Local News

Oct 17, 2013 4:53 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

6 Investigates Follow-up: Towing Cars with Expired Inspection Stickers

CORPUS CHRISTI - As we've reported, your car can be towed from your parking space in your apartment complex if your state inspection sticker is expired.

Today, we spoke with one apartment manager who says she thinks some apartment complexes go too far.

Many complexes around the city hire tow companies like Lone Star Towing to troll their parking lots looking for expired stickers.

Every time they tow a car, the owner has to pay nearly $200 to get it back.

But Pat Tutor, the manager at the Shores Apartments off Ennis Joslin, says she does use Lone Star, but won't let them troll the parking lots.

She prefers to handle the issues in house.

"We have an agreement with the towing company. However, we call them whenever we want a car towed. We don't have them just patrolling the parking lot, we prefer to try everything we can do to contact the resident first, and give them an opportunity to move the car because we know it's really expensive and it's just not a good marketing program for us as well," Tutor says.

The problem is that if your apartment complex does allow companies like Lone Star to troll the parking lots, there's not much you can do about it.

Making sure vehicles have current stickers is a Texas Apartment Association guideline for leases and you sign off on that when you sign your lease.

But Tutor knows that many people in other apartment complexes don't receive the required 10 day notification letter from Lone Star because their address isn't current - a common reason many people don't know their car will be towed.

Tutor helps with that as well. Even if she has to call Lone Star, she makes sure that notification letter gets to the resident. She puts a copy of it on their windshield.

In the end, Tutor acknowledges that it's good to make sure vehicles are safe to use on the road, but thinks this particular towing practice can get out of hand.

That's why she likes to try to handle it first, and then call a tow company.

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