4/5/2006California: Home Owners Association Confiscates Resident Car
Homeowners associations will confiscate vehicles and sell them at auction without notice.
Local governments have made millions seizing automobiles, but they are not alone. The Serena Homeowners Association in Chula Vista, California is one of many private entities that is also engaged in confiscating cars. Last April, for example, the association towed the Honda Accord of a resident named Adele without warning and sold it at auction. Adele says that for the past two years her association has been sending security patrols to issue parking tickets and tow away vehicles because the practice generated a significant amount of revenue in fees.
A year ago Adele, a single mother of three, parked her Accord -- with permit -- in her assigned space. The condominium management towed the car and refused to release it unless she paid $350, money Adele did not have. She was told to wait for the next board meeting to resolve the matter, but despite her best attempts to contact members the car was sold. A year later the case remains unresolved.
In a letter last week, lawyers for the association told Adele they would not provide her minutes from the board meeting where her case had been discussed, nor would they issue a replacement parking pass.