Article Courtesy of Channel
8 WFLA Tampa
By Shannon Behnken
Published April 11, 2020
TAMPA – Four residents in the Hampton Lakes townhome development in Westchase
had an unpleasant surprise when they went outside Monday morning: their vehicles
“I thought it was stolen,” said Heather Bossowski. “But then I thought, I have a
minivan, the ultimate mom car. Who would want to steal that?”
Bossowski and her husband called law enforcement and quickly discovered that the
minivan had been towed by a company working for their HOA.
They were then told by Automotive Towing that one of their drivers took a trip
through the neighborhood and spotted her violation: one tire was touching the
street and one tire was touching the grass. The parking pad is small and
Bossowski can’t fit her minivan in her garage, so like some of her neighbors,
she parks sideways.
“I was rushed trying to get groceries in and it wasn’t the best parking job, but
I was in my driveway,” she said. “I wasn’t blocking the street.”
Bossowski said her family has taken the governor’s stay-at-home order seriously
and she only leaves every two weeks for groceries. She said her husband, who
recently lost his job because of the pandemic, had to break quarantine with his
72-year-old mother to pick up the minivan, while she stayed home with their
children. It cost $175 to get the car back.
“This is requiring people to leave their homes at a time when they are being
asked to stay home by the governor,” Bossowski said. “I could understand if I
was blocking the street and this was an emergency, but this was not.”
There was no note and no warning. A representative with Leland Management, the
company that handles the HOA’s business, said she can see the concern,
especially during a pandemic. She said the HOA has decided to discontinue
roaming towing during this time. She is asking residents to obey rules but said
cars will be towed only if the HOA requests it with the tow company directly.
Hillsborough County officials, who regulate towing companies, say they are
asking companies to show compassion during the pandemic and not tow for minor
In Pasco County, officials have asked HOAs to “relax” their parking rules during
the pandemic, at a time when more people at home.