Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“The HOA had my car towed from my car port while i was overseas because of termite tenting that I did not know about. Can i be reimbursed for towing and other fees involved to get the car back?
I left for my vacation on November 6, 2007 and came back on November 18 to find my car missing from my car port. After making a few phone calls, I found out that the car was towed to give way to termite tenting. When I checked my mail, the notice about the fumigation from the HOA was postmarked November 7 so it was impossible for me to know about this matter since I was already out of the country. I feel it’s unfair to be aggravated over a matter that I totally had no control over. I would like to find out if I can request for reimbursement from the HOA of the fees to get my car back. And if they refuse, can I file a case with the small claims court?”The answers to your questions are yes and yes, but you don’t really want to know if you can make a claim or file with small claims. You want to know whether you will win.
Question: For that, the first thing you need to do is look at your HOA’s governing documents. Is there some provision in there for a minimum amount of notice that needs to be given? If there is, is there an exception for urgent or emergency actions?
If the HOA didn’t follow their own rules, then you are probably in a good position to get reimbursed. If they did, you are probably out of luck-but it still wouldn’t hurt to ask. After all, you were gone less than two weeks, and nobody wants to come home from their vacation to a nasty surprise.