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  • May 31st, 2020 1:53 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON

Illegal towing?

I'm not sure if there is such a thing as illegal towing, but the weirdest thing happened today, and I'm hoping to get some help on how to deal with this.

Around 3pm today, I go to my condo parking lot, and my car isn't there. I then go to security, and they don't have any record of it being towed out of the building. When I asked them about security footage, apparently, that part of the parking lot doesn't have any security cameras. So after they hunt through all of the parking floors, they confirmed that the car isn't in the building.

Running out of options, I then call the cops an hour later and they confirmed it's been towed after all. Once I get to the towing lot, the towing guys say they don't have any information on who requested that my car be towed. When they hand me the invoice, it's my name listed in the hirer section.
So now I've got to shell out ~$800 (towing + parking lot fee) to get my car back. After I pay the invoice (I obviously didn't want to, but felt like I had no choice), they then hand me a $30 parking ticket that I now have to go to a police station to take care of.

Has anyone been in a situation like this? I'm guessing because of the lower dollar amount, getting legal help may not be an option (going to the media is on my mind though). But I feel both the towing company and building are at fault here. How in the world does the building allow a tow truck to get in/out with my car, and how is my name listed as the hirer on the towing company's invoice?

Advice is greatly appreciated as I've never been in anything like this before (and I haven't heard of anyone having to go through something like this).
Last edited by raywired on May 24th, 2020 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
33 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
735 posts
1127 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
What was the ticket for? Were you parked legally?
Last edited by fordmaple on May 23rd, 2020 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
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Jul 12, 2013
229 posts
149 upvotes
Saint-Bruno-de-Monta…
Did you park at a spot that didn't belong to you? Or did you park at a guest parking spot without registration at front desk / security? Did you, as a guest, stay overnight or longer without informing condo management?

You should be familiar with these rules as a owner or your friend should have let you know about this if you are a guest.

If it's any of the situations above applied to this, then yes they had the right to tow your car at your expense.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Just to be clear... I live in the building and I parked in my usual spot. I'm wondering if someone mistook my spot for theirs?

In any case, I can't understand how something like this would happen without security informing me.
Member
Aug 18, 2019
263 posts
184 upvotes
Quite possibly the towing company towed the wrong car?
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
Did you pay by credit card? I wonder if you can dispute the charge? How long did they have your car? $800 is a stupid amount for same day. Don't the new towing laws limit the fees?
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2020
573 posts
185 upvotes
GTA West
If they have your name,then bldg security must've called the towing company and/or someone complained to your bldg security...

Bldg security shld HV checked plate no. And make/model of vehicle vs spot owner- shldve been in their records... I suspect bldg security/bldg MGMT screwed up here.... Sounds like you've been using the spot for a while, did you update your bldg mgmt when you moved in?

OR is this a new scam? (But the PKG ticket could be legit, so.you can ask the PKG authorities who called them to issue that ticket)
Member
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Jul 12, 2013
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Saint-Bruno-de-Monta…
raywired wrote: Just to be clear... I live in the building and I parked in my usual spot. I'm wondering if someone mistook my spot for theirs?

In any case, I can't understand how something like this would happen without security informing me.
Ugh this sucks. Pay for the ticket and get receipt/invoice. Bring this to condo management. I doubt the tow truck can get in and tow your car without security letting it get in, and they'd have to have a valid reason or proof to do it. It's most likely security or management that called towing... Don't think a co-owner can do this.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
LPGA2020 wrote: If they have your name,then bldg security must've called the towing company and/or someone complained to your bldg security...

Bldg security shld HV checked plate no. And make/model of vehicle vs spot owner- shldve been in their records... I suspect bldg security/bldg MGMT screwed up here.... Sounds like you've been using the spot for a while, did you update your bldg mgmt when you moved in?

OR is this a new scam? (But the PKG ticket could be legit, so.you can ask the PKG authorities who called them to issue that ticket)
Yeah, I agree with this. I'll call up management on Monday to figure out what happened here. The security guy at the desk today seemed shocked that something like this happened without it being recorded, so I doubt he'll be able to help much.

I'll keep this thread posted as soon as I get some update. Thanks, all!
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Jul 4, 2004
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raywired wrote: Yeah, I agree with this. I'll call up management on Monday to figure out what happened here. The security guy at the desk today seemed shocked that something like this happened without it being recorded, so I doubt he'll be able to help much.

