Does an apartment management need to provide notice to a tenant prior to their car being towed?

I was recently in an accident so I have a rental car (the other person’s insurance is said they were completely liable). I went back to park for the night at my apartment complex and the following morning, my car was towed. I didn’t have a parking permit displayed because its a rental car (though I do own one, it was in the car at the body shop). I had no time however, to notify the management that it was my car, and thus it was towed in a matter of hours. The management said they didn’t file a complaint though – the towing company just came on their own. Who’s liable?

Asked on October 5, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is going into take some digging in to this matter to determine who is liable here and for what.  First, you need to find out the agreement between the management company and the towing company.  Does the management company have to call for the tow or can the towing company come and act independently?  This is private property I assume so if the towing company must be called I would think that there actions were akin to trespass.  Now, is the management company going to pay for the tow or are they going to dispute it a they did not call them?  If they dispute it then that is a plus for you.  Also, what does your lease agreement state about cars?  Does it say anything about a rental or replacement vehicle and notification to the management company?  This is something to check in to as well.  In the meantime, I bet that your rental is being held hostage until you pay for it but I would consider suing for the money back once you figure out the answers to the above.  Then again, I might just sue them both and let them fight it out.  Good luck.


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