Apartment Parking Nightmares

in Help Me Now! on by

Dawn Casey invited a friend over to her apartment for a visit. When her friend went outside to get in his car and go home, his vehicle was gone. The apartment complex had towed the car. Dawn says, “Tenants here have stickers for cars…the car was towed since he wasn’t a resident — while he was here!” The complex does have a sign posted to warn anyone using the parking lot, but Dawn says that it isn’t enough: “A tiny 8 inch by 10 inch sign says ‘permit parking only, others will be towed,’ basically. The little sign IS the warning. There are no signs telling guests to park on the street instead.”

In Dawn’s lot, the complex security staff regularly patrols the lot, calling the tow truck whenever they find a car without a permit — which is often. Dawn’s friend had to go to the tow yard at 1 AM and pay $150 to get his car back.

While the signage in Dawn’s apartment complex could be a lot better, the apartment management staff are allowed to have any car towed that doesn’t display a permit. Other complexes go in the other direction, refusing to enforce any parking regulations at all and leaving tenants to fend for themselves in finding a parking space. It’s difficult to find a middle ground that works.

In order to protect yourself from this sort of parking nightmare, it’s worthwhile to learn about the parking situation before you move in. Don’t take the word of staff who work in the complex. Drive around the parking lot to get an idea of how hard it is to park at different times of the day. Ask people who already live in the complex, as well.

If you’re already moved into your apartment, it’s still important to be aware of the parking situation. Read your lease and any parking regulations — both for yourself and your guests — and stay aware of what’s actually happening in the parking lot. Check in with your neighbors to see how regulations are being enforced. There can be major differences between how the parking rules are enforced while apartment staff is in the office and when they go home for the night, just as there can be differences between the rules in different parking lots. The best way to avoid a problematic parking situation is to know as much about both the regulations and how they’re actually enforced as you can.

Image Source: Rachael Voorhees Photos

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7 Responses to “Apartment Parking Nightmares”

  1. September 01, 2009 at 12:16 am, Anonymous said:

    Hey anyone thinking of renting at Park Seville? I went there the other day to look at an apartment and spoke with the manager she was very rude unproffessional and impersonable.

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  2. September 01, 2009 at 2:01 pm, kate said:

    i dunno… shouldn’t a sign stating “permit parking only, all others will be towed” be adequate enough to ward off most breeds of moron? does that really need any further clarification? i did live in a complex with permit parking/assigned spots but even that wasn’t enough to fend off entitled college students from parking in clearly assigned spots and then crying home to mama when their bmw got towed. don’t play stupid, those signs are up for a reason and tenants do appreciate having a place to park when they pay good money to live somewhere.

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  3. September 03, 2009 at 6:24 am, Robert said:

    Kate- maybe it depends on where the sign is. What if it looks like the one in the picture, all covered up? Or it’s really tiny? Or placed off where no one can really notice it? Then I can see why the whining would be necessary, or in the case of the article, why you’d get really angry that your car was towed and you didn’t realize you couldn’t park there. Lots of complexes have the assigned space like you’re talking about, and most people have half a brain to figure out that they shouldn’t park in a numbered space, even if there isn’t a sign.

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  4. September 05, 2009 at 5:28 pm, Guy said:

    If you are in California, Some one has to have signed the complaint on your friends car, to have it towed. If they tell you no one signed the complaint that the complex has an agreement then they have broken the law. Tow companys can not just hook up any old car and take it away. It has to be done legally. Did you call the police and see if the tow company notified them of the tow? There must be a complaint SIGNED. If not sue and be sure to inspect for damage to the car. Locks get damaged, transmissions,tires, suspension arms,ect. don’t let the tow yard dog scare you away. they have rules that must be followed and you have the Courts and the cops. If it was done legally then I guess it’s a lesson learned. Do you have visitor parking? Is it enough for reasonable parking of guess vehicles. The signage there sucks and if you friend was not able to see the sign or none was present or if the name and address of the tow company and phone number of both local cops and tow company are not on the sign-SUE. That little sign must have all that information or it’s not legal and the tow jerks should know this and refuse to tow. If your not sure look at your state civil statutes (code) business sections, professional section, it will give you the details to see if the tow was done legally or not. You were not parked in a fire zone right, because you will lose out the gate. Fire Zones are bad news if you are towed from them, same as handicapped. Don’t do it. Good luck and hope you win. Let me know how it goes OK

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  5. October 09, 2009 at 4:36 pm, Peter said:

    If you are thinking of renting a apt at THe Estate ate countryside in clearwater fl ask about if you get out of work around 4pm or later you will have a hard time looking for a spot to park the staff don’t care if you find a spot or not u may have to park 4 block in a 7-11 if let let you they have rented so many apt to renters that have more than 2 cars for 1 apt that there is not enough spot for the renter that just have 1 car very poor management

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  6. August 21, 2010 at 9:58 am, anon said:

    Residence at White River sucks when it comes to parking. I wish I lived where Dawn’s car got towed – here you are supposed to either have a resident sticker or guest pass to park here, or you have to use visitor spots. However, everyone and their 10,000 cousins park wherever the hell they want anyway (despite the “security gate”) and no one in the office seems to give a damn even when I pointed out a specific “unmarked” car to them which had been sitting in the same spot for a week. They said they would “check it out” but it was there for another 3 days so I’m sure they didn’t do a damn thing. There are loud parties every weekend with obnoxious teenagers taking all of the spots around our building and then crying, yelling, or “talking” at inhuman levels all night. I hate, hate, hate this place with a passion.

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  7. December 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm, Natasha said:

    I completely agree with this. I currently live in a block of apartments and have an allocated parking space, which keeps being taken by inconsiderate visitors of my neighbours, leaving me with nowhere to park at my own home. I am currently doing everything in my power to stop this from happening. I would be delighted if they starting towing. If you don’t live there and don’t pay for the space, don’t park there… simple!

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