My own apartment towed my car... Can I take legal action?

Sep 24, 2017 28 Comments

I have a legal question, lots of smart people here so please advise if you can. Here are the facts:

1) I moved into Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July 2017 (I'm here for training) and received a parking permit. Please note these apartments cater to students (I am not a student).
2) My car was towed in September 2017 for "expired" decal.
3) After talking to my apartments, I found out my apartments updated the decal for the new School Year in August 2017.
4) I was never contacted to get an updated decal or told prior that my permit would expire. The apartment confirmed that they have my updated email and phone number, and their systems SHOWS that their attempt to email me resulted in a system failure.. so it shows that I was never emailed.
5) Their claim is that they also have a website, which includes a "resident portal", where I am suppose to also check for messages. They told me it was my responsibility to check their website for messages.
6) I do not use their website, I pay monthly in the office. They also historically been able to contact me, via phone. They also post notes on my door about events, and stick flyers in my car about bonus referrals....but they never contacted me about updating my decal. They refuse to take any accountability or to offer me anything.

So I paid to get my car from the tow...Also spent the night before calling the cops, and using uber before realizing my own apartment towed my car. There are no flyers or anything about updating decals posted around the apartment. What can I do, do I have a legal case against them? I just think they are so wrong to do this to people... What do you guys think? Sorry for long post.

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TOP 28 Comments
  • OP
    Hey guys, just an update. I did what everyone said to do and the regional manager agreed to credit back the towing fee to my account, (not Uber fee) but yea.. I'm glad they finally decided to try to do the right thing. Anyways a big Thank you to all of you for pointing me in the right direction, it really helped!!!
    Sep 25, 2017 0
  • OP
    The only thing is says on my lease is that my permit is invalid at the end of my lease.... It says nothing about the "resident portal" and how I should be checking their website....
    Sep 24, 2017 4
    • Groupon / Eng
      Haxor

      Groupon Eng

      PRE
      Crowe Horwath
      Haxormore
      I would take this to the manager with the invoice for costs acured. Tell them this I what I agreed too, my permit is valid till lease end. Then tell them either pay to make it right or see them in small claims. Should be able to put this in front of a Judge and win easily. Just be advised it's a whole day off work easily and a few hundred in court fees. So make sure to include that in your complaint/suit. If it's a bigger place or owned by a large company and they reschedule your hearing, just settle for 50/50. Else they will bleed you dry by sending an intern month after month to reschedule or for more time. That's what happened too me. Good luck.
      Sep 24, 2017
    • OP
      You are awesome, Thank you!!
      Sep 24, 2017
    • Microsoft yMcg47
      Looks clear. I say sue them for the towing, inconvenience of your time, and emotional distress for having to call the cops.
      Sep 24, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng 20% raise
      Also demand them compensate you for your time + triple damages.

      This is outrageous.
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Microsoft yMcg47
    Wow this is a very particular case. You should consult with a lawyer. Some are willing to give you 30min or so for free.
    Sep 24, 2017 2
    • Yahoo FakeDonald
      I don’t think lawyers will help here. They usually are interested in bodily injuries as that where the $ are.
      Sep 24, 2017
    • HouseCanary rBqo26
      A lawyer would gladly talk to you for an hour for a flat fee on something like this. It'd be the easiest hour they bill all week.
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Yahoo FakeDonald
    Just speak to the Manager and get the towing cost reimbursed and rent for 1 month comped.
    Sep 24, 2017 2
    • OP
      I did talk to manager, she said it's not their fault and is not willing to help because I should of checked their website, aka my resident portal.... Which is stupid.
      Sep 24, 2017
    • Yahoo FakeDonald
      1. Ask to speak to Manager’s Manager
      2. Report to the local city council department
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Salesforce / Eng
    ObamaFan

    Salesforce Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    BIO
    Two hands, two legs, one torso and one big head!
    ObamaFanmore
    There should be a small claims court for your area. It would cost 300-400 dollars to properly file a case including all advocate charges.

