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HOA Management Blog

At The Hignell Companies we have been providing professional management services for California Homeowner Association Boards for nearly 30 years. We love sharing our knowledge and perspective. Give us a call at 530-419-6032 if you have any questions.

Has Your Vehicle Been Towed Out of Your HOA Community?

April 3, 2018 at 10:09 AM / by HOA Manager

HOA community car towedUnclear or unenforced parking rules can wreak complete havoc in your HOA community. Many reasons contribute to this: Communities built with poor planning for parking, poor signage or lack of clarity on parking rules, owners NOT using their garage as their primary parking spot as stated in the Governing Documents, owner having more vehicles than allowed, owners storing vehicles in the community and in doing so losing a valuable parking spot.

The list can go on and on. Parking can be one of the most common complaints within Homeowners Associations. One of the most effective ways to get an owner to listen or care is to have the vehicle towed. It’s unfortunate and costly but effective.

Can your HOA tow your vehicle? Yes! Below are some facts:

Vehicle code was changed so that associations may tow vehicles for parking violations only if at least one of the following conditions has been met:

  • Appropriate signage has been posted; Tow signs from the Towing Company
  • The vehicle has been issued a notice of parking violation and 96 hours have elapsed since the issuance of that notice;
  • The vehicle is inoperable and the local traffic enforcement agency has been notified at least 24 hours prior to towing; or
  • The property upon which the vehicle is parked is improved with a single-family dwelling.

Towing Agreements

Associations should enter into written agreements with one or more towing companies (which must be listed on the towing signs posted within the community) requiring them to comply with the requirements of the vehicle code.

Handicap Parking

Any time an association needs to tow vehicles from handicap parking spaces, they need to ensure that their signage and procedures comply with vehicle code.

Specific Authorization

Except as noted below, each time a vehicle is towed the association must:

  1. Provide a specific signed authorization to the towing company and
  2. Have a representative present when the vehicle is towed.

The towing request must contain the following information:

  • The make, model, vehicle identification number, and license plate number of the removed vehicle.
  • The name, signature, job title, residential or business address and working telephone number of the person authorizing the removal of the vehicle;
  • The grounds for the removal of the vehicle.
  • The time when the vehicle was first observed parked at the private property.

Exceptions to Specific Authorization:

Associations may give written general authorizations to companies to tow any vehicle unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner which interferes with an entrance to, or exit from, the property at any time.

Conclusion

Associations may tow from common area guest parking spaces, provided the parking areas are properly marked and appropriate signage is posted at all entrances to the development.

If your Governing Documents state certain parking rules; keep in mind that if the owner has been made aware that towing will be enforced and the owner was given a notice properly by the board at a prior time, you may tow the owner without any warning.


Help Your HOA Members Be Informed and Involved

Topics: HOA Rules and Regulations