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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110506
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Property mgr towed tenant vehicles to pave parking lot and

Customer Question

Property mgr towed tenant vehicles to pave parking lot and left tenants to cover costs of tow and storage. The only notification was a loose piece of paper left on sidewalks outside residence only three days prior. No other notification given. According to TN 66-28-519, were they required to give 10 days notice? Or is there some other law in place that allows them to notify and tow as they did and leave us tenants to pay?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 month ago.

Good morning. Just to be clear, the notice was not mail, posted or directly given to the tenants? You shared that it appears there was a piece of paper on the sidewalk, but when did the person whos car was towed see this?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The notice was not mail. It was literally a piece of paper left loose outside each tenant's entrance. As with all of the mgmt's communication, it was not secured in any way.There are several tenants with whom this affects. I can't say with any certainty each tenant read or even saw the document.We (the tenants) are trying to determine what legal grounds we have to collectively stand on to fight back.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 month ago.
Thank you. They have a legal obligation to place all tenants on notice and make sure that it was received with reasonable certainty. They do not have to mail it but should have properly secured it on all doors, posted the notice in all common areas and even considered placing notice in the mailboxes. For those tenants that did not receive the notice could turn around and demand and if needed sue the association to recover the tow and storage fees. I know that my community recently did something like this and they have roughly a 30 day notice and made all tenants aware via notice on doors and email as well. The 10 day rule you shared above allows towing in those specific situations and when the 10 day notice is needed. For this, reasonable notice needs to be given and it would not appear that 3 days would be deemed proper also since people may have been out of town or not seen it.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Does 66-28-519 (or 518 or 520) apply? Or is there another foundation from which to stand?I understand 519 lists specific situations, but I can't find a specific law around towing for the sake of paving a parking lot.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR as you opted out your previous contributor.
None of the TN codes really apply specifically to towing for a landlord to do renovations/construction/repair to the parking area. The only code the landlord can rely upon would be TN Code 66-28-520, if the landlord gave 24 hour minimum notice, because if the landlord is in need of the space so construction and repairs can be made to the property and the vehicle is still there it becomes a nuisance because it is in the way and interfering with the construction/repairs. However, that would apply in emergency situations and the previous expert was correct in that generally 10 day notice is what is required to put tenants on notice that construction will occur and that their vehicles need to be away from the area of construction.
The laws DO NOT SAY that the tenant has to see notice, it says notice needs to be given or sent or posted. In the case of 66-28-520, notice needs to be posted on the vehicle actually.
However, as long as the landlord sends/posts notice, they have satisfied the requirement of notice.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If 66-28-519 were to apply, are they in violation if the notice was only given 3 days in advance, regardless if it were seen by tenants?If 66-28-520 were to apply, are they in violation if no notice was posted to the vehicle within 24 hours of the tow?Is there a definition to "given, sent, or posted"? If I leave my intent to vacate the premise unsecured 30 feet from the main office door at 7pm, is that considered me "giving" notice, regardless if the office actually sees the notice?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Correct, IF 66-28-519 were to apply, but from the facts you provided I do not see how it would apply.
66-28-520 would most likely apply ONLY if notice was given. However, without notice they would be in violation.
No the law does not give definition of sent or posted or given. Those have common definitions. Your example is comparing apples to oranges, because a tenant's notice to a landlord to vacate must be in writing and actually sent to or given to the landlord personally and the law about notice for moving vehicles or towing does not say that.