What is the law relating to the towing of a tenant’s vehiclefrom an apartment complex?

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What is the law relating to the towing of a tenant’s vehiclefrom an apartment complex?

Currently, we are in a jam with our landlord due to parking. I have an assigned parking space far from the apartment. The assignment is verbal; the lease says that I get “a parking spot”. Parking areas are not numbered nor do they have any signs. Recently, I started parking in other people’s spots, which has caused a stir. It may be unethical, but is it illegal? Can they have my car towed? Overnight? The landlord’s agent threatened to have my vehicle towed, and I told him he has to comply with VC22658 first. Do the tow companies really comply with it?

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the issue. If you have a parking spot in your lease and there is no written agreement between anyone about who has the correct parking spot, the judge can rule really either way if this goes to court. The judge could rule the contract rules and anything not in the contract is not enforceable and therefore, any tenant could have any parking spot. The judge could also rule that while a parking spot is pretty general in the lease, the pattern and practice of tenants shows assignments have occurred and to stick to them. While your landlord has to comply with towing laws, your best bet is to approach the landlord with other tenants and ask for a written parking assignment that is incorporated by reference into your lease. Otherwise, you could all run into liability.


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