I'll keep this thread posted as soon as I get some update. Thanks, all!
He was probably shocked because he knew someone at the security desk messed up. If the condo is gated then one of the guards had to let them in. Looks like the condo management owes you $830 provided that you didn't park in a restricted area - which I believe the OP didn't.
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Jan 31, 2006
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Toronto
Frankie3s wrote: He was probably shocked because he knew someone at the security desk messed up. If the condo is gated then one of the guards had to let them in. Looks like the condo management owes you $830 provided that you didn't park in a restricted area - which I believe the OP didn't.
Looklike an inside job, the tow company knows which part of the condo/building does not have a security camera.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
engineered wrote: Did you pay by credit card? I wonder if you can dispute the charge? How long did they have your car? $800 is a stupid amount for same day. Don't the new towing laws limit the fees?
Yeah, by credit card. I feel like since these guys are associated with the cops (not just a private towing company), I'd get in trouble for disputing the charge.
Also, sorry, $800 for 20 days... I guess due to covid (and since I love downtown), I didn't have a need for the car at all. Lesson learned to go check in once in a while though.
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Dec 19, 2005
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What was the offence on the ticket?
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
cgtlky wrote: Looklike an inside job, the tow company knows which part of the condo/building does not have a security camera.
Yeah, checked the parking ticket, and no proof/indication that I was in the wrong spot. If the security guard last night was clueless, some other dude pulled this stunt. I was thinking of talking to both the towing company & building management, but no point with the former after seeing the ticket. I agree with comments here that they were called by security, so I guess it makes my life easier that way: just need to deal with one party here (building management) and I'll call them tomorrow.

Thanks again, guys.
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2020
573 posts
185 upvotes
GTA West
Here's the puzzling thing for me (and you as you said): why did they not call you - they don't have your number??? Isn't it SOP to have bldg security have your contact details for emergencies?

I agree with your gut, something is amiss here with regards to the tow and the cops. (Though $800 for 20 days isn't unreasonable at $40/day avg) Is this a reputable bldg you live in? eg not the city place Airbnb kind - those are really hard to keep track for bldg security...

For me, when I used to live in condos (only lived in one once where I had a PKG spot), you normally know the vehicles beside you, as the residents have usually one vehicle assigned to such spot. Checking once in a while is good, but in your case, 20 days isn't as horrible as it sounds, that's 3 wk vacation... Certainly you don't check up when you're on vacation, for example...

But let us know indeed what happens next. If indeed this is a scam from the tow truck company, and the cops, at least we at Rfd would be more vigilant in your area/bldg...

Here's a far out thought: someone signed a new lease, incl PKG spot, and your spot was typod in his lease... He got ticked, showed his lease to your bldg security who was dumb enough not to double check and just called pkg enforcement I/o you... Idiots every section of the world, incl trinity bellwoods yesterday

I'm surprised you're really calm about this eg not that pissed... Good for you... I would have been fuming (even if fuming leads to nowhere, I know,)
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raywired wrote: Yeah, checked the parking ticket, and no proof/indication that I was in the wrong spot. If the security guard last night was clueless, some other dude pulled this stunt. I was thinking of talking to both the towing company & building management, but no point with the former after seeing the ticket. I agree with comments here that they were called by security, so I guess it makes my life easier that way: just need to deal with one party here (building management) and I'll call them tomorrow.

Thanks again, guys.
What was the offence on the ticket?

In my condo, security/management does not get involved in a situation like this for liability reasons and the owner has to deal with parking enforcement on their own. Reasoning is because it's the condo owner who owns the spot and the condo owner determines if the car can be in their spot or not. So the owner would have to call and then show proof it's their space and then provide their signature to authorize the tow.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky"
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Zephyr22b wrote: In my condo, security/management does not get involved in a situation like this for liability reasons and the owner has to deal with parking enforcement on their own. Reasoning is because it's the condo owner who owns the spot and the condo owner determines if the car can be in their spot or not. So the owner would have to call and then show proof it's their space and then provide their signature to authorize the tow.
hmm... this makes a lot of sense. But then what throws me off is why the "owner's" name was not listed as the hirer in the towing company's invoice. It was my name, which makes me wonder if the towing company gets the info from the cops (since they are associated contractors for the police) and just uses that instead. I can imagine there would be a lot of concern if the actual requestor's information was used (since I'd see that).

Okay, thanks for this. I'm guessing the security guard yesterday doesn't know enough about the building's policies, so I'll find out from management tomorrow if that is the case (they don't get involved).

I'm starting to think this was a genuine error in assuming my car was in the wrong spot, but there should be safeguards in place to prevent something like this from happening (call security, security confirms the car is in the wrong spot, etc). In any case, I'll be talking to management about understanding their policy and getting them to foot the bill.

Now that I think about it... years ago when I used to rent a condo spot in Liberty Village, there was a car parked in the one I was renting. I called the owner and when she was unavailable, I then called Security to see if they could reach out. To your point, I recall Security saying that it was something I'd have to report to Parking Enforcement instead. But I wasn't asked for any proof or anything of the sort. I guess sometimes it's a bit too easy. In that scenario, I just parked in a Green P for the day and the owner was kind enough to reimburse the cost.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Zephyr22b wrote: What was the offence on the ticket?
Sorry for not answering this earlier: it is "Park Vehicle on Private Property without Consent". I've already explained my position in the previous response : )
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Think of the Childre…
Or maybe someone in your condo has beef with you and called a tow truck to haul your car away.

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raywired wrote: Just to be clear... I live in the building and I parked in my usual spot. I'm wondering if someone mistook my spot for theirs?

In any case, I can't understand how something like this would happen without security informing me.
This seems more like a easy business for towing company and the alternative tactics they're trying to get business.
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