Is a car parked in front of your house and not you’re sure what to do about it? When it comes to getting a car towed off private property, you need to be aware of the law.
Towing a vehicle from private property is not always allowed. But, there are lawful ways to deal with private property towing.
This guide will help you legally get those pesky vehicles away from your home or office.
When Can You Tow?
You can tow a vehicle from private property if the property owner says the vehicle is trespassing. Vehicles that remain after getting notice that their presence is not allowed are trespassing.
Private property towing laws are clear: if they don’t know, you can’t tow. This means that you must notify vehicle owners before you can tow their vehicle. Generally, they’re notified with proper signage.
Exceptions to the Rule
Single-family residences may tow without notice. With these types of residencies, unauthorized parking is not allowed.
Additionally, on public property, any vehicles deemed a public safety hazard are towable. Generally, this includes vehicles parked in fire safety lanes, blocking traffic flow, or parked in public driveways. Vehicles in handicapped spaces without the proper licensing are also towable.
Unregistered or abandoned vehicles are also towable at any point on both private and public property.
Private Property Towing: The Right Signs
There are pretty specific laws when it comes to towing signs for private property. Signs must have the right look, the right content, and be in the right location.
Private property towing signs must feature reflective letters on a contrasting background. These reflective letters must be at least 1-4 inches high.
In general, signs should be at least 18 inches x 24 inches. In some states, the required size is 36 inches x 36 inches.
These towing signs must state that towing and storage of vehicles will be at the vehicle owner’s expense. They should also state who, if anyone, may park in the space (employee only parking, for example).
A reference to the state vehicle code that allows private property towing should also be on the sign face. Additionally, the name and phone number of the towing service must be featured.
The sign must be located at eye level, at least 5 feet off the ground, and no higher than 8 feet. Signs should be placed at each vehicle entrance or within 5 feet of a public street.
For areas without curbs or other access barriers, a sign must be posted no less than every 50 feet of the desired lot length. This distance may vary by state, so be sure to check your local guidelines.
Tow the Right Way
If unlawful towing occurs, you may find yourself in small claims court to settle the cost of the tow. Avoid these issues by following the above private property towing laws.
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