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Tenant Abandoned Vehicle - I want it!


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#1 Not_Sleepy

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

I work for a property management company in NC, and we manage an apartment building. One of our tenants left a car in the parking lot, and it has been sitting there for over a year. The car needs some work, but I would like to claim it, if possible. The company I work for is amenable to my having it, assuming I follow the appropriate legal channels, and obtain the car properly. How would I go forward claiming this car, and getting a title for it in my name? If possible, I would like to avoid what I have found via searching online, which indicates a lien sale must be performed, as if this happens, anyone who shows up will be able to outbid me, since I do not have much in the way of disposable income. Thanks for any assistance.

#2 adjusterjack

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

Either go through the legal process or forget about it.

Hopefully, your property management company has towing signs up in the parking lot prohibiting abandoned or unregistered or improperly parked vehicles so the car can be impounded and sold at auciton where you can then bid on it like anybody else.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

Has anyone attempted to locate the owner of the property?

#4 Not_Sleepy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

Has anyone attempted to locate the owner of the property?


I am in the process of determining who the owner is, and contacting them to see if I can purchase the vehicle from them directly, or, failing that, follow the appropriate process to claiming it as mine.

Either go through the legal process or forget about it.

Hopefully, your property management company has towing signs up in the parking lot prohibiting abandoned or unregistered or improperly parked vehicles so the car can be impounded and sold at auciton where you can then bid on it like anybody else.


AdjusterJack, I am trying to go through the legal process, if my original post wasn't clear on this, let me clarify. I want the vehicle, but only if I can obtain it legally and be able to title it in my name. I am not yet certain on how to go about this, as after searching via NCDMV, it doesn't indicate the correct process. We post as well as indicate in our leases that you may not have a non-functioning vehicle on the property.

And what constitutes impounded? Would I have to have the tow company tow it and lock it up for it to be considered impounded? I ask only because if the original owner decides they don't want it, but are willing to hand over the title, I will have to pay for this, to get it out of impound, correct? Again, if this is required to make this happen on the up and up, I will, I'm simply trying to avoid any additional costs if I can! Could we move the vehicle to a secure location, and consider it impounded then?

So far, my first and only step was to complete and submit an MVR-605A with the DMV, to locate the owner.

Thanks again for any assistance!

#5 Fallen

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

Since you know it belongs to a former tenant, the notion that you don't know the name of that tenant strikes me as odd in the extreme (that tenant may or may not be the owner of record, of course).

The only party in this scenario that I think has a shot at claiming it as "theirs" (and they'd be free to sign it over to you) is the landlord. But this isn't like a washer that some tenant left behind; this is a titled vehicle. It's not enough to simply send a certified note to the former tenant saying you need to come get X abandoned property before Y otherwise we'll consider it ours and may sell or dispose of it as we see fit. At this point, the landlord's free to have it towed from their property.

Personally, I'd be looking elsewhere for a car. Do you know what condition the car was in even before it sat in X place for a year without being driven? I'm not clear that you understand the ramifications of that in terms of operational condition of car.

At any rate, don't expect the answers to leap out at you online by visiting a dmv web site.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#6 Not_Sleepy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Fallen,

Thanks for your response, and I can understand why you may think that [I do not know the name of the tenant], so, I will add a bit more info that I suppose I should have included originally. The "property" is a multi-unit apartment complex, and while we do request that tenants submit their vehicle information, we do not require this, and I have no way of determining to which of the 80 units this vehicle belonged. That being said, I did scour through all our leases in the complex, this vehicle was not listed.

When I say "claim", I do not mean that I simply plant my flag and it's mine, I mean, again, to follow the proper channels to be able to title it in my name. Without going into details, the vehicle is desirable in that with time and work, it can be a nice vehicle, assuming that the engine is not completely destroyed. As a wannabe shade tree mechanic, I'm will to take the risk that the the engine is seized or close to it, and much will need repair/replacement. Aside from that, I have enough individuals, considerably more knowledgeable than I (active or retired ASE mechs) willing to stop by and lend a hand for a six pack. I am fully aware of the potential ramifications; with enough time, this is not a concern.

And finally, I do not expect the DMV or their website to be a fount of wisdom. I typically do not consider any government entity to be of much assistance in any aspect. However, I glean what I am able from that and other sources, prior to seeking assistance here. Otherwise (obviously), I wouldn't be posting here, seeking wisdom from individuals in a higher intellectual bracket than I consider myself to qualify.

#7 adjusterjack

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:03 AM

Here's the way I figure it.

You, personally, have no standing with regard to claiming the car.

The owner of the property has to act in accordance with state law, or the management company has to act on behalf of the owner, and the management company may delegate the duty to you as an employee but the end result is always on behalf of the owner of the property.

The statute involved is NC GS 20-77(d) and (e):

http://www.ncleg.net...0/GS_20-77.html

The statute referred to in (d) can be found in Article 1 Section 44A-1 through 44A-6.1:

http://www.ncleg.net...l?Chapter=0044A

Read the laws.

On behalf of the property owner you or your employer must make the proper report to the DMV and then sell the vehicle using the procedure specified in the statute.

There's a lot of hoops to jump through. If your employer or the property owner don't want to jump through those hoops, then you don't get the car unless you can find the owner and buy it directly from him/her with proper transfer of title.

There's no short cut.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.





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