Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by Eric (NH)


Posted by Carol on January 16, 1999 at 08:51:05:

We have one small property where the situation got so bad that we obtained TOW AWAY ZONE signs from a local service (apt designated spaces are numbered and there is ample visitor parking marked V and on the street).

Anytime there is a car in a numbered spot which doesn’t belong to the spot, we have told them that they are free to call the tow service, or we will do so. (BTW, this particular property is next to our own, so we are in a good position to monitor it ourselves!)

We have actually called a couple of times, after giving a couple of warnings. Both times the owner came out and talked the towing service out of executing their deed, but it sure has cleaned up the problem!

One more note: our leases now specify that there are designated parking spaces, and what will happen if that is not observed. I wouldn’t pay a dime!


Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by Eric (NH) on January 15, 1999 at 22:54:41:

This evening, for the first time, I had a car towed from the apartment complex I bought last month. The parking situation is tight–approx. fifteen or sixteen spaces (unstriped) for twenty bedrooms, and the city does not allow overnight parking on the street in the winter.

Anyway, following numerous complaints from tenants about other tenants whose visiting friends took spots, I posted a notice on everyone’s door two weeks ago stating that each unit could register up to two cars with me, and that effective January 1st any non-registered cars on the property would be towed. All tenants either responded to that letter or had earlier given me their plate numbers.

Earlier tonight, I received a complaint call about an unknown vehicle, and after checking to see that it wasn’t on my auto list, I called to have it towed. I got a call a half hour later from the tow operator, saying that a tenant and his friend were out there screaming, as the friend’s car was hooked up to be towed (as an aside, the formal notice to tenants earlier was prompted by complaints about this specific tenant!). This tenant was ranting about the fact that he has two parking spots (untrue; he has two vehicles registered), and that his girlfriend wasn’t home with the second car, so what’s the problem if his friend is parked there. He then started to ask in an agitated manner about how friends and guests are supposed to park, with my reminding him that the letter specifically stated that the lot was for “registered tenant vehicles,” and that if he or his girlfriend needed to drive a replacement vehicle than they needed to contact me, as I certaintly would have no way of knowing from one minute to the next whether an unknown vehicle belonged there, as I was not about to call ten different apartments to ascertain whether anyone knew the owner of an unknown vehicle.

After I explained all of this, he mumbled, “O.K. I’ll pay him (i.e. the tow driver), and then I’ll send you a bill.” While I assume that he is bluffing, and I feel I am in the right regardless, I am just wondering from other landlords if I handled this situation properly?

Sorry that this post was so long.

Eric (NH)


Re: Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 16, 1999 at 21:13:22:

What really matters is what the lease with your tenants actually says. If you inherited the tenants by buying them, then you probably inherited their leases. You are bound to what the leases say. If the leases are silent to this provision, then you have to look at the state law, if it is silent then you are probably screwed. All my leases state that the tenants are allowed X amount of parking spaces. If they don’t comply they are libable for all towing charges.


Automatic Towing Contract - Posted by PBoone

Posted by PBoone on January 16, 1999 at 10:09:44:

We have set up an Automatic towing contract with one of the local towing companies here.
We have a sticker that goes in the windshield of authorized vehicles. the tow company does random checks in our lot to make sure the vehicles have stickers (there are signs posted on the lot ) if not they are towed automatically. This agreement keeps us out of the loop, and places responsibility on the driver of the vehicle and the tenant for not informing the visitor. It works fantastic.


Re: Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by BR

Posted by BR on January 15, 1999 at 23:16:39:

Your policy seems like a pain to me. I would just designate spaces to apts., not vehicles. You could paint apt. #'s on the pavement. I try to simplify my job as mgr.


Re: Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by Eric (NH)

Posted by Eric (NH) on January 15, 1999 at 23:24:05:


I agree. I am considering striping and numbering spaces come spring time (i.e. after the snow melts), but for now, I’m rather stuck with the current plan.

Eric (NH)


Re: Seeking Feedback on Tenant Situation - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on January 16, 1999 at 07:41:01:

sounds like you handled it in fair and responsible manner. Don’t pay his tow bill.

Laure :slight_smile: