Ballpark Apartments in Austin Tow Scam by J&J Towing Targeting UT-Austin Students

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Asset Campus Housing, who manages The Ballpark Apartments located at 4600 Elmont Drive in Austin, Texas has accepted financial kickbacks from J&J Towing in the form of free signage, the installation of more free signage (smaller versions of tow signs) and warning orange stickers being their name of J&J Towing. Every vehicle that has been towed from this property since the day the new management signed a contract offered by Justin Perez, the manager of J&J Towing, has been towed without probable cause since State Law specifically states the parking facility cannot accept anything of value from the tow company in connection of the removal of a vehicle.

The management at this property always tells their residents and their guests there are tow signs posted, but the tow signs do not comply with State Law due to missing text and verbiage and mounted on moving gates.

Take for instance the smaller tow signs posted around the front of the office, these signs indicate these spaces are restricted, but State Law requires all restricted parking spaces be marked in the front and rear of the space, no higher than 7′ off the ground. The carports are all restricted, but with the space number being painted on the top of the carport, those space numbers are 8′ to 9′ feet off the ground.

Even the Austin Police Department refuse to enforce the wording on the sign and restricted parking space marking because the Wrecker Detective’s Chain of Command will not allow them to, do their job and allow a vehicle owner to file the criminal charges for violating obvious violations of State Law.

J&J Towing specifically targets college students, have been doing so for the past 30 years, with impunity because the police refuse to enforce the Towing Law, even though they have been mandated to do so by State Law.  J&J Towing likes to tow vehicles for taking up two parking spaces, but this reason for towing vehicles is not allowed by State Law regardless what your property manager tells you, as the Courts have repeatedly upheld State Law.

These violations taking place at this property are statutory violations, such as the missing verbiage and text on all of their tow sign, small and big, because they fail to state, “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed At Owner‘s or Operator‘s Expense”. How many Stop Signs have you seen where the word, SOMETIMES is added on the sign. You don’t because the wording of the signs are in “QUOTES.”

J&J Warning Sticker

From time to time, you might see a bright orange warning sticker bearing the name of the Tow Company threatening to tow your vehicle for an expired registration sticker. Just the name of the tow company on this sticker is something of value provided to your property manager which is a strictly prohibited kickback according to State Law. The Texas Occupations Code 2308.402 states: A towing company or booting company may not directly or indirectly give anything of value to a parking facility owner in connection with: (1) the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility. Your vehicle CANNOT be towed for an expired registration sticker with merely this orange warning sticker, and if your property manager says otherwise or it’s on your lease that states your vehicle will be towed, State Law says otherwise.

When students contact the property manager about their vehicles being towed, they outright lie, we hear it many times on recorded conversation, about accepting kickbacks from J&J or the illegal tow signs, then tell you to take it up with the tow company, or they have nothing to do with the towing, yet they are the ones who authorized J&J to tow your vehicle. Don’t believe that nonsense of your property manager reference the reason your vehicle was towed is stated in your lease or some addendum you signed, as STATE LAW SAYS OTHERWISE.

Per State Law, the only reasons a vehicle may be towed from an apartment complex, residential tower or condominium:

(1) obstructs a gate that is designed or intended for the use of pedestrians or vehicles;

(2) obstructs pedestrian or vehicular access to an area that is used for the placement of a garbage or refuse receptacle used in common by residents of the apartment complex;

(3) is in or obstructs a restricted parking area or parking space designated under Subchapter G, including a space designated for the use of employees or maintenance personnel of the parking facility or apartment complex;

(4) is in a tow away zone, other than a fire lane covered by Section 2308.251(c), that is brightly painted and is conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning “TOW AWAY ZONE” in contrasting letters at least three inches tall;

(5) is a semitrailer, trailer, or truck-tractor, as defined by Chapter 502, Transportation Code, unless the owner or operator of the vehicle is permitted under the terms of a rental or lease agreement with the apartment complex to leave the unattended vehicle on the parking facility; or

(6) is leaking a fluid that presents a hazard or threat to persons or property;

Section 2308.251(c) reference fire lanes states: If a government regulation governing the marking of a fire lane applies to a parking facility, a fire lane in the facility must be marked as provided by the regulation. If a government regulation on the marking of a fire lane does not apply to the parking facility, all curbs of fire lanes must be painted red and be conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning “FIRE LANE–TOW AWAY ZONE” in white letters at least three inches tall, at intervals not exceeding 50 feet.

Then reference expired registration/and or inspections stickers, State Law (Occupations Code 2308.253 states:

(d) Except as provided by a contract described by Subsection (e), a parking facility owner may not have a vehicle removed from the parking facility merely because the vehicle does not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia issued for the vehicle under Chapter 502, Transportation Code, or the vehicle registration law of another state or country.

(e) A contract provision providing for the removal from a parking facility of a vehicle that does not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia is valid only if the provision requires the owner or operator of the vehicle to be given at least 10 days’ written notice that the vehicle will be towed from the facility at the vehicle owner’s or operator’s expense if it is not removed from the parking facility. The notice must be:

(1) delivered in person to the owner or operator of the vehicle; (ORANGE WARNING STICKERS NOT NOTICE) or

(2) sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to that owner or operator.

(f) This section may not be construed:

(1) to authorize the owner or operator of a vehicle to leave an unattended vehicle on property that is not designed or intended for the parking of vehicles; or

(2) to limit or restrict the enforcement of Chapter 683, Transportation Code, the abandoned motor vehicle law.

(g) A provision of an apartment lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed on or after January 1, 2004, that is in conflict or inconsistent with this section is void and may not be enforced.

The best route to deal with this corrupt management company and J&J Towing, is to contact the Law Office of Richard Michael, so  he can represent you with no upfront cost, to file a lawsuit against the property management company and the property owner, for statutory violations, as there is no possible way your property manager would prevail, meaning if you paid $193.30 to get your vehicle, then you would receive no less than $800, of course the more you pay, the more you get back, paid by the property management company.

So, now you know, the property manager of the Ballpark Apartments is enjoying THEIR “perks” and “kickbacks” every time your vehicle is towed, as they will do nothing other than tell you to call the tow company, but they authorized the tow in the first place. When inquiring about the guest parking, which is in the very back of the property, the property management claims, it’s the resident’s responsibility to tell their guest where visitor parking is, but State Law states it’s parking facility’s responsibility to inform motorists entering the property where guest parking is.  We have fielded call from visitors whose vehicle were towed prior to returning after discovering the resident was not even home, so the required notice is not provided.

This property, like 95% of parking lots bearing a J&J Towing sign is a pure example of a tow scam, where everyone towed regardless of the reason is entitled to recover damages allowed by State Law.

Always keep your paperwork, make sure its legible and file the online TDLR complaints after being towed or charged a drop fee by J&J Towing, after you have filed the online complaint, obtained your “Track” number, attach the documents with the tow signage photos to an email to enforcement@tdlr.texas.gov!

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