesnt make any sense!!! How then would anybody know who the owners are, if they do not have any decal displayed because they could as well be visitors or somebody who has no right to be there at all?


Update: email from the property management:


The "Visitor" passes are just that, for visitors. If you park in the resident space you are not to display a visitor pass or a marina decal at all. The residents of XXX do not have resident parking decals or placards therefore in order to park in a resident marked space you are to display nothing at this time. The overflow parking lot is intended for visitors. Most owners park their personal vehicles in their driveways or garages, not the parking lot, therefore there was no reason to issue resident decals to the owners, just the placards for any visitors that you may have that need to park in the parking lot however visitors are not permitted to park in the resident marked spaces.When you placed those placards in your vehicles you were to park in the unmarked spaces if you park there at all. If you parked in the resident marked spaces then you should not have displayed the vehicle as belonging to a visitor. 

Hello. Sorry to hear that you had this bit of insanity befall you for no good reason. In other words, you could have parked there with no sticker showing and they would have thought you were a member and left you along. I think a small claims court judge would have a field day with this idiot management company. You should obtain a complete written receipt from the towing service (yes, they can demand cash), but perhaps you can get them to write out a short statement as to what instructions the management company has given them. If they are in writing, ask for a copy. Some Virginia towns and counties have their own towing regulations. Here is Arlington's: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CountyManager/page70255.aspx

Good luck in your pursuit of justice.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it is encouraging that I CAN sue them. Just to make sure, I request receipts and directions given to towing company on what he had to look for. I print emails from the management company, and with that I have enough to go to a small court? Is there anything else I need to do to better prepare to stand in front of the judge?

Check for any local town or county ordinances regarding towing notices that must be posted etc... It's seems like a bizarre system that says if you have no permit at all,you can park in a member space and they'll presume you are a member, but if you have a visitor permit you get towed. To be fair though, cases like this go either way. At least you might get the board to change the management policy so it doesn't happen to someone else. Good luck.
I hope that this information is helpful. Please click on a smiley face so that I will be compensated for assisting you. If you have a follow up question please send me back a Reply without entering any rating. Also, be sure to verify this information with a local attorney who is familiar with your local laws and procedures. Thanks again for using Just Answer. Your business is appreciated.
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