Article Courtesy of Local 10
Published February 8, 2020
PEMBROKE PINES – Cristina Trabada said she and her family were on vacation when
neighbors started bombarding them with calls and messages.
“Sending us pictures that my car has been booted in the driveway," Trabada said.
One of the photos Trabada shared with the Leave it to Layron team showed her car
with not just one, but two booted wheels. There was also a bright orange sticker
affixed to the driver’s-side window.
Trabada is a recent
college graduate who said she moved back in with her parents
after she finished school. She said she and her family have
lived in Pembroke Shores’ Sterling Place community for
nearly two decades.
Sterling Place recently revised its parking rules for
Weeks before the Trabadas left for vacation, the homeowner’s
association emailed residents about its new, stricter
“[Parking] in a resident spot with no resident permit” would
be subject to booting, according the email.
Trabada said her visitors’ parking registration expired
before she and her family went on their trip.
“That’s why I parked in the driveway,” she said, thinking
the car would be safe.
"Mind you, we're on vacation, and this is all
happening, so we're, like, interrupting our vacation to deal with
this," Cristina Tabada said.
Trabada said she spent days emailing and calling HOA property management, along
with blasting the incident on social media.
“Mind you, we’re on vacation, and this is all happening, so we’re, like,
interrupting our vacation to deal with this,” she said.
The boots were eventually removed.
But Trabada said her car was not the only one booted.
“A lot of residents have had to pay for the boot to be taken off, and have still
not gotten refunded,” Trabada said. “And some people have had to take off more
than one boot for multiple cars. That’s where our issue is, really. OK, so you
implemented a policy that didn’t work and it backfired and your residents got
scammed, and so, what are you gonna do about it?”
“[It] just seems so extensive,” said Alessandra Stivelman, a partner with
Eisinger Law and an expert in community association law.
Stivelman is also board-certified in condominium and planned development law by
the Florida Bar. She considered what happened to Trabada and her neighbors
“Not only can you not tow or boot, but you’re booting and requiring the owner to
pay a fine without their due process and their requirements pursuant to the
statutes,” Stivelman said. “So I think it does go above and beyond the authority
that the association had to enforce the rules and regulations.”
The LITL team tried reaching the Sterling Place’s property manager multiple
times and never received a response.
The community manager did send a letter to residents, apologizing for the
“parking mishap that took place.”
“We have addressed this issue with Lot Monitoring Services Inc. as well as All
County Towing and we are confident that we have cleared up any misunderstandings
and enforcement will now be done as per the Association’s parking rules and
regulations,” the letter read.
It went on to say the towing company “has agreed to refund all owners that had
to pay to have the boot removed from their vehicle that were parked on their
Attached to that letter was a simplified version of the rules and regulations.
One of those rules now reads: “Any vehicle that is parked on the property other
than a resident driveway, or guest parking” will be subject to booting.