TEMPLE, Texas —
Sonya Hodges moved into the Canyon Creek Town Homes on July 31, 2018. She has one vehicle, but Hodges said she had issues with management when trying to get a permanent parking sticker.
“When I took her my registration, she said they couldn’t use it to give me a permanent sticker. She couldn’t explain it to me,” Hodges said.
Hodges said she would need to ask management for a new sticker every month and was required to get the next sticker right before the previous month ended. She wasn’t able to get to the office last week. On Feb. 1, at 4:17 A.M., Rapid Recovery of TX towed her vehicle. The company charged $298 to get it back. It was the second time it happened.
“I freaking live here! It’s aggravating,” Hodges said.
Hodges' sister emailed 6 News. Monday, after 6 months of dealing with temporary stickers, she got a real parking pass.
6 News Reporter Andrew Moore found out the State of Texas requires multi-unit complexes to provide their tenants a copy of any parking rules and policies use. The law also specifies what kinds of information can be used to identify the vehicle being parked.
Moore and Hodges walked into the management office with a copy of those laws Monday morning. The complex refused to speak to Moore, but provided Hodges a copy of the parking policy and a permit around 15 minutes later. Hodges said it was the first time she had seen those apartment policies.
"I got my sticker, but I'm still not happy because this never should have happened," Hodges said. "My vehicle got towed and I didn't have these rules. This is the first time I've seen this."
According to the Canyon Creek Town Homes parking policy, "Resident vehicles must display a valid red and white permit by June 1, 2018, to park on (the) property."
The policy indicated temporary parking was primarily for visitors, despite Hodges having temporary passes for months. Management at Canyon Creek Town Homes would not speak to Moore and referred him to Arnold Grounds, their property management company.
President Jimmy Arnold said on Monday that this was the first he heard of the issue.
"That's a concern. Why the situation didn't get remedied within six months and what was the holdup with her securing the permanent sticker I'm (not) sure. She indicated that she has one now. I will be looking into Mrs. Hodges' situation."
Arnold said properties would sometimes provide tenants temporary parking permits for more than a few days, or even a month, to allow that tenant to get the paperwork they needed for a permanent permit. He said he was surprised to hear the issue went on for months, however. Hodges said he would look into the issue at the complex to make sure that company policies were followed and tenants were treated fairly in the matter.
Moore found the following Texas statutes regarding renters rights when it comes to parking policies:
According to Texas Property Code § 92.0131(b):
“If at the time a lease agreement is executed a landlord has vehicle towing or parking rules or policies that apply to the tenant, the landlord shall provide to the tenant a copy of the rules or policies before the lease agreement is executed. The copy of the rules or policies must be:
(1) signed by the tenant;
(2) included in a lease agreement signed by the tenant; or
(3) included in an attachment to the lease agreement that is signed by the tenant, but only if the attachment is expressly referred to in the lease agreement.”
According to Texas Property Code § 92.0131(c-1):
“As a precondition for allowing a tenant to park in a specific parking space or a common parking area that the landlord has made available for tenant use, the landlord may require a tenant to provide only the make, model, color, year, license number, and state of registration of the vehicle to be parked.”
According to Texas Property Code § 92.0132:
"TERM OF PARKING PERMIT. A landlord who issues a parking permit to a tenant:
(1) must issue the permit for a term that is coterminous with the tenant's lease term; and
(2) may not terminate or suspend the permit until the date the tenant's right of possession ends."
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