We rent a townhome in Las Vegas and six weeks ago there was a fire in the garage. Our landlord has been having it fixed for the past six weeks. The 1st week we had no hot water and after a couple of days, we told her we would deduct rent if she didn't get it fixed which she did. We have been parking our cars in unassigned parking spaces where other residents park their cars. One car we use; the other car has been in the same spot all this time. We have been complaining to the landlord to get the garage in order as the painters left a huge mess including leaving extensive paint on the garage floor. Two days ago they finally finished and on the same day, my car was towed by the HOA who stated that we had broken the rule of leaving it over 48 hours. There are no signs posted.We were given no copies of the HOA rules by the landlord. The HOA said they didn't know we were the owners but the registration is in the glove compartment with our current address. There is a sign re: parking on the street side of the townhomes that only states "unauthorized vehicles" are not allowed. Our lease also states we have use of the two-car garage and repairs after the fire which should have taken a couple of weeks, because of the landlord not taking care of things, has lasted at least six weeks. We have no money to get the car from impound. My boyfriend (also on the lease) put out the fire himself (his pants actually caught on fire). He called the Fire Department who showed up 1/2 hour after he had put out the fire and didn't even get out of their fire truck once they did arrive. Can I sue the landlord for breach of contract and/or the towing company and the HOA for unlawful towing?
Sorry you are going through this - these situations are extremely frustrating. It is not possible to say with 100% certainty whether you have a legitimate claim based just on these limited facts, but I can give you some general advice on how these situations normally work. As far as a claim for breach of contract it is likely to be difficult. This is because the landlord has to be given a reasonable time to make repairs; a fire can cause major destruction and six weeks, though a long time to be without the use of your garage, is likely going to be reasonable in the court's eyes. As far as the towing, this too is going to be a difficult fight. First know that landlords have a habit of not providing HOA guidelines, so for future reference prior to leasing, be sure you ask to see these guidelines. Again, on these limited facts it appears the HOA were simply following their own rules - towing your cars that were not properly authorized to park where you were. Signs do not have to be posted if your HOA regulations list this prohibition. Unless you suffered damages from the towing (costs of recovering the vehicle, damage to the car when it was towed, etc.) I don't know that it would even be worth your time to try and bring a case. Again, this is based simply on these very limited facts. If you feel you did suffer damages, your best bet is to find an attorney who handles landlord/tenant/HOA issues and schedule a consultation to find out if you truly have a case or not. Best of luck to you!
I am licensed in Nevada. The above information should be construed as legal recommendations only and not legal advice.
I agree with Ms. Devine. This is a terrible situation and the HOA/property manager is largely at fault. And your case is improved if all of your communications with the landlord are in writing or email. You should sit with one of us that deal with these types of cases so we can give you advice tailored to your particular set of circumstances.
Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.
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