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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Angry Can I sue a board member personally?

    I have an LLC that owns a townhome that has an HOA in Hillsborough County Florida. One of the board members ordered a towing company to tow my tenant’s vehicle. The board member told me that he ordered the vehicle towed because he suspected that the tenant did not have the vehicle insured.

    My tenant’s vehicle was a typical vehicle (a Jeep Cherokee) with a valid tag that was parked legally. I don’t even know if the vehicle is insured as that is irrelevant. None of the parking spaces in the parking lot are marked or labeled. There is no signage that indicates that, if the HOA or an HOA board member “suspects” a vehicle is not properly insured, that the vehicle will be towed. There is nothing in the bylaws (I read the bylaws) that states that each resident and/or tenant must provide the HOA board or its members proof of insurance or their vehicle can be towed.

    The real reason this board member had my tenant’s vehicle towed is because he doesn’t like tenants. That is irrelevant, but, in case you’re wondering the real reason, there you have it.

    There is a clause in the bylaws that states that, “unless a board member acts in maficious manner”, then cannot be held liable for their actions in the performance of their duties. This board member did act maliciously out of his personal dislike for the fact that a tenant lives near him.

    I would like to sue the board member, personally, in small claims court as opposed to suing the homeowner’s association. Is that going to be possible or do I need to sue the homeowner’s association?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I would say your tenant should to sue the person who ordered the tow and your free to provide to the tenant a current copy of the so called by laws and also both you and your tenant should take pictures of the parking lot before tenant files suit to show the lack of signage and let the court decide what to do . Then as a owner I suggest you go to meetings and speak out and speak loudly to the board about any actions they take that are not backed up in writting via the bylaws , rules, recorded restrictions could result in your working your tush off to not only get them voted out but you may call to the attention of every other owner in the complex how expensive it could become for them when they have to begin paying the legal fees due to board members poor choices and encourage them to go to meetings and speak out against practices that could result in the units in the community becoming less marketable. Reason being that high legal fees due to poor choices by the board may be enough that a interested buyer could walk away from a unit leading to abandoned units.

  3. #3
    You do not state that the proof of insurance was provided to the HOA; so it looks like the towing was within reason.

    Post back if this information seems incorrect.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Additional questions.....

    First, Thank you both for replying.

    Sorry if I was not specific enough.

    I am the Landlord.
    My Tenant is the victim (ie he is the one who's vehicle was towed).
    An HOA board member ordered my Tenant's vehicle towed.
    I would like my Tenant to sue the board member personally as opposed to the HOA.

    My questions are....
    Can the Tenant sue the board member, personally, in small claims court, with me as legal counsel ---OR--- should the Tenant sue the HOA?

    There is nothing in the bylaws about providing proof to the HOA that a vehicle is properly insured. As a matter of fact, there is nothing in the bylaws whatsoever about parking in general. Thoughts?

    Thanks again,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    With Capt'n Hook
    Tenant needs to sue since he/she is the one that had to retrieve the vehicle.

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