    I don't know if you would win or not if went for a trial. But usually they will review your case more seriously before risking to go for a trial.

    I have done it before, and it is very very simple. You should also ask for refund for the cost of case filing.
    Sep 24, 2017 1
    • Salesforce / Eng
      ObamaFan

      Salesforce Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BIO
      Two hands, two legs, one torso and one big head!
      ObamaFanmore
      First research about the court and how to sue someone. Find costs and make contacts.

      Then send them an email saying you expect to be compensated, and will take them to court if they didn't pay you.

      Wait for their reply. No reply or negative reply should be enough to sue them.
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Google PICn50
    Tell them you will take legal action in small claims court. And maybe do it.
    Sep 24, 2017 0
  • Apple iKht78
    I had a similar incident happen to me at an apartment. They screwed up but weren't willing to admit it, sat on their moral high horse, made me pay for it and the apartment manager was a special kind of a**. I got the corporate office email address from that idiot, sent a lengthy email detailing the sequence of events just like you've done here, cc-ed the apartment manager on it, asked for refund due to their wrongdoing and dropped a few hints about having contacted the local rental protection council about this.

    And tada! They refunded it because it was indirectly my last notice to them before I dragged their sorry asses through the courts. Lucky for them, someone with a bit of common sense realized it wasn't my fault.
    Sep 24, 2017 1
    • OP
      What happened after you emailed corporate?
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Facebook needlecity
    First of all send formal mail to the company, by pass local manager if you can. Signal them that it would go in yelp review, google review, facebook post..etc.. ask for fair compensation... don't threaten them but show that you have intentions to seek lawyer
    Sep 24, 2017 0
  • Twitch Apple 3.14
    Small claims court. Do it.
    Sep 24, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng uufghfthgf
    Most reasonable people would say it's their fault. They didn't bother to provide proper notice in multiple formats like any sane company would do. But YMMV as to getting compensated for their idiocy.

    They are in the wrong, a judge would agree.
    Sep 24, 2017 2
    • OP
      What is YMMV?
      Sep 24, 2017
    • Idexx / Eng Abs(0)
      Your mileage may vary
      Sep 24, 2017
  • Kaneva Ballzy
    If you rented a campus apartment and furthermore you had an expired tag, clearly you knew or should have known you are required to have a parking permit. The permit is to keep non residents from taking up your parking.
    Sep 25, 2017 1
    • Microsoft yMcg47
      Apparently his lease says the tag expires when the lease is done, so seems he's legit
      Sep 25, 2017
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft / Eng uufghfthgf
      You can edit your original post and append to it so your story isn't so broken up.
      Sep 25, 2017
  • Expedia fanboy
    Go to court. Towing company will show up, chances are manager for the apartments won't. Without the person who issued the call to the towing company the judge can only rule in your favor. Just make sure you are contesting the towing itself using the provided paperwork-all towing companies are legally required to provide you with these forms upon request.
    For stronger position, I recommend telling the judge that your car was towed without notifying you and you thought it was stolen and were about to contact police
    Sep 25, 2017 0
  • OP
    Thank you everyone! Your feedback really helpful, so grateful to blind!
    Sep 24, 2017 0
  • Groupon / Eng
    Haxor

    Groupon Eng

    PRE
    Crowe Horwath
    Haxormore
    I would say if you could somehow show the time at which you received the information vs when the tow happened. The police report could be used in conjunction. This would force them to show proof of contact before that time. Also you checked your lease and amendments? A parking portion is pretty standard, if it didn't lay out these requirements you can get then there. If its in there and fairly well detailed your probably screwed. That being said you can always walk in there and slap down an invoice with your tow charges, Uber, and time with an intent to sue. They may offer you some money/credit or they may laugh at you since it would just be small claims court and most landlords have firms that will just drag it out untill it's not worth it or costs got more then the max allowance. I suppose there may also be some ordance or local towing rules that are on your side as well. Such as required contact attempts before moving the car from a place of residence.
    Sep 24, 2017 0

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