Can Your Car Get Towed Just For Being Ugly?

Towing is one of the most annoying things car owners have to deal with. With any luck, we can avoid the tow truck as long as possible, but it is always there and always looking to snatch up unwitting cars and trucks. We know how to avoid the tow trucks for the most part, but for tenants of this Ohio apartment complex, the tow truck is grabbing up cars and trucks just based on their looks. 

Why are these cars getting towed? 

The tow-hungry Montana Valley Apartment Living complex outside of Cincinnati, OH, has been extra eager to snatch people’s cars for absurd reasons. The Drive says that the Local 12 news channel reported that Denis Day parked his Honda Insight to deliver some boxes to a friend in the apartment complex when he was told that his car would be towed within 24 hours. 

Day told reporters that, “Basically, I just ran into the apartment to drop off a few boxes, came back out with a sticker on my car saying that my car did not meet their high standards.” Apparently, the sticker explained that it would be towed because of the exterior damage to his Honda. Basically, the complex was calling his car an eyesore. “It was a huge slap in the face!” exclaimed Day.

The apartment management is not playing around

Tow truck towing a beat up Range Rover
Tow Truck hauling busted Range Rover | Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto

RELATED: Tow Truck Scams Are a Bigger Problem Than You Think

According to Local 12, the management wouldn’t go on camera to talk about the policy, which states that cars on their property can’t have rust, dents, flat tires, or bad paint. This calloused and elitist policy is clearly discriminatory, but the apartment complex seems unbothered. When asked about the policy and people who can’t afford to have their car repaired to adhere to the rule, the complex management said, “We understand the policy is not for everyone.”

Is towing illegal? 

Unfortunately, as long as the policy is clearly posted around the premises, they can legally have cars towed. The complex says that they tend to put three to four notices a day on cars and usually tow one or two cars per month on average. 

The local news interviewed resident Donny Elliot, whose cousin was also given a warning about their car when they came to visit. Elliot said, “To me, that’s discrimination…I believe if you are a tenant and you’re paying your rent, you shouldn’t be harassed about your car. Everybody doesn’t have the luxury and the money to have a nice car.”

Optics be damned 

Charles Tassell, director of government affairs for the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Apartment Association, said, “It’s up to each community what kind of clientele and marketing they want to have, and that’s up to them to make that decision. If it narrows the market too much, they’re going to pay a price for it.”

If you find yourself in the Cincinnati suburbs area and need a place to park, I would highly recommend keeping away from Montana Valley unless you are rolling through with a crisp new Rolls-Royce. Although, by the looks of the property, your Rolls might outvalue the property itself.